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‘Captain Phillips’ at Grange Hall comes complete with Capt. Richard Phillips himself

Capt. Richard Phillips will introduce and answer questions on the biopic about his time as a Somali pirate captive Feb. 2 at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall.

Capt. Richard Phillips will introduce and answer questions on the biopic about his time as a Somali pirate captive Feb. 2 at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall.

— The man behind the Academy Award-nominated biopic will be at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall Feb. 2 to introduce the film named after him.

Capt. Richard Phillips, the Merchant Marine thrust into the global spotlight in 2009 when he and his ship, the Maersk Alabama, was taken captive by Somali pirates, will be the featured speaker when the Champlain Valley Film Society presents the film “Captain Phillips,” at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2.

“We are pretty excited about this,” CVFS President Sue Reaser said. “Richard is just a down-to-earth, very nice person that people will enjoy.”

Reaser said the connection for the movie was made through Phillips’ sister-in-law, whom she is friends with.

“I told her that we were going to be showing the movie and she said that he might come with her,” Reaser said. “Whether it was going to happen or not was just left hanging out there and then we were told that he was going to be able to make it.”

The Feb. 2 showing is a change from the usual Saturday evening movie time, a change Reaser said they were glad to make in order to accommodate Phillips.

“His schedule was pretty tight, and we were able to find this time that worked,” Reaser said, adding that the timing also accommodates those who may be planning to watch a certain football game later in the evening.

Phillips is a U.S. Merchant Marine and a veteran of 34 years at sea. He wrote the book ,“A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS and Dangerous Days at Sea,” about his time as captain of the unarmed Maersk Alabama cargo ship when it was boarded by Somali pirates in April of 2009.

Tickets for the event are $7.50 for adults and $3 for those under 18, and seating is limited.

“The doors will open at noon for the show, and we will accommodate as many people as we can,” Reaser said.

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