October 4, 2017 / 4:17 PM / 13 days ago

Lights, camera, action: London's Film Festival opens

Charlotte Carroll poses as she arrives for the opening night gala and screening of the film "Breathe" during the British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival at Leicester Square in London, Britain October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Red carpets are being unrolled as the British capital prepares to play host to some of international cinema’s big names for the 12 days of the London Film Festival.

The opening night gala is the European premiere of “Breathe”, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, who came to fame as an actor for his motion-capture portrayals of CGI characters such as Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” films.

Stars including Oscar-winner Emma Stone and Bryan Cranston will be at the event promoting films - the tennis drama “Battle of the Sexes” and the Richard Linklater-directed comedy “Last Flag Flying” respectively.

The 61st edition of the festival will show 243 feature films from 67 countries, as well as a slew of shorts and documentaries.

“It is a delight to welcome some of the most thrilling storytellers from across the world to the Festival – we love to watch and engage with the extraordinary conversations that the Festival brings,” said Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the British Film Institute.

Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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