The 66th Sydney Film Festival (5 – 16 June) has announced the World Premiere of Palm Beach, an uplifting drama/comedy from Australian director Rachel Ward, as the Opening Night Film at the State Theatre on Wednesday 5 June.
Sydney Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala is proudly presented by Lexus Australia. Tickets are on sale now via sff.org.au.
Palm Beach features an all-star cast of Australian screen legends including Golden Globe-nominated icons Bryan Brown (Australia Day, SFF 2017),Sam Neill (The Daughter, SFF 2015), Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant (Gosford Park), Greta Scacchi (The Player, SFF 1992), 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.
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.