Film festival season carries on in Toronto, despite a star-power outage

TORONTO (AP) — When SAG-AFTRA announced a strike this summer, Cameron Bailey, the longtime chief executive of the Toronto International Film Festival, dusted off his COVID-19 playbook. For two years, TIFF, the largest film festival in North America, had maneuvered through pandemic editions that persevered, one way or another, through travel restrictions, social distancing measures and other upheavals. Now, TIFF was faced with a sudden eclipse of star power. The 48th annual TIFF opens Thursday night with Hayao Miyazaki’s long awaited “The Boy and the Heron.” Filmmakers will be present. Documentaries and their subjects will still there. Independent productions have the chance of securing an interim agreements from SAG-AFTRA. But the biggest film festivals depend on having red carpets flush with stars.