Simon Baker’s directorial debut to premiere at TIFF in Toronto

Aussie actor Simon Baker’s feature film and directorial debut Breath will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), featuring as part of the event’s Contemporary World Cinema program. Breath stands alongside Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Violeta Ayala’s Cocaine Prison, two competing Australian films.

“There is no doubt that TIFF sets Australian films on the path to international success, as we saw with Lion and The Dressmaker. It is an incredible achievement for Simon Baker’s directorial debut Breath to be selected. The screen adaptation of this much-loved Australian classic not only showcases our industry’s creativity but also our country itself,” commented Graeme Mason, Screen Australia’s CEO.

Breath is based on Tim Winton’s award winning novel of the same name, which follows the story of two teenage boys growing up in mid 70s coastal Australia who are hungry for discovery and adventure. They form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious, enigmatic man and his wife, who push the two teenagers to take risks and partake in events that will change their lives.Director Simon Baker also stars in the film, alongside an impressive cast including Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh and Rachael Blake, and introducing Samson Coulter and Ben Spence.

Adapted for the silver screen by Gerard Lee, (Top of the Lake) Tim Winton and Baker himself, who also co-produced with award winning producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad), and Jamie Hilton (The Little Death), for See Pictures.

“From an early age I was both seduced and terrified by the ocean. The Australian coastline raised me; it’s enmeshed in my identity. Tim Winton’s book Breath authentically captured the rawness of growing up on that coastline,” said Simon Baker.

“I’m eternally grateful to everyone who committed to this incredible journey. Their support and encouragement is all there, where it should be, on the screen. I’m immensely proud that Breath will represent Australian cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival, and for the opportunity to share with the world the power, beauty and wisdom of the Australian landscape.”

Breath will be distributed locally by Roadshow Films, and will be released theatrically across Australia on May 3rd, 2018.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from 7 September through to 17 September 2017.