(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.