Belfast Telegraph

Tom Hanks to open London Film Fest

Tom Hanks' new film Captain Phillips is set to open the 2013 London Film Festival.

The Oscar-winning actor and director Paul Greengrass are expected to attend the opening night gala at the Odeon cinema in London's Leicester Square on Wednesday October 9.

The true-life thriller about the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009 stars Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips, the leader of the US container ship, who was taken hostage with his crewmates by Somalian pirates.

The screenplay, based on Phillips' own biography Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs And Dangerous Days At Sea, has been adapted for the big screen by Billy Ray and is already being tipped for award recognition.

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' 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 film also stars Catherine Keener, Max Martini and Chris Mulkey.

The 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express runs from Wednesday October 9 until Sunday October 20.

The full programme will be announced on Wednesday September 4.

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