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Friday, September 04, 2009

The Agony and The Ectasy that is TIFF

Every year, it is the same old story. Running down town to pick up the Advance Sale Ticket Form to fill for TIFF, then submitting the forms and awaiting the lottery. This year, there were over 50 boxes of forms and lucky box 48 was randomly selected to be processed first. My forms were in box 44. More interestingly, I received 16 of my 20 selections (with 12 being my first choices). Not bad.

Ms. Noel tried to get onto the TIFF website unsuccessfully >5 times, tried to call the box office another >5 times and then called me at 7:40am to say, she was heading to the TIFF central box office to physically get the tickets. Luckily, she lives about 5 minutes from this location. I awoke by 8:30am (after doing a 2am C-section) and headed downtown. After a 45 minute ride into downtown, I entered Nathan Phillips square to see the General Public Ticket purchasing line wrapped around the square. I had to call Ms. Noel to locate her!

She had very cleverly called Ms. Desi who did manage to get onto the TIFF site and to complete the ticket purchasing. In a complete "celebrity" treatment, she went to the Advance pick up line (there actually is no line) and got the tickets. The rub here was, Ms. Desi had to verbally give her VISA card number and confirmation number to the TIFF volunteer over the phone in order for the tickets to printed. This was a move of no small importance as Ms. Desi was leaving for Europe and wouldn't be back before the middle of TIFF week and Ms. Noel would be unable to pick up or use the tickets Ms. Desi had purchased for her.

By comparison, my transactions were quite unremarkable but also quite fortunate. I was able to pick up my tickets and then do my exchanges and even purchasing more tickets in the Advance pick up line without ever really needing to return to the General Public Ticket Purchase line. All told I had spent under 90 minutes at the Box Office and then it was off to Dim Sum with Mom. The Agony of the purchasing is over and the Ecstasy of the films can begin.