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Frankenweenie to open the 56th BFI London Film Festival


Story by Jack Foley

THE European Premiere of Disney’s Frankenweenie, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Tim Burton, is to open The 56th BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

In partnership with American Express and Disney, and in a first for the festival, the opening night screening and red carpet will go live from Odeon Leicester Square to BFI Imax and 30 screens across the UK.

The Festival will also host The Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition from October 17-21.

Frankenweenie is a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life – with just a few minor adjustments.

He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

A visually stunning black and white, stop-motion animated film in 3D, Frankenweenie‘s voice cast includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder. Disney will release the film in the UK on October 17.

Watch the trailer

Commenting on her first Opening Night choice as Festival Director Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition, said: “Funny, dark and whimsical, this gloriously crafted stop-motion 3D animation from Tim Burton – the reigning prince of outsiders – playfully turns the Frankenstein story on its bolted-on head.

Frankenweenie is a perfect choice of opener – it’s a film that revels in the magic of movies from one of cinema’s great visionaries. Tim Burton has chosen London as his home city and hundreds of talented British craftspeople have contributed to this production.

“To host the European Premiere, to present The Art of Frankenweenie Exhibition and to take our Opening Night out to 30 screens means we are making the Festival even more accessible for film fans across the UK.”

Producer Allison Abbate adds: “I am delighted that Frankenweenie, which was produced here in London at 3 Mills Studios, will be opening the 56th BFI London Film Festival.

“Living and working in the UK, I’ve been able to collaborate with some of the most talented artists in the industry including the puppet designers and fabricators from Manchester-based Mackinnon & Saunders. In the last nine years, I’ve attended the Festival as both a filmmaker and guest, and I know how passionate and enthusiastic the audiences are, so I am thrilled to share the film’s European Premiere with them.”

The 56th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs from Wednesday, October 10 until Sunday, October 21, 2012.

The full programme for the Festival will be announced on Wednesday, September 5.