- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2002

Last September 11, John Schmidt had scheduled a round of business meetings at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he and his partner had just announced their new production company, ContentFilm.
Instead, their priorities became touching base with family and friends back home in New York City and figuring out how to get home.
September 11 this year brings the founders of ContentFilm back to the festival to premiere their first movie, "The Guys," adapted from Anne Nelson's play about a New York fire captain (Anthony LaPaglia) who enlists the help of an editor (Sigourney Weaver) to write eulogies for men he lost in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Mr. Schmidt, ContentFilm president, and company Chairman Edward Pressman will be shopping "The Guys" around to find a North American distributor, hoping to put it in theaters this fall.
"Being back at Toronto a year later with this film, you can't sort of come more full circle than that," Mr. Schmidt says. "We're very proud to have it here."
"The Guys" and "11-09-01," a collection of September 11-themed short films by internationally known filmmakers, are the centerpieces of the Toronto festival's commemorative events next Wednesday, the anniversary date.
The films will be that evening's gala screenings, the highest-profile movies at the festival, which opens today and runs through Sept. 14.
"Those two films just kind of fell into place," says festival director Piers Handling. "'The Guys' is this intimate human story by an American director; then you've got this collection with an international perspective that's provocative and thoughtful and challenging and the perfect bookend to 'The Guys.'"
Miss Weaver and actor Bill Murray originated the stage production of "The Guys" in December at the Lower Manhattan theater run by Miss Weaver's husband, Jim Simpson. Other actors, including Mr. LaPaglia, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Amy Irving and Marlo Thomas, have since taken on the roles, says Mr. Simpson, who directed both the stage and film versions.
"This piece hopefully gives people a sense of community. How our community in New York really showed its best, really showed something remarkable," Mr. Simpson says.
The Toronto festival is North America's biggest showcase for upcoming Hollywood movies and films from around the world.

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