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Cape Town - A film based on Nelson Mandela’s life received a 10-minute standing ovation at its first international showing at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, in a “proudly South African moment”.
“There was a huge ovation at the end,” said comedian Riaad Moosa from Toronto.
“It was crazy. All of a sudden there were cameras in our faces.
“It is an epic movie and it looks beautiful.”
Moosa portrayed Mandela’s Robben Island cellmate and close friend Ahmed Kathrada in Long Walk to Freedom.
He said he was not used to being on the red carpet, so he whipped out his iPhone and started taking pictures of the paparazzi.
He was paranoid when he had to wait for his bag at the airport because he would otherwise have had to walk down the red carpet “wearing a Puma tracksuit and flip flops and looking like Snoop Dogg”.
Moosa said he thought Idris Elba had done a good job playing Nelson Mandela: “He has a captivating aura.”
He said he was looking forward to seeing how South African audiences would react to the film.
Actor Deon Lotz, who plays Kobie Coetzee, a former justice minister under apartheid who played a critical role in Mandela’s release and in negotiating peace afterwards, said he was honoured to be a part of the film.
“The reaction was awesome. I felt a tear running down my cheek.
“It was a proudly South African moment,” said Lotz.
“It is a must-see for every South African. In the bigger picture the timing of this film is perfect.”