“I had wanted to do a political film for a long time,” director Bill Condon told the audience at the Roy Thomson Hall.
The director, whose resume includes “Chicago” and the final two “Twilight” films, said that the question of disseminating government secrets is one that causes disagreement among intelligent people.
“This is the perfect place to start a long and interesting conversation,” he added.
Condon also noted that the events in the film and cast made “The Fifth Estate” a “truly international movie.”
“I can see the evidence that this is a people’s festival,” said Cumberbatch, who plays the polarizing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
The world premiere was preceded by a tribute to Roger Ebert, with the film critic’s widow Chaz accepting a plaque commemorating a seat installed at the festival’s Bell Lightbox theater.
She said her husband’s goal in supporting film had been to find movies that showed the humanity in others. “He also wrote a book called ‘Your Movie Sucks’ but that was because he wanted people to see the good ones,” she added.