26th KIFF: No online seat booking system from Jan 11 after Mamata Banerjee's impromptu announcement
Kolkata/IBNS: The online seat booking system in the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) has been called off by the organisers after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made an impromptu announcement of allowing all people with special cards to enter into the theatres.
No seat will be available for booking for films or shows which will be screened from Jan 11 onwards.
However, cinegoers who have already booked seats for Jan 9 and 10 will be allowed to enter into the theatre houses.
Earlier, two-day advance booking was available for the audience.
In the current system, cinelovers with no card can enter into the halls by buying tickets from the counters at the hall premises.
Speaking on the issue, KIFF chairman Raj Chakraborty told India Blooms, "People with delegate or press or guest cards will be able to make an entry from Jan 11. The rest of the people, who do not have any of the cards, will have to go through the ticket booking system."
"But it is better if someone has a card because we have a reduced sitting capacity and a rush this time," Chakraborty added.
However, several cinegoers are still disillusioned after facing difficulties in the booking system.
"I have not been able to book seats from Book My Show till Jan 9 as the system is completely closed. Also we are not clear about the guest card system as there is a whole lot of confusion," said web content writer and researcher Madhurima Dev.
Social media manager Poulami Mukherjee, who has also faced similar problems, said, "I was informed by the KIFF website that I can book tickets for this year's festival from the online portal Bookmyshow, two days prior to the screening date. I have been trying to do so since Jan 7 but all bookings on Bookmyshow got shut down yesterday morning. Applied for a delegate pass from KIFF also but got no update on that.
"Looks like KIFF 2021 is only for the privileged and the ones associated with filmmaking. I hope they make this clear."
The online booking system was launched this year to maintain social distancing norms inside halls amid Covid-19 pandemic.
The latest edition of KIFF, which was about to be held in November, 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic, was inaugurated on Friday by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her office Nabanna. The festival will run till Jan 15.
In total, 81 feature films and 50 short and documentary films from 45 countries will be screened at eight festival venues of Kolkata in eight days.
(Reporting by Souvik Ghosh/IBNS)