"Bethune: The Making of a Hero," starring Donald Sutherland as the legendary Canadian surgeon Dr. Norman Bethune, will make its world premiere Aug. 24 at the opening of the 1989 Montreal World Film Festival.

The selection of Bethune, a joint Canadian, Chinese, and French production, was announced at a news conference by festival president Serge Losique.Bethune practiced in Montreal before pioneering battlefield surgery during the Spanish Civil War and with the communist armies of Mao Tse-tung in China. He died of blood poisoning in 1939 after cutting his finger while operating on a Chinese soldier.

The film was shot in China, Canada, and Spain. Filming took more than three years.

The 1989 festival will also devote a day to the National Film Board of Canada which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.