Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips Will Open Lincoln Center Film Festival

Posted by at 3:32 pm on July 29, 2013

captainphillipspremiereFestival season wil be in high gear in just one short month and after exciting announcements for the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals over the last few weeks, thereis a ton to look forward to.  Now the Film Society of Lincoln Center has scooped up the World Premiere of Paul Greengrass’ Somali pirates drama Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, to play as its Opening Gala Premiere over two weeks before its theatrical release on October 11.

It’s based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years and it’s adapted by Billy Ray from Phillips’ own book, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”

This Opening Gala follows last year’s World Premiere of Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which went on to win a second Oscar for the talented Asian filmmaker, and it’s Sony Pictures’ second premiere at the festival just three short years after premiering David Fincher’s The Social Network at the festival.

Here is the full press release followed by a list of the previous movies that opened the New York Film Festival over its 50+ year history:

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Paul Greengrass’s CAPTAIN PHILLIPS will make its World Premiere as the Opening Night Gala presentation for the upcoming 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13). Starring two-time Academy Award® winner and 2009 Film Society Chaplin Award honoree Tom Hanks in the title role, the film is Academy Award®-nominated director Paul Greengrass’s multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates.

NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said, “CAPTAIN PHILLIPS 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. 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.”

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is—through Greengrass’s distinctive lens—simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks), and his Somali counterpart, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Set on an incontrovertible collision course off the coast of Somalia, both men will find themselves paying the human toll for economic forces outside of their control. From a screenplay by Billy Ray, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is based upon the book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. The film is produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and Michael De Luca. The Sony Pictures release is due in theaters October 11.

The screening will mark Greengrass’s return to NYFF following his film BLOODY SUNDAY in 2002.

“It is a pleasure to welcome back Paul Greengrass to the New York FIlm Festival with the world premiere of his gripping drama CAPTAIN PHILLIPS,” said. Rose Kuo, the Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “Tom Hanks is terrific at capturing the vulnerability, terror and heroism of the harrowing journey of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.”

FilmLinc Daily Managing Editor Brian Brooks spoke with Greengrass about CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, the film’s selection for NYFF’s Opening Night Gala and looking ahead to the debut of the film. That interview can be found at

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones also includes: Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound; and Marian Masone, FSLC Associate Director of Programming.

General Public tickets will be available September 8th. Subscription Packages and VIP Passes for the New York Film Festival are on sale now to Film Society Members. There also will be an opportunity for Members to purchase single screening tickets in advance of the General Public. For more information about becoming a Film Society Member visit More ticket information for the New York Film Festival will be available mid-August on

New York Film Festival Opening Night Films

1963 The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)
1964 Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, USSR)
1965 Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1966 Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1967 The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1968 Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1969 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1970 The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1971 The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1972 Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1973 Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1974 Don’t Cry With Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1975 Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1976 Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1977 One Sings, The Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1978 A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1979 Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1980 Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1981 Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1982 Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1983 The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1984 Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1985 Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1986 Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1987 Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1988 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1989 Too Beautiful For You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1990 Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1991 The Double Life of Veronique (Krysztof Kieslowski, Poland/France)
1992 Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1993 Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1994 Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1995 Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1996 Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1997 The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1998 Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1999 All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
2000 Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
2001 Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2002 About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2003 Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2004 Look At Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, US)
2006 The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2007 The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2008 The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2009 Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2010 The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2011 Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2012 Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)

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