The festival is one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting more than 480000 people annually, and is acknowledged as the second most high-profile, after the Cannes Film Festival.
Matabane is widely recognised as one of South Africa's leading directors and is known for films such as State of Violence, Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon and Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me.
Produced by Born Free Media and Videovision Entertainment, The Number features an impressive line-up of South African talent, which includes Mothusi Magano in the lead as Magadien, Warren Masemola, Sihle Xaba, Presley Chweneyagae, Lemogang Tsipa, Kevin Smith, and Deon Lotz. The internationally acclaimed Terry Pheto and Hakeem Kae-Kazim make guest appearances.
“It is a huge honour to have The Number selected by one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world,” said Matabane.
“The film is a work of passion for me and it is very rewarding to have the world premiere in Toronto,” added Matabane.
The film is inspired by Jonny Steinberg's award-winning non-fiction novel, The Number, with its big screen adaptation by Paul Ian Johnson. It reveals the origins of the fearsome numbers gangs that operate in jails throughout South Africa.
The Number is the extraordinary tale of the nigh-impossible redemption of high-ranking Magadien, a magistrate of the 28s, one of the notorious Numbers prison gangs.
It charts his journey as a man who finds his humanity - from being a hardened prisoner, loyal to his gang, to him turning his back on them and the criminal way of life; to choosing his family and building a relationship with his son.
The Number will be released in South Africa later this year.