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African presence at Toronto Film Festival

One of the premiere film festivals turns 38 this year.

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

TORONTO - The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday with a bumper edition of films.

The event, in its 38th year, is considered one of the premier festivals on the film calendar.

This year will feature a strong African presence.

The biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom will be a highlight of the festival's opening weekend, with stars Idris Elba, who play Nelson Mandela and Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie Mandela.

The film will premiere at a special event honoring their breakout roles in the movie.

The pair will be honoured at an event hosted by the Hollywood Reporter for their roles in the upcoming film.

Half of a yellow sun, dubbed Nigeria's most expensive film ever made is based on the award-winning novel of the same name, will also debut at the festival.

A healthy contingent of South African filmmakers will be attending this year's event from animators to producers and everyone in between.

The 10-day event features a number of high-profile movies that will release over the next few months.

Other stars like Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are also due to attend.

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