Seventeen-year-old Jesse (Lachlan Buchanan) lives in Newcastle, the center of Australia's booming coal industry and home to some of the country's most beautiful surfing beaches. The stark contrast of these surroundings encapsulates Jesse's choices in life: will he become the champion surfer his older brother Victor (Reshad Strik) failed to be, or will he follow in Victor's footsteps toward bitterness and self-destruction? As Jesse grapples with his own self-sabotaging tendencies, his twin brother Fergus (Xavier Samuel) struggles with his own sexuality while trying to fit in with Jesse's surfing crowd, and Victor strives to overcome rage over his failed dreams. When Jesse and Fergus decide to sneak away for a weekend to camp out and surf with a group of friends, they set off a chain of events that could change their lives forever. After Victor unexpectedly arrives on the scene, new relationships are formed, friendships are altered, and the brothers may never see each other in the same way again. Writer and director Dan Castle crafts an impressive feature debut-combining the ravishing elements of surfing movies with a compelling family drama. The cast is an incredible ensemble of up-and-comers that make both the visceral surfing sequences and tender emotional scenes seem effortless. While the brothers' complicated relationship forms the crux of the film, the waves and the beaches of Newcastle can also rightly claim a starring role.
Dan Castle makes his eagerly anticipated feature debut with Newcastle. The award-winning writer and director has helmed a number of critically acclaimed short films, including The Visitor, which received awards at national and international festivals, including an AFI (Australian Film Institute) nomination for best short fiction film in 2003.