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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 August 2006, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Idi Amin film for London Festival
Idi Amin
Amin gave the title 'Last King of Scotland' to himself
A film about former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is to open the London Film Festival in October.

The Last King Of Scotland is directed by Kevin Macdonald, who won a Bafta for his documentary Touching The Void, and stars Forest Whitaker as Amin.

The film tells the story of a Scottish doctor, played by James McAvoy, who becomes the dictator's chief physician.

It receives its European premiere at the festival, which is celebrating its 50th year, on 18 October.

"The Last King of Scotland is a perfect opening night film for us," said festival director Sandra Hebron, calling it a "compellingly original British feature".

Ugandan cast

Macdonald said it was an honour to be chosen to open the Festival "where I myself have discovered so many wonderful movies over the years".

The Last King of Scotland is the first fictional film by the director, who won an Oscar for his 1999 documentary on the Munich Olympics, One Day In September.

Based on a novel by Giles Foden, it was shot on location in Uganda and the UK.

John Smithson and Kevin MacDonald
The film is directed by Kevin MacDonald (right)

It stars several of Uganda's leading actors alongside Hollywood stars like Whitaker and Gillian Anderson.

The "Last King" of the title is Amin, who had an abiding interest in Scotland.

He once attended a funeral wearing a kilt, and even gave four of his children traditional Scottish names - Campbell, McLaren, McKenzie and Mackintosh.

The dictator ruled Uganda from 1971-1979, when he was ousted by Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles.

Up to 400,000 people are believed to have been killed under his rule.

Human rights groups and Ugandan government officials have expressed disappointment that he never faced trial for his alleged crimes.

Amin died in Saudi Arabia three years ago, where he lived in exile.

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