Burton’s Frankenweenie opens London Film Festival

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Frankenweenie (2012)

Franken­wee­nie (2012)

This year’s BFI Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val fes­ti­val will open Wednes­day, Octo­ber 10 with the Euro­pean pre­miere of Disney’s Franken­wee­nie, directed by acclaimed film­maker Tim Bur­ton, orga­niz­ers announced Thursday.

In part­ner­ship with Amer­i­can Express and Dis­ney, and in a first for the fes­ti­val, the open­ing night screen­ing and red car­pet will go live from Odeon Leices­ter Square to BFI IMAX and 30 screens across the UK. The 56th fes­ti­val will also host The Art of Franken­wee­nie Exhi­bi­tion from Octo­ber 17 to 21.

Franken­wee­nie is a heart­warm­ing tale about a boy and his dog. After unex­pect­edly los­ing his beloved dog Sparky, young Vic­tor har­nesses the power of sci­ence to bring his best friend back to life — with just a few minor adjust­ments. He tries to hide his home-sewn cre­ation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fel­low stu­dents, teach­ers and the entire town all learn that get­ting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

Frankenweenie 3D

Franken­wee­nie 3D

A visu­ally stun­ning black and white, stop-motion ani­mated film in 3D, Franken­wee­nie’s voice cast includes Cather­ine O’Hara, Mar­tin Short, Mar­tin Lan­dau, Char­lie Tahan, Atti­cus Shaf­fer, Robert Capron, Con­chata Fer­rell and Winona Ryder. Dis­ney will release the film in the United King­dom on Octo­ber 17.

Bur­ton, Ryder, Short, O’Hara, Lan­dau, pro­ducer Alli­son Abbate and exec­u­tive pro­ducer Don Hahn are expected to attend the festival.

In a first for the BFI Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val open­ing night, Franken­wee­nie will receive a simul­ta­ne­ous pre­miere in 30 cin­e­mas nation­wide, with audi­ences across the United King­dom able to enjoy footage from the Leices­ter Square red car­pet prior to the screen­ings. This event is part of the festival’s drive to reach a diverse British audi­ence and put the pub­lic at the heart of the festival-going experience.

Franken­wee­nie is the first ani­mated film that Bur­ton has directed for Dis­ney. Bur­ton also pro­duced along with Abbate, with Hahn serv­ing as exec­u­tive pro­ducer. The screen­play is by John August, based on an orig­i­nal idea by Burton.

BFI head of exhi­bi­tion Clare Stew­art com­ments on her first open­ing night choice as fes­ti­val director:

Funny, dark and whim­si­cal, this glo­ri­ously crafted stop-motion 3D ani­ma­tion from Tim Bur­ton — the reign­ing prince of out­siders — play­fully turns the Franken­stein story on its bolted-on head. Franken­wee­nie is a per­fect choice of opener — it’s a film that rev­els in the magic of movies from one of cinema’s great vision­ar­ies. Tim Bur­ton has cho­sen Lon­don as his home city and hun­dreds of tal­ented British crafts­peo­ple have con­tributed to this pro­duc­tion. To host the Euro­pean pre­miere, to present The Art of Franken­wee­nie Exhi­bi­tion and to take our open­ing night out to 30 screens means we are mak­ing the fes­ti­val even more acces­si­ble for film fans across the UK.”

Abbate adds:

I am delighted that Franken­wee­nie, which was pro­duced here in Lon­don at 3 Mills Stu­dios, will be open­ing the 56th BFI Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val. Liv­ing and work­ing in the UK, I’ve been able to col­lab­o­rate with some of the most tal­ented artists in the indus­try, includ­ing the pup­pet design­ers and fab­ri­ca­tors from Manchester-based Mack­in­non & Saun­ders. In the last nine years, I’ve attended the fes­ti­val as both a film­maker and guest, and I know how pas­sion­ate and enthu­si­as­tic the audi­ences are, so I am thrilled to share the film’s Euro­pean pre­miere with them.”

Colin Walsh, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Amer­i­can Express UK, adds:

We’re thrilled to be fur­ther strength­en­ing our part­ner­ship with the BFI and the Fes­ti­val through our sup­port for this year’s open­ing night gala. In addi­tion to Franken­wee­nie being a much-anticipated film, what makes this year’s open­ing night so spe­cial is the oppor­tu­nity for audi­ences across the coun­try to expe­ri­ence the excite­ment of a West End pre­miere. That, cou­pled with the inter­ac­tive exhi­bi­tion giv­ing peo­ple an insight behind the scenes of the film, is sure to make this a fan­tas­tic start to this year’s festival.”

The Art of Franken­wee­nie Exhi­bi­tion is sup­ported by Amer­i­can Express. The exhi­bi­tion runs from Octo­ber 17 to 21 (with a press pre­view and pre­view for Amer­i­can Express card mem­bers Octo­ber 16) and will be free to the pub­lic. For infor­ma­tion on tick­ets, see bfi.org.uk/lff , start­ing Sep­tem­ber 5.

Hours of metic­u­lous work have gone into the mak­ing of Franken­wee­nie, per­fect­ing the fig­ures and char­ac­ters that bring this amaz­ing story to life. The BFI Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val is pre­sent­ing the exhi­bi­tion in asso­ci­a­tion with Dis­ney and prin­ci­pal part­ner Amer­i­can Express.

The Art of Franken­wee­nie Exhi­bi­tion cap­tures the magic of the film­mak­ing process and gives audi­ences an exclu­sive glimpse into the stop-motion ani­ma­tion process brought to life by vision­ary film­maker Tim Bur­ton. From orig­i­nal sketches drawn by Bur­ton, to exten­sive props, sets and pup­pets, the exhi­bi­tion show­cases the artis­tic detail and vision that has gone into bring­ing this heart­warm­ing tale to the big screen in 2012’s most highly antic­i­pated ani­mated movie. The Art of Franken­wee­nie Exhi­bi­tion delves into the world of a boy who, inspired by sci­ence and the love of his dog, brings his beloved pet back from the dead.

There will be excit­ing work­shop oppor­tu­ni­ties for edu­ca­tion audi­ences to explore the pro­duc­tion of Franken­wee­nie via guided tours of the Exhibit, meet­ing some of the tal­ented peo­ple who made the film and try­ing their hand at the skills required for ani­ma­tion and set design.

The Art of Franken­wee­nie Exhi­bi­tion will take place next door to the BFI South­bank at South­bank Centre’s Fes­ti­val Village.

The 56th BFI Lon­don Film Fes­ti­val in part­ner­ship with Amer­i­can Express runs from Wednes­day, Octo­ber 10 to Sun­day, Octo­ber 21. The full pro­gram for the fes­ti­val will be announced at the press launch Wednes­day, Sep­tem­ber 5.

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