*Morgan Freeman is to be a guest of honor at the 16th Sarajevo Film Festival next month, the organizers announced Monday.

The nine-day festival, which opens July 23, is to be closed by the film “Invictus,” which stars Freeman as former South African president Nelson Mandela in a story about the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

In Sarajevo, Freeman will meet talented filmmakers from the Balkans region, the festival’s press service said in a statement.

Launched near the end of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war as an act of resistance, the Sarajevo festival grew into the biggest regional film competition and has regularly been attended by leaders in world cinema.

In 2009, more than 230 films from over 50 countries, including a number of world premiers, were screened at the festival.