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Paul Greengrass hails importance of London Film Festival

Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass

Story by Jack Foley

PAUL Greengrass has hailed London as one of the world’s premiere film festivals and one that’s growing in importance.

Speaking at a press conference held on the day his latest film, Captain Phillips, was due to open the 57th edition of the festival, the British director said that he felt very privileged to have been asked to do so.

And he went on to hail London’s prominence and what distinguishes it from a lot of other festivals, including Cannes, Venice and Telluride.

“I think we tend to underestimate its importance,” he continued. “Unlike other festivals, what I think is very, very good about the London festival is that it takes place in a city where a lot of movies are made. And that distinguishes it, I think, in a very powerful way.

“And I don’t think that’s said often enough. We talk about some of the other festivals around the world and elsewhere in Europe but what distinguishes this festival is that it’s a major international festival in a major international filmmaking centre and a major domestic filmmaking centre. So, that gives it a particular vibrancy I think.”

Captain Phillips is inspired by the true story of the American shipping container captain who was taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009.

At the same press conference, Greengrass – who also directed Bloody Sunday and United 93 as well as the Bourne films – said he was drawn to films that offer an insight into the complexities of the world in which we live.

“I like films about what’s going on out there, however you define that,” he said. “If you can find those stories and they’re dramatic and they’ve got great characters, twists and turns and they can take you out into the world and show you some of the complexities of it.”

The London Film Festival runs from Wednesday, October 9 to Sunday, October 20, 2013.

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