The Tribes of Palos Verdes

Film Info
Event Type:Film
Film Type:Narrative Feature
Release Year:2017
Run Time:104 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Brendan Malloy
Emmett Malloy
Cast:Maika Monroe
Cody Fern
Jennifer Garner
Justin Kirk


When teenage Medina (Maika Monroe) moves with her family to the picture-postcard perfect paradise of Palos Verdes, California, they seem headed for a happy new chapter in their lives. But old troubles soon catch up to them, as Medina’s parents’ marriage disintegrates, her mother (Jennifer Garner) spirals into an emotional freefall, and her twin brother (Cody Fern) turns to drugs.

Caught in the middle of it all, Medina must rely on her inner strength to become the stabilizing force in her family, while finding refuge in a new passion: surfing.

Set amidst the sun-kissed beaches and crystal blue waters of the California coast, The Tribes of Palos Verdes is a stirring look at how life’s greatest challenges forge who we become.

“The Tribes of Palos Verdes” juxtaposes the story of a family’s disintegration against the spectacular beauty of coastal Southern California. The film is based on the best-selling novel written by Joy Nicholson. Nicholson drew from her own experience in creating the singular voice of her narrator, Medina Mason.

An outcast at school and invisible at home, Medina escapes her troubles by surfing, and discovers her own strength and resilience as she rides the ocean’s waves.

Nearly twenty years have passed since the publication of Joy Nicholson’s novel, but the family drama at the heart of “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” exists out of time. Ultimately, it is a story about survival and about love and a reminder to value the people closest to us.