Brown, Neill and Grant play former members of a one hit wonder band called Pacific Sideburns.
Festival director Nashen Moodley described Ward, who directed the 2009 film Beautiful Kate and the 2013 telemovie An Accidental Soldier, as «an incredible storyteller» whose new film «combines a breathtaking Sydney location with an exuberant and life-affirming story celebrating friendship, brought alive with witty dialogue and a cast of great talent at the top of their game”.
Ward said the film festival in Sydney was her favourite time of year and «to be kicking it off is a really special treat”.
Brown, who is also one of the film’s producers, said the inspiration was a Christmas with friends in Wales.
«It was a funny and warm occasion but also one where we realised no-one is untouched,» he said.
Way back in 1980, a young Bryan Brown starred in another Australian film called Palm Beach, directed by Albie Thoms, that was tagged as «a tale of surf, fun and rock ‘n roll».
The new Palm Beach will open the 66th festival at the State Theatre on June 5.
Among the titles already announced are The Final Quarter, Ian Darling’s documentary about the racism controversy that engulfed Sydney Swans champion Adam Goodes; Hiroshi Okuyama’s Japanese comedy Jesus, starring Australian comic Chad Mullane as a doll-sized Christ; and Sophie Hyde’s Animals, a comic drama about comic drama about two hard-partying women in Dublin.
The full program will be announced on May 8.