As in earlier years, the 16 International Film Festival of Kerala has kept its date with technology with the introduction of various software catering to different aspects of festival organisation.

To begin with, the 16 IFFK became one of the first film festivals in the country to make use of the Andoroid platform that enabled delegate registration through smart phones. As many as 63 delegates had registered using the special mobile phone application developed exclusively by the festival tech support team from Azinova Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The mobile application could be downloaded free from a link provided on the IFFK website.

“Mobile app is much more user friendly when compared to mobile internet browsing. Also, by using mobile app through their smart phones, the delegates also had the option to instantly capture their photos using the mobile camera and upload it on the registration form. Although only a few people could make use of this application, it is a big technological leap for the film festival,” said Shani L. Ganga, a member of the tech support team.

Apart from registration, most of the festival logistics and planning, including preparation of schedule and hospitality management, had been supported by specially developed automation software. While the schedule preparation software helped in simplifying the most cumbersome activity involved with the organisation of the film festival, the hospitality software developed by the tech team had been helping organisers in managing the guest schedule.

“Using the hospitality software we will be able to send itinerary-based SMS alerts to IFFK volunteers accompanying the guests. This will help them in taking the guests to different venues at the right time and also making arrangements for their travel and accommodation,” Mr. Ganga said.

Facility for SMS and online seat reservation for film shows, which was introduced from the 14 IFFK, will also be available this time. Delegates can reserve balcony seats two days in advance of a screening by sending an SMS to the number 9446301234. If the booking is successful, the delegates will receive a confirmation message.

The reservation status of a delegate will be ascertained using the unique bar codes provided in every delegate card, which will be checked using barcode sensors at the entry point of balconies of every festival theatre. A delegate can book one seat each for a maximum of three shows per day. Advance booking has begun for films to be screened on December 12. Delegates will also be sent SMS alerts on change of schedule and sideline events. Organisers are hoping that the regulation on bulk SMS introduced by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will not pose a hindrance to the SMS service for delegates.

“We have already received the approval from TRAI for sending SMS alerts for reservation confirmation and schedule change since they follow a fixed template. In the case of alerts on other events and programme we have to get approval as and when the need arises,” Mr. Ganga said.