Moviegoer Maced at AFI Fest Screening of ‘Mr. Turner,’ Witnesses Say

A cell phone dispute led to the trouble

Sony Pictures Classics

A male moviegoer was maced by a woman at an AFI Film Festival screening of “Mr. Turner” on Monday night in Hollywood, multiple witnesses have told TheWrap.

The woman was using her cell phone minutes after the film began when the man asked her to put the phone away. When she didn’t, the man initiated physical contact, prompting her to mace him, witnesses said.

Security was called and 15 minutes later the woman was led out of the Mann Chinese 6 Theater.

“Mr. Turner,” from director Mike Leigh looks at the last quarter century of eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner’s life. Profoundly affected by the death of his father and loved by his housekeeper, whom he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, Turner forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito with in Chelsea, where he dies.

The film co-stars Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson and Dorothy Atkinson.

Earlier this year, it won BAFTA’s John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing, plus a Best Actor award for Timothy Spall and a best lighting honor at the Cannes Film Festival.