Toronto Festival to observe September 11th

Aug 16, 2002 by Ian Evans

Last year’s Toronto International Film Festival was dramatically affected by the tragic events of September 11th. The attacks came at the halfway point of the 10 day event. The organizers cancelled the festive aspects of the Festival — red carpets, press conferences, parties — but kept the screenings going so that attendees, many stranded by the grounding of flights, would be able to take a break from the constant stream of news. One day publicists and producers were making deals for films. The next day they were making deals for tour buses to shuttle people back to LA.

The Festival has announced special plans for September 11th, 2002, the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The Festival will go dark until 11 a.m. All screenings (Public and Press & Industry), press conferences, and Rogers Industry Centre programming will resume at 11 a.m. that day.

Two special Gala Presentations have also been announced for the 11th.

The first is Jim Simpson’s, The Guys, which tells the touching story of a fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) who lost eight men in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and the editor (Sigourney Weaver) who helps him put together the eulogies he must deliver.

The other gala is a compilation of shorts from 11 international directors entitled 11’09“01 which compose a memorable look at the days events. Directors for this series include acclaimed filmmakers Youssef Chahine, Amos Gita├», Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Shohei Imamura, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, Samira Makhmalbaf, Mira Nair, Sean Penn, Idrissa Ouedraogo, and Danis Tanovi.

A portion of the money generated by single ticket sales from these two Gala screenings will be donated to UNICEF and Handicap International.

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