TORONTO — Today the Toronto International Film Festival announced that the world premiere of DreamWorks Pictures’ "The Fifth Estate" will open the Festival on Sept. 5. A dramatic thriller based on real events, directed by Bill Condon, "The Fifth Estate" reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization.
“'The Fifth Estate' explores how the sharing of information has the power to change history. No matter where they sit on the WikiLeaks debate, audiences will be blown away by Condon’s powerful film featuring commanding performances by Daniel Brühl and by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is transformed as Julian Assange,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF.
“Information is the most potent currency of our time, and we’ve found a film that charts just how volatile it can be,” said Cameron Bailey, TIFF artistic director. “With 'The Fifth Estate,' this year’s Festival kicks off with an electric, timely drama that promises to get people talking. We’re thrilled to welcome Bill Condon back to Toronto with another terrific film. He premiered his very first feature, 'Sister, Sister,' here in 1987, and was last at our festival in 2004 with 'Kinsey.' ”
“On behalf of the cast and filmmaking team, we are really honoured to open the Festival. Toronto has such enthusiastic audiences and I look forward to sharing the film with them,” said Condon.
Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. "The Fifth Estate" begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society — and what are the costs of exposing them? The film also stars David Thewlis, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie and Dan Stevens.
"The Fifth Estate" is presented by DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment in association with Participant Media and is produced by Steve Golin and Michael Sugar. The screenplay is by Josh Singer, based on the book "Inside WikiLeaks" by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and the Guardian book "WikiLeaks" by David Leigh and Luke Harding. The film will be released in North America on Oct.18.
The 38th Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 5-15. Ticket packages are now on sale, online 24 hours a day at tiff.net/festival, by phone Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or visit the box office in person from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, until Aug. 19.