Andy Serkis directorial debut Breathe to open London Film Festival

The London Film Festival organsisers have announced that this year’s event will open with the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis.

Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy star in the LFF 2017 opening film, Breathe

Starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, Breathe depicts the true story of Robin Cavendish, who was struck with polio while in Africa, prompting his wife to defy medical advice to bring him home from hospital to help him beat the prognosis that he has just months to live.

The screening, at the Odeon Leicester Square on 4th October, will be the film’s European premiere and will be simulcast to cinemas across the country.

The BFI, which stages the festival, described the film as “a heart-warming and highly emotional celebration of bravery and human possibility, a love story about living every breath as though it’s your last.”

The director of the London Film Festival, Clare Stewart, said Breathe was a story with universal resonance and described it as a beacon for remarkable British talent, with a supporting cast including Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander, Stephen Mangan and Dame Diana Rigg.

Andy Serkis said he was absolutely thrilled and deeply honoured to be opening the festival. “To have the European premiere of my directorial debut in London, my hometown, is beyond my wildest dreams,” he added.

The film will receive a wider theatrical release in the UK three weeks later.