Hot Docs 2018 #9: For the love of cinema, please TURN OFF YOUR PHONES!

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May I take a moment to rant about smartphones in theaters, please? They a bane on every single Hot Docs screening where, more and more, people are “discreetly” (read: YOU ARE NOT DISCREET – EVERYONE CAN SEE YOUR PHONE!) taking out their devices to email, text, scroll through Facebook, check out Instagram and the like during screenings. I have literally not attended a single screening at this year’s fest where this didn’t happen.




Seriously, people?! Despite an onscreen card asking you turn off your phone, and (usually) a pre-screening onstage reminder from whoever’s introducing the film, you STILL can’t manage to sit for 90 minutes without checking your social-media feeds or sending someone a text message?!

Maybe you should have just stayed home, then. Or, at a bare minimum, if you’re expecting an important message, maybe you could show some consideration for your fellow filmgoers and respect for the filmmakers in attendance, and simply step outside the theater to do whatever you need to do away from everyone else who actually wants to watch the film without being repeatedly distracted by the light of your little glowing screen. It’s just good manners and common courtesy.

And one more thing: FYI, dimming your screen is not the same thing as TURNING OFF YOUR PHONE AND KEEPING IT OFF.

/end rant


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