Toronto Film Festival to Debut Films on Mandela, Assange

Actor Idris Elba gestures as he arrives for the world premiere of "Les Miserables" in London December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Actor Idris Elba gestures as he arrives for the world premiere of "Les Miserables" in London December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Actor Idris Elba gestures as he arrives for the world premiere of “Les Miserables” in London December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

(Reuters) – The world premiere of “The Fifth Estate,” a ripped-from-the-headlines drama about Julian Assange and the creation of WikiLeaks, will open the 38th Toronto International Film Festival, which typically yields a number of Oscar contenders.

Widely considered the kick-off to Oscar season, the 2013 festival will feature films starring Meryl Streep, Idris Elba, Colin Firth, Chiwetel Ejiofor, George Clooney and others, organizers said on Tuesday. The 11-day event opens September 5.

Elba takes on the lead role in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” a dramatization of the life of legendary anti-apartheid South African leader Nelson Mandela, who has been hospitalized with a lung infection for the last six weeks.

“The Fifth Estate,” directed by Bill Condon, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, the founder of anti-secrecy website Wikileaks.

This marks the third straight year the festival has opened with a high-profile title, after years of using the opening slot to highlight smaller Canadian films.

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