Sangeetha Unnithan

SMS reservation to supplement online booking

Each delegate pass to have unique bar code

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Film buffs flocking to theatres in the city during the 14th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will not have to dash to an Internet kiosk every time they need to book a seat for a show. Reservation of seats at the festival this time will be just an SMS away.

The SMS seat reservation system will supplement online booking. “We have decided to introduce the facility because many delegates, especially those coming from outside the city, do not have easy access to the Internet, even though we do provide kiosks at theatres,” said festival artistic director Bina Paul Venugopal. She said the mobile number to which the SMS should be sent would be announced later.

The 14th IFFK will begin on December 11. Advance booking facility will be available only for balcony seats of festival theatres, a percentage of which will be reserved for the jury and media.

This time, the delegates need not take the printouts of the tickets which they book online.

To make seat booking simpler and hassle-free, festival officials are also introducing a bar coding system.

“We are doing away with the paper tickets. Every delegate pass will have a unique bar code and bar code sensors will be installed at the balcony doors of all festival theatres. When a delegate shows his or her delegate pass to the sensor we will be able to know whether they have booked or not,” said an official at the software wing of 14th IFFK. The software and technical support for the festival is provided by Technopark-based Azinova Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

In the case of SMS booking, delegates will get a confirmation SMS message as soon as the booking is made.

Delegates will have to spend the charges of an ordinary text message only for booking a seat. Before the festival commences, a trial message will be sent to all delegates who have registered and procured their pass.

“As this is the first time we are introducing SMS booking, there could be some initial hiccups. As far as SMS traffic is concerned, our software will be able to manage up to 25 SMS a second,” the official said.

Delegates will not have to search for seat numbers in the theatre this time. Entry to the balcony will be on first-come-first-served basis.

Advance balcony seat booking will begin from the morning of December 12. Balcony seats for a show can be reserved two days in advance. A delegate can book only one seat.

Reservation will stop at 9 p.m. on the previous day of the show. A delegate can book up to three shows a day. There will also be cancellation facility at booking counters.

Details and instruction of online and mobile SMS seat booking will be uploaded on web site a few days before the commencement of the festival.