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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Toronto festival plans terror tribute
The ruins of the World Trade Center
The attack on the World Trade Center shocked the world
Events at this year's Toronto Film Festival will be put on hold on 11 September as a mark of respect for the victims of last year's terror attacks on the US.

The annual movie event - in its 27th year - will stop its hectic round of screenings and press conferences promoting the best of the world's new cinema for several hours in the morning.

Last year, the film festival - ranked alongside those in Venice, Cannes and Berlin for importance - came to a temporary halt following the attacks which killed almost 3,000 people.

American actress Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver stars in a movie about 11 September

Suicide hijackers crashed airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. Another hijacked airliner crashed in Pennsylvania.

Festival director Piers Handling said: "It is very important to us that the programme acknowledges the terrible events of this day."

The Toronto Film Festival will run from 5 to 14 September. It is expected to attract its usual large quota of big screen stars and eminent film-makers.

True stories

Among the highlights of the screening programme will be two gala presentations about 11 September.

The Guys, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Sigourney Weaver, is about a fire captain who lost eight firefighters when the World Trade Center towers collapsed, and the woman who helped him write their eulogies.

The film is based on the true experiences of Anne Nelson, a professor of journalism at Columbia University.

Salma Hayek as Frida
Salma Hayek stars as the troubled artist in Frida

Her story was also made into a play which was staged on Broadway by Hollywood stars including Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

Sarandon and Robbins also brought the production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for three nights.

Toronto's second 11 September project is called 11'09"01 and is a compilation of short films about events on the day.

It was compiled by 11 international directors including Youssef Chahine, Shohei Imamura, Mira Nair, Sean Penn and Danis Tanovic.


The festival will also preview the acting debut of US hip-hop star Eminem in 8 Mile, which will be shown as a work-in-progress.

Director Brian De Palma's film Femme Fatale, starring Antonio Banderas, will receive its North American première as will Frida, the Salma Hayek biography of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo.

The Four Feathers, by Indian-born Shekhar Kapur, who directed Bandit Queen and Elizabeth, will receive its world première.

Special sections include Discovery devoted to up-and-coming directors and including 16 feature films from 16 countries.

Toronto's Wavelengths programme focuses on avant-garde and experimental film, and features 25 films from five countries.

See also:

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