London Film Festival 2013: Captain Phillips Opening Gala

Hanks and Greengrass kick things off in style

The BFI London Film Festival 2013, in partnership with American Express (to give it its full title), has kicked off in style this year with the premiere of Captain Phillips, the gripping new film from Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks.

The true story concerns the incident in 2009 when Somali pirates took control of a container ship, the Maersk Alabama, and took its captain hostage in an attempt to successfully escape. Captain Phillips, played by Hanks, endured days at sea in a small, confined lifeboat as US Navy ships pursused the pirates.

Paul Greengrass directed the film, adapted from Phillips' memoir by Billy Ray, and it also stars Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Max Martini, Michael Chernus and Catherine Keener. Captain Phillips hits cinemas all over the UK on October 18 (look out for our interview with Paul Greengrass in that week's podcast), but comes out in the US tomorrow.

brightcove.createExperiences();The London Film Festival, meanwhile, will run until October 20, when it finishes with another Hanks film, Saving Mr Banks.