September 12, 2001 08:53 AM

The Toronto International Film Festival canceled all activities on Tuesday after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but organizers told Reuters that screenings would resume on Wednesday, with increased security. A large contingent of festival attendees comes from New York, and with long distance phone connections hard to come by on Tuesday, it was difficult to call home to connect with loved ones. An official festival social function that was expected to unite international directors on Wednesday night has also been canceled, festival president Piers Handling said. “We have to respect what has happened. I don’t think it is business as usual at this point in time,” he said at press conference filled with U.S. reporters and industry officials. (After Cannes’s and Berlin’s, Toronto’s is considered the third most important international film festival. So far, Steve Martin, Danny DeVito, Helena Bonham Carter, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington and Anthony Hopkins have been in Toronto this year.) Handling said he was not aware of any cancellations by attending film stars or industry officials. U.S. guests at the festival were stranded in Toronto on Tuesday because of commercial flight cancellations in the wake of the attacks. “We are certainly very sensitive to security issues and are increasing security where appropriate,” said Handling. He said a crisis team was in place to protect film stars, guests and officials.

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