Rachel Ward’s Palm Beach will have its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival

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Bryan Brown, Jacqueline McKenzie and Richard E. Grant in Palm Beach.

The World Premiere of Palm Beach, an uplifting drama/comedy from Australian director Rachel Ward has been announced as the Opening Night Film of the Sydney Film Festival at the State Theatre on Wednesday 5 June.

Palm Beach features an all-star cast of Australian screen legends including Golden Globe-nominated icons Bryan Brown (Australia Day), Sam Neill (The Daughter), Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant (Gosford Park), Greta Scacchi (The Player), Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper) and Heather Mitchell (Rogue), as well as Brown and Ward’s daughter Matilda Brown, playing Ella – the daughter of Brown’s character Frank.

Set at Sydney’s spectacular Palm Beach, the film follows lifelong friends who gather to celebrate a milestone birthday, only for tension to mount when new and old resentments arise, along with the threat of an old secret coming to light.

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With a filmmaking team comprising over 50% female crew, the film is Ward’s second feature film following Beautiful Kate, which will also screen at this year’s Festival as part of Essential Australian Women Directors – 10 Trailblazers Selected by David Stratton.

“Film festival time in Sydney is my favourite time of year. To be kicking it off is a really special treat,” said Rachel Ward.  “’The inspiration for the film came over a Christmas in Wales with friends… It was a funny and warm occasion, but also one where we realised no one is untouched.”

“Set in one of Sydney’s most beautiful locations, it’s great to think Palm Beach will open this year’s Festival,” she said.

A limited number of Film and Party, and Film-only tickets are available now. Film and Party tickets include entry to the Opening Night Film and the exclusive after-party at Centennial Hall at Town Hall, Sydney. Tickets to the Closing Night Film and Awards Presentation on Sunday 16 June are also on sale from 9am on Tuesday 30 April.

Tickets are on sale now via sff.org.au.

Do you enjoy keeping up to date with the latest Australian film news? Help us continue to bring you more Australian film coverage by making a donation to Cinema Australia below.

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