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07 02 2018 - Media release

All-star cast announced for Palm Beach


The cast of Palm Beach (clockwise from top left): Bryan Brown, Jacqueline McKenzie, Sam Neill and Greta Scacchi

Entertainment One (eOne), Seville International and Screen Australia in association with Create NSW announced today that Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi and Jacqueline McKenzie will star in Palm Beach, a new feature film written by Joanna Murray-Smith to be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Rachel Ward. Seville International to launch sales in Berlin.

Palm Beach is a New Town Films and Soapbox Industries production with principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW and Spectrum Films and with support from Destination NSW. eOne will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand, with its boutique sales outfit Seville International handling worldwide sales. Produced by Bryan Brown for New Town Films and Deb Balderstone for Soapbox Industries.

Palm Beach is a drama/comedy about a group of lifelong friends reuniting to celebrate a special birthday, with Sydney’s iconic Palm Beach providing a stunning backdrop for the unfolding drama. The good times roll, with loads of laughter, lavish meals, flowing wine and fantastic music, but slowly tensions mount and deep secrets arise.

Bryan Brown has been a fixture of our screens for the better part of the last five decades, starring in classic Australian films such as Breaker Morant, Two Hands and Dirty Deeds. He is known to international audiences through his star turns in The Thorn Birds, Cocktail, Gorillas in the Mist and Along Came Polly. Bryan most recently appeared in Warwick Thornton’s critically acclaimed Sweet Country and is represented by Sydney’s Shanahan Management.

With a career spanning over forty years, several Golden Globe® nominations and countless iconic roles, Sam Neill has appeared in well-known and much-loved films such as Dead Calm, The Piano, Jurassic Park, The Horse Whisperer, The Dish, The Daughter and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Sam also recently appeared in Sweet Country and is represented by Shanahan Management.

Jacqueline McKenzie is best known as Diana Skouris in the hit CBS series, The 4400; she also starred in the FOX series, Mental, and opposite William H Macy in Dreamscapes & Nightmares. Jacqueline's additional screen credits include Three Summers, Don’t Tell, The Gateway, Harmony, Deep Blue Sea, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Romper Stomper, Angel Baby and The Water Diviner. Jacqueline will next appear in the upcoming miniseries Safe Harbour and also recently reprised her role in Romper Stomper: Next Gen. She is represented by Marquee Management of Sydney.

Greta Scacchi is well known to film, television and theatre audiences alike. Her West End credits include The Entertainer, Bette & Joan, Deep Blue Sea and The Glass Menagerie. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including an Emmy® for the HBO film Rasputin. Greta has also received Golden Globe®, BAFTA® and Screen Actors Guild® nominations. Previous screen credits include Beyond the Sea, Country Life, Jefferson in Paris, The Red Violin, Brideshead Revisited, The Falling, BBC’s War and Peace, Miss Marple and Poirot. She will next be seen in AMC’s series The Terror and is represented by United Management in Sydney.

Joanna Murray-Smith is an award-winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced around the world – including productions of Honour on Broadway and in London (both at the National Theatre and in the West End). Both Honour and Rapture won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Best Play. Joanna has also published three novels Truce, Judgement Rock and Sunnyside. Joanna is represented by Cameron’s Management in Sydney.

In addition to a portfolio of award-winning short films and television directing credits, Rachel Ward adapted and directed her first feature film, Beautiful Kate in 2009 starring Ben Mendelsohn, Rachel Griffiths and Bryan Brown. It premiered at the Sydney International Film Festival as Closing Film and was nominated for 10 AFI (Australian Film Industry) Awards including Best Direction. In her former life as an actress, Rachel Ward was the recipient of several international awards and nominations which includes two Golden Globe® nods. Rachel is represented by HLA Management in Sydney.

Sandie Don, eOne’s Managing Director – Australia and New Zealand, commented: “Palm Beach is 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."

Anick Poirier, Senior Vice President, Seville International added: “Palm Beach is a touching project with a very talented cast and we are sure that this film will warm the hearts of audiences all over the world. We are thrilled to be working alongside our colleagues in Australia/New Zealand on this superb project.”

Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia said: “Palm Beach – like the destination – presents an irresistible package. Renowned playwright 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.”

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said: “This is fantastic news for filmmaking in the state, bringing in a spend of over $5m as well as 80 jobs across the shoot at the beautiful Palm Beach location setting. I am particularly pleased to see the hugely-talented Rachel Ward at the helm, directing an incredibly acclaimed cast and crew.”

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the production will showcase Sydney’s northern beaches to viewers from around the world. “Film is a powerful medium to showcase destinations, with a location so often becoming a central character in itself in many screen stories. We’re delighted to be supporting this new Australian comedy which will showcase Sydney’s picturesque Palm Beach and surrounding Pittwater region to a worldwide audience,” Mr Marshall said.

Speaking from Sydney, producers Brown and Balderstone enthused: “We are delighted to be embarking on this journey together with our partners. 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.”

Palm Beach will shoot at various locations in Sydney later this year.

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