Breathe is a new film which is based on the true story of Robin Cavendish and his devoted wife Diana (née Blacker), with Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy playing the leads. Robin Cavendish contracted polio in 1958 at the age of 28 and became paralysed, unable to breathe without support. Although some people in the 1950s and beyond made a good recovery from polio the disease has continued to devastate lives. Improvements in the polio vaccine (and also to its access and uptake) have eradicated or massively reduced the incidence of polio in many, but not all, countries. In 2013 the WHO indicated its hope that polio would be eradicated globally by 2018…
Jonathan Cavendish (Robin and Diana’s son) is the producer and he runs The Imaginarium Studios with Andy Serkis, who directs the film. Tom Hollander plays Diana’s twin brothers Bloggs and David Blacker and Hugh Bonneville plays Teddy Hall who helped develop a wheelchair for Robin Cavendish.
The European premiere will be the Opening Night gala* of the 61st BFI London Film Festival, details below. This is a big exciting thing 🙂
• Date: Wednesday 4 October 2017
• Time: tbc
• Location: Odeon Leicester Square
“There will be a live cinecast of all the excitement from Leicester Square and simultaneous screenings taking place at cinemas across the UK” (Source: European premiere of Breathe to open the 61st BFI London Film Festival) and the film will be released into UK and Ireland cinemas on 27 October 2017. The film has also been pre-sold in more than 30 territories (Source: Toronto: Andrew Garfield Starrer ‘Breathe’ Goes to Bleecker Street, Participant).
*gala means that various cast (possibly Tom, don’t know yet) and crew will be in attendance and there’s a red carpet, but the public can usually buy tickets.
How to get tickets
The BFI usually releases its tickets in phases with tickets going on sale to members a short while before going on sale to the general public. Some performances at the Film Festival sell out before the public date is reached, particularly high profile ones (probably the opening and closing films for example!) so becoming a member of the BFI does marginally increase your chances, though note that there are grades of membership (from £40 to £1,500 per year) so a higher grade might pip you to the post! It’s also possible that tickets will also be offered as part of a competition and if Team Hollander hears anything we’ll share it on Twitter and Instagram.
Jonathan Cavendish also worked on Elizabeth: The Golden Age (in which Tom played Sir Amyas Paulet) and on Jungle Book (to be released in 2018) also directed by Andy Serkis, in which Tom plays Tabaqui, a hyena. Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander have appeared together in Piccadilly Jim, Freezing (Andrew Garfield joined them for one episode), Muppets Most Wanted and Rev., and Camilla Rutherford has appeared with Tom in Gosford Park and Land of the Blind. Andy Serkis and Tom have previously worked on stage together in Mojo, and Andy’s son Louis Serkis was Dr George Cholmondeley’s apprentice, Robert, in Taboo.