Toronto film festival to debut films on Mandela, Assange

"The Fifth Estate" will open the 28th annual Toronto Film Festival. Credit: DreamWorks
“The Fifth Estate” will open the 28th annual Toronto Film Festival. Credit: DreamWorks

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 Sept 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 Julian 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.

“As soon as we saw it, we knew that it would set the right tone for opening night. It’s a movie about what we thought is one of the most important issues of the day — information and who controls it,” said Cameron Bailey, the festival’s artistic director.

In addition to his turn as Assange, Cumberbatch also stars in “August: Osage County,” a star-studded family drama set in Oklahoma that also features Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin and Chris Cooper.

“Gravity,” a thriller set in space starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, will be screened at the festival. The film is director Alfonso Cuaron’s first feature-length project since “Children of Men” in 2006.

“Arrested Development” actor Jason Bateman will make his directorial debut with “Bad Words,” a comedy in which he stars as a 40-year-old who enters a national spelling competition and dominates his prepubescent challengers.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color,” the lesbian love story that won the Palme d’Or for best film at the Cannes Film Festival, will have its North American debut at the festival.

Launched in 1976, Toronto’s film festival ranks among the world’s top movie events and often serves as a launchpad for international films seeking North American distribution.

The Toronto festival has a solid track record of unearthing films that go on to succeed at the Academy Awards, such as “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech,” which won best film Oscars. Last year’s winner of the People’s Choice award, the festival’s top prize, was “Silver Linings Playbook,” an Oscar nominee for best picture.

Last year, the event screened 372 features and short films.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.