'British film industry has never been better': Director Paul Greengrass opens London Film Festival 2013

The Bourne Supremacy director said Britain is regularly attracting the best filmmaking talent

The best filmmaking talent in the world is now regularly coming to London to make movies, according to the award winning British director Paul Greengrass.

Speaking at the official launch of the BFI London Film Festival at the Odeon Leicester Square today, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and United 93 also said the British industry has never been in a stronger position. The 58-year-old described it as a “huge honour” that his latest film, Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and based on a true story of the 2009 hijacking of a US container ship by Somali pirates, will open the LFF on 9 October.

Greengrass said: “British film is on a very positive journey. If you look at the biggest movies in the world, like Star Wars, Gravity – a hugely cutting edge movie - they’re being made in Britain. British technicians are world class and audiences are queuing up to see these films. Distinctive British voices, like Stephen Frears, and all the emerging voices on show here highlight where the industry is. Strong leadership from the British Film Institute helps too. There’s a real vibrancy among British filmmaking and all these elements have been growing for the last 10-15 years and it shows no signs of stopping.”

Taking place over 12 days, the LFF’s 234 fiction and documentary features will be shown at venues across the capital. There will also be screenings of 134 live action and animated shorts before Hanks stars again in the festivals’ closing film, Saving Mr Banks, co-starring Emma Thompson and telling the story of how Mary Poppins was brought to the big screen.

Greengrass began life as a director for ITV’s current affairs show World in Action in the 1980s before breaking catching Hollywood’s attention with the 2002 film Bloody Sunday about the shooting of Northern Ireland anti-internment protestors. Now established among the Hollywood elite, does Greengrass think independents are still being overshadowed by too many blockbusters?

He said: “Obviously in any system you devise you’re going to have commercial films that have to earn their audiences. But today films are delivered in so many different ways. When I started out, cinema was about getting your film onto a screen somewhere – that’s still an issue, but it’s not as big an issue I suspect as it used to be.

“Getting distribution, getting noticed, is a core issue, but that’s a situation that will always face independent filmmaking but technology is working in its favour as you can deliver a film in so many different ways. Digital projection has made it infinitely cheaper to make prints and get films out. Film education is now an increasing part of it. As we look forward to the next generation people don’t just want the multiplex movies, there’s a much more balanced diet.

“There are huge and profound issues, of course, but we have a vibrant culture and there’s no reason why we can’t solve those problems, not overnight but we’re doing well.”

Among the British-made films that will premiere at the LFF is Hello Carter, the debut feature by writer-director Anthony Wilcox, who started out in the industry as an unpaid runner in his gap year before getting a paid position on a feature film earning £200 a week. Fifteen years on he is delighted at how far he has come.

“I think I needed that experience to get the confidence to make the step up to director”, he told the Independent. “There’s no set route into the industry. Teenagers are shooting their own film at home now and perhaps it’s easier now than it was in the 1990s. I can’t stress how important it is for Hello Carter to be at the festival, it’s the lifeblood for us. It’s such a London film and we were over the moon when we found out.”

The BFI London Film Festival, October 9-20, bfi.org.uk/lff

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?