5 easy ways to improve the Bangkok Film Festival

Dear Bangkok Film Festival organizers,

I love film festivals, but it seems like you’ve made it as difficult as possible to enjoy and even attend this year’s film festival. Here’s how you could make it better next year:

1) Simplify your web site. Make the information I care about: the schedule and description of movies, ticket prices, theatre location, which showings have directors in attendance easy to find. Right now, your flash freezes my browser and it’s almost impossible to find the information I want. I don’t care about flash animations of high-society Thai people, hit counters, boring press releases or ads and neither will most festival-goers.

2) Improve your online schedule. Make an online HTML schedule, where the user can click on the movie title and get a popup window with all the details inside.

Right now, to decide which movies I want to see, here’s what I need to do:

  • download a pdf schedule with the times, locations and only titles of the movies
  • take each movie title and google it myself to see if I’m interested in it, one by one.

This process is so annoying that I almost gave up and didn’t attend.

EVEN BETTER: If you want to step into 2009, make a little “my film festival” app, where I can make and save my own personalized schedule of all the movies I want to see, and share it with my friends. You could easily use this to show people some ads from your sponsors, sign up people to a mailing list for next year’s festival, and find out which movies are popular.

Right now I have to write this down on paper by hand, and that’s so 1985.

3) Better signs at the theatre: Please put some signs telling me where I can buy tickets and how the ticketing works, like “buy coupons here”, and “redeem coupons for real tickets here”. I stood in line for 10 minutes just to be told I had to stand in another line to buy an individual ticket (not a book of 6 coupons, which then still need to be redeemed for tickets). It’s a big confusing mess.

4) Please have enough programs. People love movie festivals because they can see a lot of movies in a short time they wouldn’t normally see. You want people to see lots of movies, because you’ll make more money. If I come to see one movie, chances are I am interested in seeing more than one. When I tried to get a program with all the movies, there were already none left, despite it being 2 pm.

5) Hang up descriptions of all the movies where people can easily see them. When you ran out of programs, the only alternative to find out about your movies was to stand at the counter looking at one binder of movie descriptions with a long line of people forming behind me. Not cool.

People love movie festivals, please make it easier for us to come see your movies!

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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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