Entertainment behind the scenes
Toronto film festival — bedbug free and ready to roll
With the Toronto International Film Festival set to kick off on Thursday, organizers appear to have dodged a nasty subplot that could have turned the 11-day drama into a horror movie.
The trouble began last week after a Toronto woman woke up with itchy spots on her back after visiting the Scotiabank Theatre, where several festival movies will screen.
Like New York, Toronto has been dealing with a nasty bedbug problem this summer, and the woman’s complaints found their way on to a friend’s Twitter account and then, as they say, it all went viral.
Film festival co-director Cameron Bailey probably did himself no favors when he mentioned the scare on his own widely-followed Twitter feed, which immediately propelled the matter on to the local entertainment pages, whose reporters were happy for pre-festival plotline.
The theatre quickly called in a pest-control company, which scoured the venue with sniffer dogs, and gave it the all clear.
Bailey said the issue has not had any impact on festival attendance or ticket sales.
“I think everything’s back to normal,” he told Reuters.
Happy, he’ll be able to focus on the more mundane issues typical for the festival, such as dealing with producers unhappy about their film’s placement, or pacifying journalists squeezed out of jam-packed press screenings.
Centers for Disease Control/Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack)