Julian Assange film to be screened at Toronto Film Festival

Updated: Sep 06, 2012, 17:57 PM IST

Melbourne: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be holed up in Ecuador`s embassy in London but audience will get a sneak peek into his early life as Australian TV movie `Underground: The Julian Assange Story` premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday.

In 2010, WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic documents on its site which earned him strong supporters and powerful enemies.

41-year-old Assange, an Australian citizen, has been in the embassy in London since June after losing a legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over rape and sexual assault claims.

Last month, Ecuador had granted asylum to Assange but Britain has vowed to arrest him if he leaves the embassy.

The Australian TV movie chronicles Assange`s life as a teenage computer hacker, will have the rare honour for an Australian made television film to be a part of an international film festival.

Newcomer Alex Williams plays Assange, with Rachel Griffiths, who plays the role of his activist mother Christine, Laura Wheelwright plays his girlfriend, and Anthony LaPaglia plays the cop who investigates the case.

The film written and directed by Robert Connolly, is based on the 1997 novel `Underground: Tales Of Hacking, Madness And Obsession On The Electronic Frontier` by Suelette Dreyfus.

The telepic was commissioned by Australia`s Network Ten, which will air it next month.

The first trailer of the film has been released by the Australian Channel Network Ten. The trailer featured contemporary news footage, including coverage of Assange`s bid for sanctuary in Ecuador.

It also emphasised his family relationships, particularly with his mother, Christine. The trailer also asked the audience to decide about Assange.

"Criminal, crusader, anarchist, patriot? Make up your own mind," it says.

PTI