New film Facing Monsters captures big-wave life of Denmark surfer Kerby Brown

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Facing Monsters film star Kerby Brown surfing a wave in the Great Southern.
Camera IconFacing Monsters film star Kerby Brown surfing a wave in the Great Southern. Credit: Andrew Semark

The thrill of chasing dangerous slab waves deep in the Southern Ocean is at the heart of a new film starring Denmark big wave surfer Kerby Brown.

Expected to be released in 2022, but screening in Albany tomorrow night, Facing Monsters is billed as a surfing film like no other.

An enigmatic big-wave surfer, Brown, 38, has a deep connection with the ocean.

Facing Monsters tells of his journey and quest to reach uncharted territory in the big-wave surfing world.

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The film is about fear, addiction, and family bonds — an exploration of what drives Brown and why he’s so obsessed with pitting himself against one of nature’s most intimidating forces.

A Denmark local for six years, Brown said the film focused on two important things in his life — family and surfing.

“It’s surreal to have a film made about your life,” he said.

“It’s a bit different to your average surf film and has a few layers to it. The film shows how important family and friends are, the struggles I’ve gone through, and how much the ocean has helped me through those struggles.

“You don’t have to be a surfer to appreciate what is in this film.”

Brown said linking up with cinematographer Rick Rifici had brought Facing Monsters to the surface.

“I’ve been friends with Rick for a long time and he’s one of the best cinematographers in the world,” he said.

“A passion of his is to shoot waves, especially these heavy slabs.

Denmark’s Chris Shanahan and Kerby Brown look on at a Great Southern beach in Facing Monsters.
Camera IconDenmark’s Chris Shanahan and Kerby Brown look on at a Great Southern beach in Facing Monsters. Credit: Andrew Semark

“We got some people behind us and it just evolved.

“I’m a pretty low-key person at the best of times.

“I never really knew if anything was going to come out of it but a lot of people worked hard behind the scenes and filming happened right around when COVID hit so it was a challenging time to pull off a project of this scale.

“It has been received really well so far and hopefully people enjoy it.”

Directed by Bentley Dean and produced by Chris Veerhuis, the film centres on Brown’s relationship with his brother Cortney and his many journeys into the deep blue with Denmark’s Chris Shanahan.

“I’ve been surfing down here since I was a teenager,” Brown said.

“The waves we were looking for (in filming) and what we are about, they are removed from everyone.

“It’s not just focused on The Right, we are looking for new locations and waves that aren’t generally surfed.

“We were searching deep off the southern coast and there is a fair bit from the Great Southern.

“It definitely showcases the beauty of WA and our surroundings and the power of the ocean down here.”

Albany’s Orana Cinemas will host an advance screening of the film tomorrow night, followed by a Q&A session with Brown.

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