Thiruvananthapuram: A huge rush for entry passes for the International Film Festival of Kerala has forced the organizers to suspend the online registration within hours of opening the process on Monday. The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, which has taken the registration process completely online from this year, issued 5,500 of the 7,000 passes in the general category before they halted registration.
Film buffs may be allowed to apply again after the passes have been issued to mediapersons, movie and TV personalities, film society members and students, academy representatives said. However, there was no official confirmation yet.
The academy has limited the total number of passes to 10,000 this year, compared to 13,000 last year. Online registration bumped into similar problems last year as well, when about 9,000 wannabe delegates applied online and even paid fees within the initial few hours. The academy had suspended the registration and fixed another date to issue the remaining 1,000 passes.
Monday’s registration started at 8 am but technical snags held up the process for an hour. A delegate pass costs Rs 650 this year, up from Rs 500 last year. Student pass fee has been increased to Rs 500 from Rs 300 last year. As many as 1,000 students passes have already been distributed.
The organizers have ensured 8,048 seats across 14 movie halls for the festival, scheduled to be held in Thiruvananthapuram from December 8 to 15. Cinema and television professionals can apply for 1,000 passes from November 16 to 18. Film society members can apply for 500 passes from November 19 to 21. Mediapersons can apply for another 500 passes from November 22 to 24.
Unlike in previous years, delegates in any category will not be allowed to pay fees at the academy office or the festival venues. Those who do not have access to internet facilities could rely on the 2,700 odd Akshaya centers across Kerala.
The academy has made it clear that no delegate would be allowed to enter a movie hall beyond its seating capacity. In previous years, delegates were seen sitting in the aisles and standing at the doorways to watch their favorite movies. The movie hall managers had demanded that the academy should put an end to the practice for security reasons.