Captain Phillips to open London Film Festival

European premiere announced as gala screening

by Amber Wilkinson

Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips, which will open the 2013 London Film Festival
Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips, which will open the 2013 London Film Festival
Captain Phillips has been announced as the opening film of the 57th London Film Festival.

The film, which is also set to open the New York Film Festival, is directed by Paul Greengrass, and examines the 2009 hijacking of US container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It stars Tom Hanks in the title role and he is expected to attend the festival along with Greengrass.

The film is based upon the book, A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty and will be released by Sony Pictures in UK cinemas on October 18.

BFI Head of Exhibition and Festival Director Clare Stewart said: “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 London Film Festival will run from October 9 to October 20. We'll be bringing you more coverage then. Read our coverage of last year's festival, here.

Watch the trailer below:

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