The 61st BFI London Film Festival AMERICAN EXPRESS® GALA Announced As The European Premiere Of BATTLE OF THE SEXES
The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® is thrilled to serve up BATTLE OF THE SEXES, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, as this year’s American Express Gala at this year’s Festival.
The film will receive its European Premiere on Saturday 7 October at London’s Odeon Leicester Square, with Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, and the legendary Billie Jean King expected to attend. The BFI London Film Festival, Fox Searchlight Pictures and American Express® are also delighted to announce that there will be screenings of BATTLE OF THE SEXES with highlights from the festival premiere taking place at cinemas across the UK on Tuesday 10 October.
In the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as the BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world. As the rivalry between King and Riggs kicked into high gear, off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. The fiercely private King was not only championing for equality, but also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, as her friendship with Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough) developed. And Riggs, one of the first self-made media-age celebrities, wrestled with his gambling demons, at the expense of his family and wife Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis court, sparking discussions in bedrooms and boardrooms that continue to reverberate today.
Starring Academy Award® winner Emma Stone and Academy Award® nominee Steve Carell as 1970’s tennis greats Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, BATTLE OF THE SEXES is directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton from a screenplay by Academy Award® winner Simon Beaufoy. BATTLE OF THE SEXES also stars Andrea Riseborough, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming and Academy Award® nominee Elisabeth Shue.
The film is produced by Cloud Eight Films’ Christian Colson and Decibel Films’ Danny Boyle, the team behind Academy Award® winning and nominated films such as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours and Steve Jobs. Also producing is Robert Graf, who has previously collaborated with the directors on Ruby Sparks and has produced such projects as Hail, Caesar and No Country for Old Men.
Clare Stewart, BFI London Film Festival Director, says “We are delighted that Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s BATTLE OF THE SEXES will be this year's American Express Gala. This playful, funny and moving film is a rousing tribute to Billie Jean King whose impact on gender politics was as powerful as her legendary forehand.”
Christian Colson, producer BATTLE OF THE SEXES says "Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, together with our exceptional ensemble led by Emma Stone and Steve Carell, have brought Simon Beaufoy's richly textured screenplay joyously to life and I can't wait to share the film with my fellow Londoners at LFF".
Twentieth Century Fox will release the film across the UK and Ireland on 24 November.
The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® takes place from Wednesday 4 October-Sunday 15 October 2017. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday 31 August 2017.
Festival Information & Ticket Booking
BFI Members’ priority booking opens 10.00am, 7 September - join at www.bfi.org.uk/join
Amex priority booking opens at 10.00am, 12 September
Public booking opens 10.00am, 14 September
Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
Online at BFI website
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 10:00 – 20:30
About the BFI
The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:
Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
Promoting British film and talent to the world
Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences
The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:
As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.
Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.
The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger.
The BFI London Film Festival
BFI London Film Festival is Britain's leading film event and one of the world's best film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and attracts significant international film industry participation. LFF is a compelling combination of diverse films, red carpet glamour, friendly audiences and vibrant exchange. LFF provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success; promotes the careers of British and international filmmakers through its industry and awards programmes and positions London as the world’s leading creative city.
Clare Stewart Biography
Clare Stewart’s 21 year programming career has encompassed leadership roles as Festival Director, Sydney Film Festival (2006-2011) and the inaugural Head of Film Programs at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (2002-2006) as well as various roles at the Australian Film Institute (1996-2001), including Exhibition Manager, and programmer and Committee Member of the Melbourne Cinémathèque (1995-2002). She has been BFI Head of Festivals and BFI London Film Festival Director since October 2011.
About American Express® Company
American Express is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travellers Cheques, travel and insurance products.
Through American Express Invites, Cardmembers have access to enriched experiences at some of the UK’s most sought after entertainment events, including best seats, exclusive offers and early-on-sale tickets. The company has multi - year partnerships with a range of entertainment institutions including AEG, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Somerset House, The British Film Institute and National Theatre.
For more detail on the enriched service American Express offers its Cardmembers, please go here or connect with AmericanExpressUK on Facebook or Twitter @AmexUK