James Hawes’ ONE LIFE Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins Announced As American Express Gala Film At The 67th BFI London Film Festival | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

James Hawes’ ONE LIFE Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins Announced As American Express Gala Film At The 67th BFI London Film Festival

11 August 2023


The 67th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express is delighted to announce that this year’s American Express Gala will be ONE LIFE directed by James Hawes and starring Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, Lena Olin, Romola Garai, Alex Sharp, Marthe Keller, Jonathan Pryce and Helena Bonham Carter. Produced by See-Saw Films who developed the film alongside BBC Film, ONE LIFE was made with the support of BBC Film. An incredible true story of bravery and heroism, ONE LIFE will receive its European Premiere on 12 October at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.



ONE LIFE tells the true story of Sir Nicholas ‘Nicky’ Winton, a young London broker played by Hopkins, who, in the months leading up to World War II, rescued 669 children from the Nazis. Nicky visited Prague in December 1938 and found families who had fled the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Austria, living in desperate conditions with little or no shelter and food, and under threat of Nazi invasion. He immediately realised it was a race against time. How many children could he and the team rescue before the borders closed?



Fifty years later, it’s 1988 and Nicky lives haunted by the fate of the children he wasn’t able to bring to safety in England; always blaming himself for not doing more. It’s not until a live BBC television show, ‘That’s Life’, surprises him by introducing him to some surviving children – now adults – that he finally begins to come to terms with the guilt and grief he had carried for five decades. 



Director of ONE LIFE, James Hawes, said "It is a huge honour to have ONE LIFE be a gala presentation. This film pretty much begins and ends in London and says so much about the people of this city, its heart and its history. So it feels right that we have our UK launch at the BFI London Film Festival.” 

Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, See-Saw Films, said "We are so excited to be presenting One Life at the 2023 BFI London Film Festival, in See-Saw’s 15th year. Every film we have premiered at the festival has been a special experience and an incredible moment for us and our filmmakers. We are also delighted that this will be our 4th American Express Gala after The King’s Speech, Lion, and The Power Of The Dog. It has been a privilege to tell Nicholas Winton’s story and portray his generosity of spirit. It means so much to us to be able to share James Hawes’s ONE LIFE at this year’s festival, with an audience that is so passionate about the power of film, coming together to celebrate the captivating stories that connect us all.” 

Kristy Matheson, BFI London Film Festival Director, said "James Hawes assured feature debut about the visionary British humanitarian, Sir Nicholas Winton is a sweeping drama full of nuance and rich emotion. The incredible cast led by Sir Anthony Hopkins brings this inspirational true-life story to the screen and not a minute too soon.  In a world full of conflict and inequity One Life serves to remind contemporary audiences about the power of seemingly small personal acts in defence of human rights and dignity when all seems lost."

One Life Film Page


The 67th edition of the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express will take place in the following venues: 

  • The Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall returns as gala venue 
  • BFI Southbank is the home of the competition programme, series, Screen Talks and LFF for Free events 
  • The UK’s biggest screen BFI IMAX will once again host LFF screenings 
  • LFF Expanded exhibition of immersive storytelling finds a new home in Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf, and you can also catch selected works at Outernet 
  • Five partner cinemas in London's West End include Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Prince Charles Cinema and Vue West End  
  • Festival venues across the UK include Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, Chapter in Cardiff, Glasgow Film Theatre, HOME in Manchester, MAC in Birmingham, Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast, Showroom Cinema in Sheffield, Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle and Watershed in Bristol 
  • Press and industry screenings take place at Picturehouse Central and ODEON Luxe Leicester Square 

In addition to UK-wide screenings at the Festival venues, audiences will also be able to explore LFF programmes past and present with a special collection of films on BFI Player. 

The 67th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 4 October – Sunday 15 October, 2023. The BFI LFF Press Launch will take place on Thursday 31 August, 2023.

Photos courtesy of See-Saw Films / Warner Bros. Pictures

Executive Producers: Simon Gillis, Eva Yates, Barbara Winton, Maria Logan, Anne Sheehan 

Produced by: Joanna Lauire p.g.a. , Iain Canning p.g.a. , Emile Sherman p.g.a , Guy Heeley p.g.a 

Written by Lucinda Coxon & Nick Drake 

Directed by James Hawes 

LFF 2023 Booking Detail 

Tickets go on sale 13 September. BFI Members book early on 6 September and American Express® Cardmembers can access presale from 8 September.  

About the BFI 

We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image.  

Our mission is: 

  • To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers 
  • To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive 
  • To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals - delivered online and in venue 
  • To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding 
  • To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries 

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.  

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards. 

About the BFI London Film Festival 
The BFI London Film Festival is the UK’s foremost celebration of screen culture that invites audiences to engage with the finest filmmaking talents from our shores and around the world with screenings and events in London and across the UK with LFF on Tour. We offer a compelling combination of diverse films and exciting first-hand encounters with creatives in an environment that promotes friendly, vibrant exchanges and celebrates our collective reception of art and ideas. The LFF provides a powerful launch pad for the careers of UK and international filmmakers through our industry and awards programmes, and positions London as one of the world’s leading creative cities. 

Kristy Matheson Biography  
Kristy Matheson is the BFI Festivals Director and joins the organisation this year from her recent role as Creative Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Kristy’s interest in connecting audiences, artists and ideas has led to her work as a Curator and Festival Director. Prior to moving to the UK in 2021, Kristy was the Director of Film at ACMI, Australia’s national museum of screen culture. Before her role on the Executive Team at ACMI, Kristy worked at the Sydney Film Festival, Dendy Films and Brisbane International Film Festival. She served on Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Taskforce, is a recipient of the Natalie Miller Fellowship and jury member for BAFTA’s Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer. She is a committee member for the online journal, Senses of Cinema.

About American Express 
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpressinstagram.com/americanexpresslinkedin.com/company/american-expresstwitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress

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About American Express® Experiences 
Through Amex Experiences, Cardmembers have access to presale tickets, as well as the best seats and exclusive offers at some of the UK’s most sought-after entertainment events via partnerships with a range of institutions, including AELTC, AEG, Somerset House, The British Film Institute and the National Theatre. Amex Experiences is just one example of the powerful backing that American Express provides its Cardmembers.     

About the Southbank Centre 
The Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre occupying a prominent riverside location that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. We exist to present great cultural experiences that bring people together and we achieve this by providing the space for artists to create and present their best work and by creating a place where as many people as possible can come together to experience bold, unusual and eye-opening work. We want to take people out of the everyday, every day. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. The Southbank Centre is made up of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as being home to the National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. It is also home to six Resident Orchestras (Aurora Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Orchestra).

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