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The film, produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca and released by Sony Pictures, opens NYFF, which runs Sept. 27 through Oct. 13. The picture hits theaters Oct. 11.
Directed by Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips features Hanks in the title role and is based on Somali pirates’ 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama.
The movie “is a riveting experience. At this point in his working life, Paul Greengrass has become a master of immersive reality-based narratives set along geopolitical fault lines – in this case, the 2009 seizure of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship by four Somali pirates,” said Kent Jones, NYFF’s director of programming and selection committee chair.
“I’m excited that this tough, tense, real-life thriller, capped by the remarkable performances of Tom Hanks and four brilliant first-time Somali actors (Barkhad Abdi, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdirahman and Mahat M. Ali), is opening the 51st edition of the festival,” Jones added.
Billy Ray wrote the screenplay for Captain Phillips, which is based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty.
This marks Greengrass’ first time back to NYFF since he screened his film Bloody Sunday there in 2002.
The NYFF showcases films from a range of filmmakers, both established and new to the festival circuit. Other members of the selection committee are: Dennis Lim, director of cinematheque programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; Gavin Smith, editor-in-chief, Film Comment; Amy Taubin, contributing editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound; and Marian Masone, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s associate director of programming.
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