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Danny Boyle brings 54th London Film Festival to a stylish close

127 Hours, European Premiere

Story by Jack Foley

DANNY Boyle’s latest film 127 Hours brought the 54th BFI London Film Festival to a close in style on Thursday night (October 28, 2010), when it received its European premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square.

The critically acclaimed movie – the director’s first since the multiple Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire – follows the true story of mountaineer Aron Ralston, who became trapped by his arm under a rock while on a climbing expedition, and eventually had to cut off his own arm to survive.

Ralston also attended the event along with his family in what proved an emotional red carpet gathering.

Boyle was also in attendance along with the film’s writer and producers and its Oscar tipped star, James Franco.

The film has gained notoriety for the graphic scene in which Franco’s character is seen to sever the tendons in his arm using a blunt knife. But it was greeted with cheers at an early morning press screening, while some admitted to being reduced to tears.

Speaking at a press conference earlier in the day, Boyle said that he intended the film to leave viewers with a euphoric feeling and praised the commitment and tenacity of Ralston in surviving his ordeal.

Just 24 hours earlier, he had also been presented with a BFI Fellowship award in honour of his diverse and successful career.

The 54th BFI London Film Festival has proved to be another huge success. During its two weeks, the capital hosted 201 feature films and 112 short films from 68 countries including 11 World premieres.

There were 530 screenings and 629 filmmaker guests, including 346 UK based and 283 from outside the UK. With 990 industry delegates accredited, the Festival exceeded last year’s figures and reports the highest ever audience attendance in excess of 132,000 filmgoers, compared to 130,000 in 2009.

Festival Artistic Director, Sandra Hebron, commented: “ We enjoyed two weeks of outstanding films and live events, generous and insightful film makers, and enthusiastic audiences, so we’re very happy with the reception that this year’s festival has received, and grateful to all our supporters.”

View photos from the red carpet