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Andy Serkis’ ‘Breathe’ to Open London Film Festival

Love story “Breathe,” Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, is set to open the BFI London Film Festival with its European premiere.

The “Lord of the Rings” actor’s production company The Imaginarium made the movie, which is based on the story of Imaginarium co-founder Jonathan Cavendish’s parents. It follows Robin Cavendish, played by Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”), and the attempts by his wife Diana, Claire Foy (“The Crown”), to help him lead a normal life after he is paralyzed by polio.

Both stars, Serkis, and Jonathan Cavendish will be at the premiere at London’s Odeon Leicester Square on Oct. 4, and the film will play simultaneously in cinemas across the U.K. ahead of its Oct. 27 general release in the country by STX International. Bleecker Street and Participant Media  are distributing in the U.S., and it has already been tipped for an Oscar run. The first trailer for the movie was released today (see below).

“‘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,” Serkis said.

“We are proud to be opening the 61st BFI London Film Festival with a film that is a beacon for remarkable British talent,” added festival director Clare Stewart.

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson (“Everest”) penned the script for “Breathe.” The supporting cast includes Hugh Bonneville (“Paddington”), Tom Hollander (“The Night Manager”), Stephen Mangan (“Rush”), and Diana Rigg, and the soundtrack comes from Nitin Sawhney. The financing for the film was put together by Silver Reel, BBC Films, the BFI, and Embankment Films.

The 61st BFI London Film Festival runs Oct. 4-15.

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