CAPTAIN PHILLIPS EUROPEAN PREMIERE OPENS THE 57TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
SAVING MR. BANKS EUROPEAN PREMIERE CLOSES THE 57TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
THE 57TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL AMERICAN EXPRESS® GALA ANNOUNCED AS UK PREMIERE OF PHILOMENA
FILMS STARRING ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING ACTOR TOM HANKS TO OPEN AND CLOSE THE FESTIVAL
The 57TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL, in partnership with AMERICAN EXPRESS, has announced that this year’s Opening Night Gala will take place on Wednesday 9 October at the Odeon Leicester Square, with the European Premiere of Sony Pictures’ CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. It is directed by acclaimed Academy Award ® nominee Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Supremacy) and stars two- time Academy Award ® winner Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Philadelphia), both of whom are expected to attend the Festival.
Captain Phillips is director Paul Greengrass’s multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is – through Greengrass’s distinctive lens – simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks), and his Somali counterpart, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Set on an incontrovertible collision course off the coast of Somalia, both men will find themselves paying the human toll for economic forces outside of their control. The film is directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Greengrass, from a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon the book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca. Sony Pictures release the film in UK cinemas on 18 October, 2013.
Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition and Festival Director comments: “We are thrilled to be opening the BFI London Film Festival by welcoming Paul Greengrass – one of the great supporters of the BFI and British film – back to London for the European premiere of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. Our Festival audiences will be captivated by Greengrass’s virtuoso filmmaking; CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is an intense, high-stakes drama, focusing on two men forced onto a collision course by global political forces much larger than themselves. Featuring spellbinding performances by Tom Hanks and four Somali-American actors (Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahat M. Ali), we are excited to be presenting this film as our Opening Night Gala.”
The Festival’s American Express Gala will take place on Wednesday 16 October at the Odeon Leicester Square with the UK Premiere of Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA, the moving, funny and at times shocking true story of one woman’s search for her lost son. Stephen Frears, Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are all expected to attend the American Express Gala.
Academy Award ® winner Judi Dench plays the title role, with BAFTA winner Steve Coogan as Martin Sixsmith. The screenplay is written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, based on the book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee” by Martin Sixsmith. Pathé release the film in UK cinemas on 1 November 2013.
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”. When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him but with no success. Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off to America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between Philomena and Martin.
PHILOMENA was developed by BBC Films, produced by Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward and Executive Produced by Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, Pathé’s Cameron McCracken and Francois Ivernel, and Magnolia Mae Films’ Carolyn Marks Blackwood. The Senior Executive representing the BFI Film Fund was Natascha Wharton.
Clare Stewart commented: “I am thrilled that American Express, returning as our Principal Sponsor with a renewed three-year partnership, have PHILOMENA for their gala this year heralding both their support of British film and on-going commitment to the BFI London Film Festival with a film of extraordinary potency and relevance. Stephen Frears demonstrates his customary flair for extracting brilliant performances and balancing cogent wit and deep pathos while Judi Dench and Steve Coogan adroitly navigate the tonal shifts between drama and humour and imbue their real-life characters with depth and dignity.”
The 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express will close on Sunday 20 October (again) at the Odeon Leicester Square with the European Premiere of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the extraordinary untold story of how one of the most beloved tales of all time, Mary Poppins, was brought to the big screen. John Lee Hancock, Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are all expected to attend the Closing Night Gala.
Saving Mr. Banks is a poignant, sharply funny and moving story of personal journey and discovery, which reveals how P.L. Travers’ emotional connection to her characters and exhaustive apprehension to Walt Disney’s creative vision nearly dismantled the entire twenty-year endeavour to transform a work of personal significance into one of the most endearing classic films in cinematic history. The film is directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), produced by Alison Owen (Jane Eyre, Elizabeth), Ian Collie and Philip Steuer, and written by Kelly Marcel (who is writing the screenplay for the forthcoming Fifty Shades of Grey) and Sue Smith. Walt Disney Studios releases the film in UK cinemas for winter 2013.
The film stars two-time Academy Award®-winner Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, The Remains of the Day, Howards End) as the London-based author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Philadelphia) as Walt Disney. They lead a stellar international supporting cast including Colin Farrell (In Bruges), Paul Giamatti (Sideways) and Ruth Wilson (Luther). The film boasts a number of other British filmmaking talents including producer Alison Owen, p.g.a. and co-writer Kelly Marcel with production companies Ruby Films and BBC Films.
Stewart says: “There is only one word that gives full expression to the inventiveness and creativity of the film that will be our Closing Night Gala for the 57th BFI London Film Festival – SAVING MR. BANKS is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Positively overflowing with its ebullient love of storytelling and the filmmaking process, SAVING MR. BANKS is also a magical ode to the brilliance and volatility of the two very different creative forces behind the making of Mary Poppins, with Emma Thompson superb as the protective author P.L. Travers and Tom Hanks in charming form as Walt Disney.”
Producer Alison Owen adds: “SAVING MR. BANKS is very much about British manners versus American values, as Pamela Travers and Walt Disney battle over the rights to Mary Poppins, so it feels absolutely fitting that the LFF Closing Night should be our European Premiere, and we feel very honoured. We hope Pamela Travers would approve wholeheartedly. We filmed the London sequences in the street where Pamela lived, and London was both the start of the journey for Mary Poppins and for our movie, so we feel like we’re beginning in the right place.”
Among the other highly anticipated Galas are the previously announced American Express Gala of Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA, the true story of one woman’s search for her lost son, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. The Accenture Gala is the European Premiere of Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt.
The American Airlines Gala is Alfonso Cuarón’s 3D sci-fi thriller GRAVITY starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The Centrepiece Gala supported by the Mayor of London is the Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake which is set in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960’s, the film took home the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival earlier in the year. The May Fair Hotel Gala is the European Premiere of Jason Reitman’s literary adaptation LABOR DAY starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. The Festival Gala is the European Premiere of Ralph Fiennes’ second directorial feature THE INVISIBLE WOMAN staring Fiennes as Charles Dickens, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander.
The nine programme strands are each headlined with a gala, they are:
The Love Gala, Abdellatif Kechiche’s BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR;
The Debate Gala, Kelly Reichardt’s NIGHT MOVES;
The Dare Gala, Alain Guiraudie’s STRANGER BY THE LAKE;
The Laugh Gala, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s DON JON;
The Thrill Gala, Ivan Sen’s MYSTERY ROAD;
The Cult Gala, Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE;
The Journey Gala, Alexander Payne’s road-trip NEBRASKA;
The Sonic Gala, Lukas Moodysson’s WE ARE THE BEST!; and
The Family Gala is Juan José Campanella’s FOOSBALL 3D.
In addition to which the previously announced Archive Gala is the World Premiere of the BFI National Archive restoration of THE EPIC OF EVEREST.
The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK- wide with the upcoming launch of the BFI Player, the BFI’s new web Video On Demand service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the first range of services on the BFI Player and will also be available on the recently launched BFI Samsung smart TV app.
The 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs from Wednesday 9 October-Sunday 20 October. BFI London Film Festival is an iconic international film festival that supports London’s position as the world’s leading creative city. It presents the best new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and provides career-enabling opportunities for British and international filmmakers through its industry and awards programmes. The BFI is also the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by
- Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
- Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
- Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK
- Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
- Promoting British film and talent to the world, and
- Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences