Rachel Ward (Photo: Eva Rinaldi, Flickr).

Writer-director Rachel Ward’s comedy/drama Palm Beach will begin shooting in Sydney from next week, with veteran Swazi-English actor Richard E. Grant joining the previously announced cast of Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi and Jacqueline McKenzie.

Also set to star are Claire van der Boom, Aaron Jeffrey, Heather Mitchell, Matilda Brown and new faces Frances Berry and Charlie Vickers.

Ward wrote the script with Joanna Murray-Smith, with the film following a group of lifelong friends who reunite in Sydney’s Palm Beach to celebrate a special birthday. According to the synopsis the “good times roll with loads of laughter, lavish meals, flowing wine and fantastic music, but slowly tensions mount and deep secrets emerge”.

Ward said: “Palm Beach is filled with colourful characters and a plot that explores the complexities between different generations and life-long friends. I’m excited to get started with a cast of many old friends and husbands.”

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

Palm Beach received principal production investment from Screen Australia with Create NSW, as well as financial support from Destination NSW and Spectrum Films.

eOne has distribution rights in ANZ, and its sales outfit Seville International will handle worldwide sales.

The shoot will continue until July.

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