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Two Toronto Film Festival Premieres Interrupted By Medical Emergencies

Sound of Metal
Courtesy AMAZON STUDIOS

On Friday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, two high-profile Gala premieres were interrupted by medical emergencies involving audience members.

A man fainted at the world premiere of “Sound of Metal” at the Winter Garden Theatre. And the screening of “Blackbird” at Roy Thomson Hall was paused for approximately five minutes toward the end of the film when a man needed medical assistance, and nearby audience members yelled for a doctor.

Such interruptions are rare, and can have business repercussions — both movies are for sale, and had buyers in attendance.

About 20 minutes into “Sound of Metal”, starring Riz Ahmed as a drummer who loses his hearing, there were screams from the back of the theater.

Ushers with flashlights rushed to the man who had collapsed, as audience members near him pleaded to stop the film. But the movie kept playing, as the man was escorted out of the theater in a wheelchair and taken to the hospital, according to those who worked at the theater.

The film uses techniques to simulate the deafness that its central character is experiencing, using loud screeching sounds and effects.

Susan Sarandon 'Blackbird' premiere, Arrivals, Toronto International Film Festival Medical Emergency

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fainting. Asked if the movie made him faint, a theater employee said: “I don’t know.”

Darius Marder, co-writer of “The Place Beyond the Pines,” directs the film, which also stars Olivia Cooke and Matthieu Amalric.

“Blackbird,” directed by Roger Michell, stars Susan Sarandon as a terminally ill woman who has decided to gather her family members for one final weekend before she ends her own life.

The medical incident occurred during the movie’s climactic scene, and people in the orchestra close to the man began yelling for a doctor and for the movie to pause. An usher entered the theater with a first aid kit. The man was able to leave the theater with assistance.