Andy Serkis' Directorial Debut 'Breathe' to Open London Film Fest

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Andy Serkis

The film — based on the story of advocate for the disabled Robin Cavendish — stars Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy.

The BFI London Film Festival has once again turned to one of its own for opening night duties. 

Andy Serkis — following in the footsteps of Amma Asante last year and Sarah Gavron in 2015 — will provide the curtain raiser for the event's 61st edition, this time with his directorial debut, Breathe

Based on the true story of British advocate for the disabled Robin Cavendish, the film stars Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy. Cavendish was paralyzed with polio at the age of 28 and given just three months to live. Against all advice, his wife Diane brought him home from hospital and inspired him to lead a long and fulfilled life. Cavendish died in 1994 at the age of 64.

Breathe — which was produced by Cavendish's son Jonathan Cavendish through the Imaginarium Banner he founded with Serkis — will have its European premiere and London Film Festival opening night gala screening on October 4 at the Odeon Leicester Square. The film — being released by Bleecker Street domestically — marks STXInternational's first U.K. release.

"Breathe is a deeply personal story to all of us at The Imaginarium and to have the European premiere of my directorial debut in London, my hometown, is beyond my wildest dreams," said Serkis.

The London Film Festival is set to run Oct. 4-15, with the full program announced August 31.

See the new trailer for Breathe below

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