phone tiff TIFF 2013: Movie blogger's 911 call over phone use in theater sparks heated debate

One movie blogger’s actions at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday (Sept. 10) thrust the cellphone usage at movie theaters etiquette debate into the spotlight.

Alex Billington, president and owner of the movie website, called 911 during a TIFF press and industry screening of horror movie “The Sacrament” to report an audience member using his cellphone in one of the front rows.

“I literally just called 911 & reported piracy to the police,” Billington tweeted. “I cannot believe that TIFF is allowing this disregard for the integrity of cinema and letting disgusting industry ruin experiences.”

According to Billington, the dispatcher laughed at him, but his actions have re-sparked the debate over cell phone usage in movie theaters on social media.

While Billington admits that his reaction — calling the police — was out of proportion, he still thinks the festival’s phone policy should be reevaluated. “Calling 911 is something I realize was a mistake,” Billington told the LA Times. “But … the issue is cellphone use. It’s a rampant problem.”

Posted by:Sydney Bucksbaum