Getting IRCTC tatkal easier than booking a Mumbai film fest ticket

Yesterday, I wrote about the new online ticketing system that the Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) has introduced this year and observed that it seemed to be a little ageist and elitist with its assumption that all cinephiles are net and tech savvy. A number of people wrote in to let me know that as far as their experiences go, being youthful isn't much of an advantage with the MFF website. (Being an insomniac, however, definitely is, because contrary to the assurances offered by the MFF website, the ticketing microsite is not updated and ready to go at 00.00 hours.)

Representational image

Representational image

"Being in my 20s did not prepare me for the fact that reserving seats isn't done with one click. First you select your movie, then have to go to *another* link and 'confirm' that booking," wrote one friend. "And you can't confirm two bookings at one go. Confirm one, the whole page reloads and then confirm the next. And even when you haven't confirmed any show, it won't let you choose two films being screened at the same time. So you think you're done, but actually you've got to go to another link (My Screenings) to actually make a booking. This is like the Inception of reservations."

Another friend's woes began with the registration process itself. "It insisted my birth date was incorrect," he wrote to me. "Except it isn't. I should know. It's my birthday. But it wouldn't accept it. Now I have a different birthday as far as MFF records are concerned. I hope I get an e-card at least." When he had to upload a photo, things got worse. "It said my face is not applicable! Yes, I've put on weight in the past month, but is there any reason that I have to get grief for it from a virtual festival registration desk? As if it wasn't bad enough that my face has to be pleasing to a potential girlfriend, my parents and my boss, now I have to try and meet the MFF website's standards of handsomeness? All because I want to watch a few films?"

On the other hand, the silver lining is that all are actually equal in face of the ushers at Metro and Cinemax.

At Cinemax, a recognisable Bollywood actor was denied entry because they had no SMS confirmation for their booking. This reportedly restored faith in god, goodness and the system in Versova. Down south in Metro, there was a different sort of celebrity sighting. While standing in queue, someone noticed that standing in front of them was a gent wearing a "dope" Breaking Bad T-shirt with a sketch of Heisenberg on it. This resulted in most of the queue temporarily losing interest in the film they'd queued up for and asking the wearer of the T-shirt questions like whether it's available in India and what other colours it comes in. If Bryan Cranston himself had shown up to watch a film at the MFF, there may not have been as much of a tizzy.

But the advantage of being young and gadget savvy is that some have found nifty ways of bypassing the online ticketing system. First, the SMS confirmation was forwarded but the MFF wisened up to this. So now, the ID and the SMS are being matched. However, the SMS confirmation can be tweaked and forwarded to as many people you like, provided you edit a few details and the one receives it has rechristened you "MDMFFEST" in their phone's address book. A friend's friend has, so far, forwarded the SMS for five films to at least 50 people. "I like to think of myself as the Robin Hood of Cinemax Versova," he said.

Published Date: Oct 21, 2013 12:41 pm | Updated Date: Oct 21, 2013 12:41 pm

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