The 61st BFI London Film Festival gets underway today with the Opening Night Gala screening of Breathe at Odeon Leicester Square, kicking off twelve days of the world’s best cinema featuring some 242 feature films from 67 countries. The film is the directing debut of Andy Serkis, who turns from the motion-capture marvels he performed in such roles as Gollum, King Kong and The Planet of the Apes’ Caesar to go behind the camera and bring this stirring real-life drama to the screen. Based on the true story of producer Jonathan Cavendish’s own parents, the film stars Andrew Garfield as dashing upper-class Brit Robin Cavendish who is given only weeks to live after being paralysed by polio while living in Africa with his young wife Diana, played by The Crown’s Claire Foy. Defying the complacent medical establishment back home in England, Robin and Diana go on to show that his disability is no bar to a fulfilling life. Red-carpet footage from opening night will be beamed by satellite to cinemas up and down the UK, followed by a special preview screening of the film.
Breathe screens at the Odeon Leicester Square at 7pm and at the Embankment Garden Cinema at 8.30pm tonight, and at the Odeon Leicester Square on Thursday 5th October at 11.30am, and goes on general release from Friday 27th October.