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Belly of the Beast: A Torquay Story


Q&A with the directors



From a small, coastal, summer holiday town in south-west Victoria, two global surf brands were born – Rip Curl and Quiksilver. Initially a sport for outsiders, surfing soon morphed into an aspirational and commercial lifestyle. How did this happen in this little town? What is specific to Torquay that made it the epicentre of the global surf scene, and what are the consequences of this seismic change? Belly of the Beast explores how a quiet coastal community swelled to an international surfing mecca. It charts the early roots of the town with the local Wathaurong Indigenous community and the beginnings of the local surf life saving club, through to the surfing scene that emerged in the post-war years, flourished in the counter-cultural movements of the 1960s and ’70s, and persists today, capturing the imagination of new generations of surfers. 

Winner – Best Picture

Bells Beach Surf Film Festival

Winner – Best Picture

Melbourne Cineverse Film Festival

Finalist – Best Melbourne Documentary

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

Why You Should See This Film

Rigorously researched, this fascinating documentary has unlimited access to Torquay surfing royalty: the people who steered the transformation, the locals who remember the crazy nights and endless summer days, and the characters and moments that shaped Torquay. The local surf scene becomes a jumping off point for the film to explore themes as expansive as racism and sexism in surfing, commercialisation, gentrification, and more.

John Teague, Max Miller
Rod Brooks, Suzie Browne, Simon Buttonshaw
90 minutes

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