The 51st New York Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips," the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today. In the film, 2009 Film Society Chaplin Award honoree and two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks plays Captain Richard Phillips, whose American cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009.
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."
The screening will mark Greengrass' first film to screen at NYFF following 2002's "Bloody Sunday."
"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."
Previous films to open the festival include "The Life of Pi" and "The Social Network." Go here for the Film Society's exclusive interview with Greengrass.