Sam Neill and Bryan Brown.

Currently on screen in Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country, Bryan Brown and Sam Neill will join forces again in comedy/drama Palm Beach.

Greta Scacchi and Jacqueline McKenzie will also star in the film scripted by Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Rachel Ward.

The plot follows a group of lifelong friends who reunite to celebrate a special birthday at Sydney’s Palm Beach. According to the synopsis the good times roll with loads of laughter, lavish meals, flowing wine and music but tensions build and deep secrets are revealed.

EOne will distribute in Australia/New Zealand and Seville International will launch the international sales at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Shooting is due to start later this year with funding from Screen Australia, Create NSW and Spectrum Films and the support of Destination NSW.

The producers are Bryan Brown for New Town Films and Deb Balderstone for Soapbox Industries.

By co-incidence, Brown starred in Albie Thoms’ Palm Beach, a tale of surf, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll set amid the Northern beaches sub-culture, which was released in 1980.

In a statement Brown and Balderstone enthused: “Everybody’s vision is absolutely aligned and with Joanna’s exceptional script in the incredibly capable hands of Rachel, the alluring world of Palm Beach is hopefully set to become a future classic.”

Sandie Don, eOne’s managing director – Australia and New Zealand, described the film as a “wonderful ensemble piece filled with rich and vibrant characters; a sharply observed portrait of different generations whose reunion is both humorous and poignant.

“The combination of this exceptional filmmaking team, a famed Sydney setting and a story rife with drama and heart makes for an exciting film that will no doubt connect with Australian audiences.”

Screen Australia’s head of production Sally Caplan added, “Joanna Murray-Smith’s engaging script is brimming with juicy characters, which we know this superb cast will relish sinking their teeth into. Add in to the mix seasoned talent like director Rachel Ward, producers Bryan Brown and Deb Balderstone, and we believe this film will be highly entertaining with excellent commercial prospects.”


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