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Captain Phillips to open 57th BFI London Film Festival

Captain Phillips

Story by Jack Foley

CAPTAIN Phillips, the new film from Paul Greengrass starring Tom Hanks, is to open the 57th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express.

The film will receive its European Premiere on Wednesday, October 9 at the Odeon Leicester Square. Both Hanks and Greengrass 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 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 based on 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.

Sony Pictures release the film in UK cinemas on October 18, 2013.

Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition and Festival Director, commented: “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 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs from Wednesday, October 9 until Sunday, October 20. The full programme for the Festival will be announced on Wednesday, September 4.

Watch the Captain Phillips trailer