Toronto theatre evacuated due to security threat at screening of Incitement movie at TIFF
The world premiere of Incitement at TIFF didn't go as planned when the screening was temporarily halted due to a security threat.
The physchological thriller by American-Israeli director Yaron Zilberman centres around the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin through the worldview of his assassin.
About 5 minutes into the sold out screening at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, the movie suddenly came to a halt and the lights were turned on before a TIFF spokesperson firmly addressed the audience from the front of the theatre.
The audience was informed that there was a security threat and instructed to leave the cinema in an orderly fashion until further information was available.
They’ve just evacuated the screening of the Israeli movie Incitement at Scotiabank Theatre due to a security threat #TIFF #TIFF19 #Toronto pic.twitter.com/WxUSDCRCWg— blogTO (@blogTO) September 8, 2019
The stunned and confused audience calmly left the theatre, still unsure on both the nature of the threat and whether it was directed toward the specific film or Scotiabank Theatre as a whole which was screening numerous other TIFF movies at the time.
As it turned out, only Cinema 1 screening Incitement was evacuated and it was otherwise business as usual at the theatre.
Ten minutes into Incitement we’re told we have to clear the theater due to a credible threat. Seems to have been resolved as they’re bringing us back in? #TIFF2019— SophiaBlachmanBiatch (@SophiaBlachmanB) September 8, 2019
After many minutes of waiting with no information forthcoming, TIFF personnel on site revealed the evacuation was due to a suspicious baggage, that the cinema was now deemed safe and the screening would resume.
not quite the sell-out crowd it was an hour ago, but it’s show time, round 2#incitement @TIFF_NET pic.twitter.com/mEqMRf6oO6— Jim O'Leary (@jim_oleary) September 8, 2019
Many in the audience chose not to return. The film's director Aaron Zilberman thanked those who remained for "staying for our PR stunt."
The director is thanking people individually as they re-enter. #TIFF19— MsTypo (@Typo_eh) September 8, 2019
According to film writer Corey Atad, Rabin's daughter and grandson were among those at the premiere.
In a year when my festival-going was whittled down to a single film, I thoroughly enjoyed the first ten minutes before the theatre was evacuated. Major credit to all @TIFF_NET volunteers. All was handled seamlessly. #TIFF19— Naomi GreckolHerlich (@naomibgh) September 8, 2019
The screening concluded without incident and the film's cast and crew stuck around until the end to participate in a post screening Q&A as is TIFF tradition.
Cast & crew Q&A after Incitement at #TIFF19 still went on despite the earlier evacuation. In my humble opinion, I loved the film. The integration of the archival footage and point of view of the assassin particularly stood out. SO happy they decided to go on with the screening. pic.twitter.com/XvNbFUrzFs— emma @ tiff19 (@crystaIships) September 8, 2019
When reached for comment, a TIFF spokesperson confirmed that a backpack had been left unattended in the theatre, prompting the standard security protocol that led to the evacuation.
In turned out the backpack was simply left by someone who had gone to get some popcorn.
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