Toronto honors Queen Elizabeth as Netflix refugee drama opens film festival

The Toronto film festival began in a sad mood on Thursday, as theatres darkened their lights to honour the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and a

Netflix drama about Syrian refugees kicked off North America's largest film festival.
As news of the death of the monarch of the Commonwealth spread, 

the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra theatres, both named after members of the British royal family, turned off their marquees.

"As we meet to celebrate the ability of film to move us and illuminate our world, I would like to honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's departure today,"

said festival director Cameron Bailey. Our sympathies go out to everyone in this area and around the world who mourns her passing.

On the red carpet for his opening night picture "The Swimmers," actor Matthias Schweighofer stated, "96 is a great age, yet I find it sad."

The movie is based on the true story of Syrian sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini, who nearly drowned in the Mediterranean in 2015 while pulling a refugee-filled rubber boat to a Greek island.