The $7 million film is set in the underworld of 1920s Sydney and follows the love triangle of Iris (Byrne) and her roguish English lover McHeath (Weaving), who suspects her of being involved with his new boxing protege Art (Matthew Le Nevez).
It’s the third Australian premiere secured by the festival, which is in its second year and focuses solely on Australian cinema.
Some 80 Australian films will screen over three days, including 18 features, 10 documentaries and 52 short films.
“The festival just keeps on getting bigger and the premiere of The Tender Hook is a major coup for us,” festival director Allanah Zitserman said.
The small country town of Dungog, 79km north of Newcastle, will receive a 1920s makeover for the screening this Friday night, with Byrne, co-star Pia Miranda and director Jonathan Ogilvie expected to attend.
“It’s immensely rewarding that The Tender Hook, as a quintessential Australian story, will have its premiere at an all-Australian film festival,” Ogilvie said.
“This will be my first visit to the festival and Dungog. The historic James theatre is the perfect venue for the film.”
Described by its producers as an “iconic Sydney period drama“, the movie caused a stir earlier this year as producers chose to film it in Melbourne instead of the harbour city because of greater film incentives offered in Victoria.