BFI London Film Festival Kicks Off With Tom Hanks’ ‘Captain Phillips’

The 57th Annual BFI London Film Festival opened on Wednesday with the screening of Tom Hanks’ new film, Captain Phillips.

The American actor graced the red carpet with his wife Rita Wilson, for the event which will take place in the British capital for 12 days during which directors, actors, producers, and movie studio executives gather to honor the best of the best in film.

British director Paul Greengrass, was also present to introduce his movie to European audiences. The London Film Festival is the largest of its kind in England.

The opening ceremony for the festivities took place at the Odeon Leicester Square as hundreds of autograph seekers swarmed the stars walking past them.

Hanks and Wilson took time to greet the fans, some of which had camped overnight to get a good spot and also answered questions from reporters covering the red carpet.

BFI London Film Festival (LFF) chief executive Amanda Nevill welcomed guests and thanked sponsors for their financial support, while Clare Stewart, head of exhibition and distribution specifically thanked Greengrass and the cast members present for attending.

Stewart also thanked Sony, for bringing Captain Phillips to the LFF and joked that Hanks might need his own sidebar next year since he not only has the opening film, but the closing one, Saving Mr. Banks, as well as being a producer in the JFK assassination drama, Parkland.

The 57th BFI London Film Festival will present 235 features during the 12 days it runs for.

Captain Phillips is about the real life story of the man who fended off Somali pirates in 2009 when his cargo ship was hijacked.

In Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock, Hanks plays Walt Disney.

The BFI London Film Festival is held in conjunction with American Express and will also include interviews, master classes, and special events with cast and crew of the featured films.