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SBIFF Tickets
updated: Jan 23, 2013, 9:58 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Frustrated trying to buy a ticket to the movie festival. The site shows the movie title but then no way to select it. Are they all sold out? Is that why the site leads you into endless loops?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 366544 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:03 AM

In past years you'd have to buy 4-packs or 12-packs of tickets that got punched at the movie entrance. These were sold at the Lobero ticket office throughout the duration of the Festival. I don't believe they sell individual tickets at the door where the movie is playing anymore.


 COMMENT 366549 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:14 AM

For the film festival, they sell "mini-packs", for example I purchased a "4-pack" that can be used by 1 person for 4 movie entries, or 2 people for 2 movie entries, etc. These can be used for almost all of the films scheduled during the film fest (except for special film events, like opening, closing night...). An hour before each film, they pass out "Q Cards" at the theater for the specified film, that saves your space in line, and you can leave, and come back when they open the theater for viewing. It's a little convoluted, and I'm not sure if you can just show up and purchase a one-off ticket, or if they will make you buy a mini-pack when you show up anyways.


 COMMENT 366561 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:44 AM

You have to go to the film and get in line to see a movie. You cannot buy a ticket online to a specific film. As stated above you must buy 4 or 10 film mini-packs of tickets.


 COMMENT 366568 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 11:43 AM

To buy a minipak: From the home page, hover over Film Festivasl, then click on Purchase Tickets/Passes. Click MiniPaks (right side of the bar at the top). 4-paks are $55, 10 paks are $125. I'm not sure I'd go, stand in line, then find out they aren't selling tickets at the door. Get your minipak in advance.


 COMMENT 366588 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 12:31 PM

Sounds too complicated. I'll just wait for it to come out on Netflix.


 COMMENT 366627 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 01:39 PM

Is that true? You can't pay for just one movie? Yikes! Yet another reason to avoid the stupid, pretentious film festival.


 COMMENT 366633 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 01:49 PM

Rex...how right you are. In EVERY other city in the world that has a film festival, you can purchase individual tickets ahead of time.

Here, you are forced to shell out $55 minimum, wait in line for over an hour, and then, IF YOU ARE LUCKY, there will be a seat in the very first row or two for you to sit in.

Roger Durling doesn't give a rats ass about the common person. If you have $1500 to blow on an all-access pass, he'll pay attention to you. Otherwise, be damned with you little people.


 COMMENT 366634 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 01:50 PM

I stopped trying to go to any of the films because I never got into any that I wanted.

But film festivals arent for the audience. They're for insiders to pat each other on the back and talk about how great they are...


 COMMENT 366644 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:07 PM

Oh, man I love the film festival! Sad to see negative comments. It is my impression that SBIFF tries hard to be inclusive, and in fact it makes sense that they would want higher, rather than lower, attendance. But there are practical limitations.

People can get a pass (there are different levels) that allows priority admittance; that is the advantage of having a pass. But there is no way to know ahead of time who will attend each film (there are multiple films at a time). So, first they allow people with passes to get in. It is only at that point that they know how many additional individual tickets to sell. So, people who buy one at a time have to wait, and there is a chance they might not get in.

My personal prior experience is that day time movies were often not full; evenings it depended on the movie. Many movies are shown more than once.

I am not close to being a VIP, and I've never met anyone on their staff, and I love the film festival.


 COMMENT 366647 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:10 PM

I like the lines. In conversing with the over film goers I have found many more movies to see. It is a festival that you participate in with other people; it is not just a bunch of movies playing in the local theaters.

As for Netflix, of the films I didn't get to last year, one made it to NetFlix. For many of the films this will be your one chance to see them - sadly they're just too small market.

Log off, get up and go see a film with actual people. You'll be happier for it. Otherwise stay home, but why complain if it's not your cup of tea?


 COMMENT 366649 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:13 PM

Agree - the film fest is not for the residents of SB - it is for the industry people and those that can pay $1500 for the all-access pass.

I too tried going for a few years. The only way I had a chance of getting in was to go to the off-hours screenings - anything after 10PM. They do cater to the insiders and the all-access pass holders because that is the way that it is. I would do the same thing in their position (make sure the stars want to come back and make sure the ones paying the $1500 will do that again next year.)

SBIFF organizers do try and make up for it to the locals by having the free screenings of the film fest's best the weekend (or two?) after the fest ... actually I think that is more for the volunteers, but they let anyone in for free.


 COMMENT 366650 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:15 PM

I know...I have volunteered just so I can get free passes...it's just to hard for a regular person to see just one film...I totally hate how elitist it has gotten, but if you want to really see what they have to offer, you have to bow down to the film gods!...I mean Roger Durling...


 COMMENT 366662 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:45 PM

We don't care about the cost of the passes. It's one of the few times a year that our friends come to SB. It's great entertainment and we don't even have to leave town for this one.


 COMMENT 366665P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 02:51 PM

If there's a film on the SBIFF schedule you really want to see, get a 4-punch mini-pack at the Arlington and try for the earliest showing in the festival. Good films get buzz, and therefore draw bigger crowds for the second showings. Sometimes more are added. Weekday early morning and mid-day are always easy - it's mostly prime-time/evenings and weekends that get really stuffed. For standby seating, show up an hour early to get a low Q-card number from the volunteer, then go get a coffee. People with gumption often sell or trade mini-pack cards with remaining punches they can't use in front of the Metro 4. Elitist, schmitist, this is still a chance to see films we'd never find otherwise. Always fun.


 COMMENT 366676 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 03:36 PM

Individual tickets are sold once everyone is seated, and IF there is room remaining. If available you can purchase them at the theatre's box office.


