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Culture & Religion

Kindly Turn On Your Smartphones In The Movie Theater

Arriving in Dutch theaters next month, "AFP" involves viewers in the action by delivering story content to their phones during the movie.

What’s the Latest Development?

This week members of the Dutch media attended a screening of “AFP,” in which an “evil app” called Iris takes over the young female protagonist’s smartphone. What makes this movie unique is that viewers are asked to download software to their own mobile devices, and then activate the software, prior to the movie’s start. This allows them to receive story content at specific points during the movie, effectively creating a dual-screen viewing experience. Director Bobby Boermans says that although viewers can enjoy the film without a mobile device, “[they] lose out.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Although similar technology exists for movies viewed at home, this is the first time the “second screen” phenomenon has been used for a film being shown in a theater. The pace of the big-screen film had to be slowed down in parts to allow viewers to digest the content appearing on their small screens; Boermans says making the movie was a little like “having to write two scripts.” The film is scheduled for release in Dutch theaters in April, and will eventually be released overseas with English dubbing.

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