Palm Beach

Directed by Rachel Ward
98 minutes
All Ages
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In Rachel Ward’s funny, uplifting comedy/drama a group of lifelong friends reunite for a party at Sydney’s Palm Beach; but tension mounts when deep secrets emerge.

With a fantastic cast including Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Richard E. Grant, Greta Scacchi, Jacqueline McKenzie and Heather Mitchell, Palm Beach raises universal issues through the prism of friendship. To mark his birthday, Frank (Brown) and Charlotte (Scacchi) decide to throw a three-day party at their luxurious house in Palm Beach, welcoming their closest friends. Frank, Leo (Neill) and Billy (E. Grant) were once involved in a band together; The Pacific Sideburns had one hit but little beyond that. Rounding out the guest list: Billy's partner, beautiful actress Eva (Mitchell); Bridget (McKenzie), who feels that husband Leo is increasingly distant; and the hosts' children Dan and Ella - with new sheepfarmer beau (Charlie Vickers and Matilda Brown - and Aaron Jeffrey). The party starts well, with mouth-watering food and flowing champagne, but it doesn't take long for new and old resentments to emerge and, more seriously, the threat of an old secret coming to light. With witty dialogue, a breathtaking location and great actors at the top of their game, Palm Beach is an exuberant and life-affirming celebration of friendship.

See Rachel Ward's debut feature Beautiful Kate or go to the Opening Night screening of Palm Beach.
Rachel Ward discusses her long and diverse career in this year's Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture
Editor Nick Meyers is in the panel Vivid Ideas and SFF Present - Talking Editing

Special Guest

Rachel Ward
and members of the film team
In her former life as an actor, Rachel Ward was the recipient of several international drama awards and nominations, including two Golden Globe nods. She has directed several short films including Blindman’s Bluff, The Big House and Martha’s New Coat. Her feature film debut Beautiful Kate (also playing at SFF this year) played at SFF and Toronto in 2009.


Mon 10 June
State Theatre
Past Event Cancel
Thu 13 June
Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Opening Night, Selling Fast
All Ages
In English
Rachel Ward
Bryan Brown, Deborah Balderstone
Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Greta Scacchi
Joanna Murray-Smith, Rachel Ward
Bonnie Elliott
Nick Meyers
World Premiere
Seniors, Women Directors, World Premiere, Arts, Australian Films, Comedy, Focus on Women, Food & Drink
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