 COMMENT 366682 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 03:41 PM

I paid $325 for the State Street pass, which allows me to see all movies except from 4:00 to 8:00. That is a lot of movies (they start at 8:00 am, it is over one week). Check out their website to get the true info.


 COMMENT 366690 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 03:57 PM

Had the $1500 pass once and still it was a pain. I was asked to stand in a seperate line, and then told there was no room, after many others were brought to the front. Made a complaint that night, and again at the offices after the fact. Didnt seem to matter, and I will never be back. I wish all the industry people and out of towners a good time, but I now avoid the downtown area altogether during the festival.


 COMMENT 366696 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 04:09 PM

I agree that it's the festival atmosphere that makes the Film Fest so alluring. Gobs of out of towners visiting for the week and clustered in the same district makes for a fun social scene too. If you don't like people, especially strangers who don't even live here, the Film Fest is not for you..... REX, it's just not your scene, bud.

But if you like hobnobbing with film lovers from other locales and like seeing different and interesting people (strangers) milling about town it's a blast. The price of admission is well worth the extra curricular festivities. And a FourPak is good for you and a date for 2 movies you won't normally see otherwise. How fun is that!


 COMMENT 366702 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 04:24 PM

I hate the negative comments about Roger Durling. He just so happens to care about lots of people. He is a friend of my dads. Do you really think they would let him run the festival if he didn't care about people?


 COMMENT 366708 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 04:40 PM

702, it's like boxing a ghost. I see more camaraderie on Reddit. There is rampant schizophrenia and unchecked vitriol here. I would take comfort in the fact that there are many people that appreciate the work that goes into putting SBIFF together.


 COMMENT 366802P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-23 10:36 PM

682: The State Street and Cinema passes are sold out. Available only are platinum passes ($1655.) and mini-paks, $55/ 4 tickets and $125/10 tickets which may or may not get you seats in the front rows of the Metro Four for any of the popular primetime movies. (There should be no problem at the 8am shows.) There still are tickets for the special events - check at sbiff.org. Tomorrow's Indy should have the film schedule.

Durling has built upon the past and helped make it very successful ...especially for out of towners - and motel owners in the off season. Unless you're affluent, it really is not much fun anymore for locals. It's film Fiesta.


 COMMENT 366859 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 08:13 AM

Hey 644? Yes there IS a way to know who's going to attend a film before. have a Presale of SINGLE TICKETS! And to think you think you were on to something. It is pretentious to force people into 4 tickets in an attempt to drive attendence. Here's who Roger leaves out:. Random passer-byes who are curious. Locals who want to give it a shot and might get hooked. Those who can only afford maybe 1 movie in their montly budget.


 AGENTSME agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:26 AM

I love going to movies and rarely had a chance to do so when my kids were little due to time constraints. I remember the film festival was on and one of the films I wanted to see was going to be on within an hour, and my husband had time to watch the kids. I went to the movie theater and discovered the "you must buy a pass" situation which I felt, and still feel, is extremely unfair to someone like me (with very limited time). Also, I had left the house with $25 on me, so I was not in a position to buy the pass then and sell the rest after. I returned home very disappointed, rather than refreshed and inspired by a film....


 COMMENT 366912P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:31 AM

I do not know Roger Durling, but I do admire how his knowledge and hard work has made the SBIFF the huge success is it today. To have the quality of stars and movies that have come to Santa Barbara in the past years is quite an achievement.


 COMMENT 366998 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 11:39 AM

Participating in the SBIFF does require a shift in the way we attend movies, but the benefits are huge. The web site could use an FAQ section to address issues raised here. One does get a sense of 'classism' when a whole line of people are rejected as a bunch of high rollers waltz past. But, I've often enjoyed the in-line discussions even though I've been turned away from my movie. Roger Durling is genuinely concerned about bringing our diverse community together. Roger and staff excel at assembling an amazing set of films each year. A few films are explored more deeply when actors and production people discuss the film after its showing. One just needs to jump in, get strategic to find the gems, or wait till the '3rd weekend' to view the most popular films for free. One suggestion: Roger should not conduct celebrity interviews. He misses opportunities to expose actors and his sycophantic comments obscure their virtues. Strange as it seems, Leonard Maldin does the best interviews.


 COMMENT 367104 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 04:06 PM

Let's compare the film festival with Fiesta. Both are perceived as sure-fire ways to bring touri$t $$$ into the community. And they do.

But there the similarity ends. Fiesta is a giant party, thrown open to the entire community. The film festival is a tightly knit, elitist bunch of snobs whose events can only be attended by fanatically devoted film buffs and the very well-heeled.

I won't deny that the film festival has become well-known in the entertainment world. But don't for a second assume that the festival has any relevance at all to the community in general. Well, except for the restaurateurs and innkeepers who cater to them and make a lot of $$$ doing so.


 COMMENT 367212 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-24 09:44 PM

In reply I say, you can buy a ticket. Maybe not as easily
as you would like. Sorry if I hurt your feelings, life is not
always fair.


 COMMENT 367226 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-25 04:02 AM

@ITSSCOUT: But see, you CAN'T. If you can't simply go to the box office--or even by prearrangement--and buy one ticket, then you can't buy just one ticket. Knowing the right people or somehow finagling a ticket or otherwise jumping through hoops isn't the same thing at all.

Of course individual tickets would cost more, probably substantially more, than a bargain matinee at the Plaza de Oro. Just don't force us to by groups of tickets that we may not want or use.

The film festival is obviously very popular amongst a number of area movie aficionados. All I'm saying is, stop treating it like something that embraces all of us. By its exclusionary nature, it doesn't.


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