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'Mandela' at Toronto Film Festival

Madiba's autobiography has been adapted for the film.

A poster for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,a film adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom. Source: Supplied

TORONTO -The Nelson Mandela biopic _Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, _the film adaptation of Madiba's autobiography _Long Walk to Freedom _will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

The film is a dramatisation of the life of former President Nelson Mandela.

The global icon has been hospitalised for a recurring lung infection for six weeks.

The ailing 95-year-old's condition is steadly improving.

British actor Idris Elba plays the role of Madiba in the film.

Another high profile film being premiered is The Fifth Estate, a drama about Julian Assange and the creation of anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

The film is directed by Bill Condon and stars British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange.

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

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.

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 Colour, 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 o is widely considered as the kick-off to Oscar season.

It 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, the event screened 372 features and short films.

The 11-day event opens on 5 September

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