A Midnight Madness screening of the new cannibal film Raw at the Toronto International Film Festival early Tuesday morning turned into a real life drama when several audiences members reportedly fainted from the intensity of the film.
According to Ryan Werner (via Hollywood Reporter), a spokesperson for the festival –
The film became too much for a couple patrons… An ambulance had to be called to the scene as the film became too much for a couple patrons.
There has been no report with the actual confirmed number of audience members stricken.
The Reporter also goes on to paraphrase Werner as saying “he had only seen this type of physical reaction to a movie before with Lars von Trier’s Antichrist.” Von Trier’s film screened at the Toronto fest in 2009 amidst reports of faintings at its screening. The following year there were similar reports from the festival following the screening of Danny Boyle’s real-life survival story 127 hours.
Raw centers on a vegetarian college student (Garance Marillier) who, following a brutal hazing ritual, discovers that she is slowly develops a taste for human flesh. The film premiered to much acclaim, but no medical incidents, at the Cannes Film Festival in May of this year, where the French-language film won the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize.
Julia Ducournau, the film’s director, is currently unsigned and the screening reportedly was attended by a number of managers and agents hoping to sign the buzzed about helmer.
The film is scheduled to next screen at a number of upcoming festivals, mostly genre-oriented, including Fantastic Fest, Mayhem Film Festival, Celluloid Screams, Beyond Fest and the Sitges Film Festival. No word yet as to whether those film festivals will have medical personnel standing by at their screenings, but I suppose a canny festival programmer could work up some good old William Castle-style ballyhoo around this film.