10/05/2009

Why I Gave Up on Watching "Free Admission" International Film Fests

I think it was two years ago when there was a European film festival, called Cine Europa, held at the Shangri-La cinema and my girlfriend and I decided to watch. Like most international film festivals organized by cultural ministries or embassies, Cine Europa was free admission, all you need to do is queue for the tickets and then stand in line to get into the cinema.

Ideally, that scenario was efficient-- on events like that where it's free, ticket distribution and seats allocation was  very simple from the organizers' point of view. But on my experience, the demand became so high that queueing  literally took hours.

I'm not kidding. You stand in line for the free ticket for about 15 minutes, and the line for the upcoming film will start as soon as the previous film has started. Usually, it will take you two hours standing in line. I don't think anybody will enjoy that kind of system, but for some that's the cost of getting a free ticket. But for me, it's just not worth the effort and time.

That's why I'm supporting film festivals like PelĂ­cula, the Spanish Film Festival organized by Instituto Cervantes. They charge a minimal amount (last time it was PhP60), but the experience is much, much better-- there are no long queues and you just enjoy the film.

Yeah, free is free, but give me a better cinema experience any time.


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