Toronto: Medical Incidents Interrupt Two Premieres

Blackbird - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

Audience members called for 'Blackbird' and 'The Sound of Metal,' separately, to be stopped while individuals appeared to be undergoing emergencies Friday.

Two premieres at the Toronto Film Festival were interrupted Friday when medical emergencies took place inside their respective theaters.

During a climactic moment toward the end of a screening of Blackbird, audience members began shouting and calling for the lights to be turned on due to an incident at the front of the theater. The film was paused as a man at the front was comforted by friends and assisted by them in walking out, about five minutes after the film was paused.

"The incident took place at the screening of Blackbird and the man was led out of the cinema and taken outside for fresh air. No details of what caused him to fall ill were provided. He left the venue and all resumed,” a Toronto Film Festival spokesperson said Saturday.

About 20 minutes into a screening of Sound of Metal on Friday night, screams and calls to stop the film could be heard from the back of the theater as a man fainted, the festival also confirmed Saturday. Though the film kept playing throughout the incident, the man was escorted out of the theater on a wheelchair and taken to a hospital.

No details were released on the causes for the medical incidents Friday. 

Blackbird stars Susan Sarandon as an architect with ALS who gathers her family for one last weekend together before she plans to commit assisted suicide. The Roger Michell-directed film also stars Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Sam Neill, Lindsay Duncan, Rainn Wilson and Bex. 

The musical drama Sound of Metal, meanwhile, sees Riz Ahmed playing a heavy metal drummer who faces a crisis when he begins to experience hearing loss. The film also stars Olivia Cooke, Mathieu Amalric and Lauren Ridloff and is the debut feature of director Darius Marder.

Leslie Felperin and Etan Vlessing contributed to this report.