Questionnaire software made sending us feedback a whole lot easier this year. Record numbers of Festivalgoers took the opportunity to do so. Here we report some trends, some particularly sharp remarks, and some outright contradictions that we could not ignore.
The Civic is an incredible venue. There was endless love for the mother ship and its glorious projection. To the enthusiast who exclaimed “it's my second favourite cinema in the world!!” We’re SO pleased!
Getting out is good. More than a few festivalgoers took the time to extol the vibe, the buzz, the roar of the crowd: “It’s always great to see the Civic full of people watching a movie. Such a fun shared experience.”
The programme couldn’t be better. “A spectacular year: NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY was an instant classic, GOBLIN PLAYS SUSPIRIA was a once in a life-time event, and from STRANGER BY THE LAKE to ERNEST AND CELESTINE, there was an astonishingly rich and diverse array of quality programming that the festival should take pride in.”
The programme couldn’t be worse. “We've been for 13 years and this as the worst selection of films we have ever seen.” “Whoever picked the films this year should be fired. Very few memorable or even enjoyable films.” Aaargh.
If I can’t get to the screening, then it probably shouldn’t happen. “Don't put venues in the morning during week days. And try to diversify the evening hours and the venues, to avoid two or more movies screening at the same hours, different venues. It's impossible to see them both!”
Parking Costs Suck. The details are too depressing to publicise further.
Goblin are next to God and Ant Timpson is next to Goblin. How do we top Suspiria?
Ticketing. “Ticketing is the number one challenge facing the film festival.” You said it. We are working hard to persuade key partners that this is the case. As wearing as it has been to read them, your complaints provide vivid evidence to all concerned that there really is a problem.
The Sounds of Silence. Our collaborations with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra are an annual highlight for many respondents. In fact “the co-productions with the APO are fabulous!”
The school holidays. “Please change dates so the festival doesn't fall during the school holidays. Aucklanders have this problem every year; we are starting to feel picked on! “ vs. “Please could you match the film festival to the school holidays so that teachers/lecturers etc could attend films during the day.” Sorry, both, we have less flexibility dating key venues around school holidays than you might think.
Late Comers. Everyone hates you. “If people are late just don’t let them in - they'll figure it out.” But who will administer first aid and legal counsel to the theatre staff obliged to enact such a regime? We are watching Hoyts’ much touted cinema etiquette policy in Hamilton with great interest.
Animation. We noted a lot of disappointment that there was only a single animated feature this year.
No harm in dreaming. “Just keep doing what you do, I hope the Government acknowledges and appreciates the importance of this World Class Event, not only to the festival goers but to film makers and cinema audiences throughout New Zealand. Funding for this event should be automatic.”