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Turing film to open film festival

Benedict Cumberbatch's role as code-breaking genius Alan Turing in The Imitation Game is to open this year's BFI London Film Festival.

The Sherlock actor and other stars from the movie including Keira Knightley are expected to attend the opening gala, which is also the film's European premiere.

Director Morten Tyldum will also be at the screening at the Odeon Leicester Square on Wednesday October 8, and there will be a live cinecast from the red carpet. Simultaneous screenings of the film will take place at cinemas across the UK.

The Norwegian film-maker said: "The experience of directing this film has been so tremendously rewarding, and I am humbled to share Alan's Turing's incredible story on opening night."

Turing was one of the key figures in the top secret activities at Bletchley Park as teams worked around the clock for years to unscramble messages encrypted by the Enigma machines used by German forces. His efforts are said to have shortened the conflict by up to two years.

Clare Stewart, director of the BFI London Film Festival, said: "Featuring extraordinary performances from the British talent in front of the camera and vividly directed by Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game does cinematic justice to Alan Turing's vision, determination and personal story as well as his enduring impact on British history and contemporary life."

The film's producer Teddy Schwarzman said it told the story of "an incredibly gifted yet unsung British hero".

"We look forward to sharing this film with audiences across the country, and couldn't imagine our European premiere anywhere but London," he added.

The 58th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, runs from October 8 to 19. The full programme will be announced on September 3.

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