Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Waiting 127 hours for “127 hours” in Toronto

September 12, 2010

So it wasn’t exactly 127 hours of waiting, but Saturday was not the smoothest day for the 35th Annual Toronto International Film Festival, if the screening delays and theater changes were anything to go by.

Hard-core festival goers are used to planning their days with military precision from 9am until the wee hours of the morning.

For the media, Saturday’s hiccups meant hours of waiting, in-person apologies from festival co-director Cameron Bailey, canceled and postponed interviews, missed screenings and other appointments.

2:25pm. Showing up 20 minutes early for a press screening for director Danny Boyle’s much anticipated “127 Hours” means being relegated near the back of the line. This isn’t a public screening, so who knew the crowd would be bigger than opening night for the “Dark Knight”? (Or so it seemed.)

127PressLine

2:45pm. Showtime … but the line hasn’t budged. Reassurances that the roughly 600-seat capacity theater should be able to accommodate everyone. But the clock ticks and people get fidgety. Some give up and leave for other appointments.

3:30pm. What’s the delay? How much longer? No one knows. Some confusion as word comes that there are technical problems. That there will be a simultaneous screening. That there will be a new second screening later. That a screening at the nearby Roy Thomson Hall has been moved into this theater and that this screening was being moved to another smaller capacity theater.

4:05pm. After waiting nearly 2 hours, we’re told the theaters are at capacity and to come back at 5:30pm for a second screening scheduled just for us. TIFF staff are apologetic, attendees are understanding and patient. (How Canadian!)

5:00pm. People are back in line, but told 15 minutes later there could be a delay. That it would start at 6pm at the very latest…

Things didn’t seem too different at an industry screening of Anh Hung Tran’s “Norwegian Wood” a little later, where the show was delayed and audiences waited roughly an hour to get into a second screening that had to be added.

(Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng)

(Caption: A crowd of press and industry filmgoers wait in line for a screening of “127 Hours” at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto during the film festival. September 11, 2010. Picture taken with a camera phone. REUTERS/Solarina Ho)

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