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TIFF to open with ‘Fifth Estate’ about Wikileaks founder

Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl in a still from 'The Fifth Estate.' DREAMWORKS PICTURES.

The 38th Toronto International Film Festival will open with the world premiere of The Fifth Estate, a movie detailing the exploits of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Fifth Estate is directed by Bill Condon and stars Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange – one of three movies the actor has at the festival.

“It’s really tough to choose which film I’m most excited about,” TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey said at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Tuesday.

“The ones that really affected me are August: Osage County, incredible performances from Meryl Street, Julia Roberts and the whole cast, and Mandela. It’s an incredibly powerful story,” he said.

“Obviously we’re all watching Nelson Mandela and his health right now and thinking of him and his family and to see the story of his life and his work, it brings tears to my eyes.”

Bailey, alongside TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling, revealed the 16 galas and 55 special presentations and said more movies, especially Canadian films, would be announced in three weeks.

TIFF runs from Sept. 5-15 and will close with the world premiere of Life of Crime from director Daniel Schechter.

“We want to wrap the festival with a fun ride,” Handling said in a statement.

Life of Crime invites audiences to enjoy the pure pleasure of watching great actors bring the words of Elmore Leonard to life.”

Earlier Tuesday, Bailey confirmed on Twitter that director Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years A Slave will also have its debut at the festival.


Other movies making their world premiere are August: Osage County, directed by John Wells and starring Streep and Cumberbatch; The Railway Man, directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth; Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick and starring Idris Elba; and three Canadian movies.

The Grand Seduction, directed by Don McKellar and starring Friday Night Light’s Taylor Kitsch; The Art of the Steal, directed by Jonathan Sobol and starring Jay Baruchel; and The Right Kind of Wrong, directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and starring Catherine O’Hara, will all debut at the festival.

One of the last movies Canadian actor Cory Monteith made before his untimely death will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

All the Wrong Reasons will be screened at TIFF in September, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Monteith, 31, who was known for his role as Finn on the television show Glee, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on July 13. A coroner’s report found he died from the combined effects of heroin and alcohol.

All the Wrong Reasons is directed by Gia Milani and was shot in Halifax in 2012. The independent movie stars Monteith as the manager of a big box store coping, alongside other employees, with a traumatic incident.