Surf's up at film fest

FROM Kiama Downs to Toronto - that's the journey ahead for movie producer Justin McMillan after his latest movie, Storm Surfers 3D, was selected to represent Australia at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival next month.

"It is beyond our wildest dreams to be accepted into Toronto - the festival is regarded as second only to the Cannes Film Festival and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be seen on the world stage - we still can't believe it," McMillan said.

Blockbusters like The King's Speech (2010), Precious (2009) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) debuted at Toronto.

McMillan and his friend and co-director Chris Nelius have put together an incredible story as they followed surfing legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones on their search for the biggest and most dangerous surf breaks imaginable.

Carroll's colleague and storm forecaster Ben Matson joined the fun and the team embarked on their journey.

McMillan said the response to the movie to date had been unbelievable and was easily the hardest but most rewarding thing he had done, particularly as it was the first time they had shot in 3D.

"It took 18 months of script writing, filming and editing, but by the end we had shot enough quality film for four hours of 3D television as well as a 90-minute feature film," McMillan said.

And the movie might have an ace up its sleeve in the form of narrator Toni Collette.

Storm Surfers 3D tracks weather systems across the globe, hunting down storm swells in the hope of discovering, and conquering, never-before-surfed breaks from Japan to South Africa, Hawaii to New Zealand and around Australia.

The team braved physical extremes, injuries and sub-zero temperatures in search of the ultimate ride.

The team completed an incredible eight missions in a season to undertake the most ambitious project yet - to shoot the entire project in 3D.

Storm Surfers 3D is screening on a limited release at Event Cinemas at Shellharbour on Wednesday, August 29.

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