EMMA THOMPSON—STAR OF DISNEY’S “SAVING MR. BANKS”—TO BE HONORED WITH HANDPRINT-FOOTPRINT CEREMONY IN CONJUNCTION WITH AFI FEST OPENING NIGHT GALA

Academy Award®-winning actress Emma Thompson will be honored with a handprint-footprint ceremony at the Opening Night Gala of AFI Fest 2013 presented by Audi, featuring Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” in which Thompson stars as “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers, on Thursday, November 7th at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Inspired by true events, “Saving Mr. Banks” is the extraordinary, untold story of how Walt Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen and also stars Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Disney presents “Saving Mr. Banks,” directed by John Lee Hancock, produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer, and screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Executive producers are Paul Trijbits, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum and Christine Langan. The film will release in U.S. theaters on December 13, 2013, limited, and open wide on December 20, 2013.

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