SIFF: I just don’t want anymore.

I went to the Shanghai Film Art Center on friday for accreditation, like I posted earlier. On saturday the horror started: I went first to the press conference in Pudong, where I managed to take some pictures of Michelle Rodriguez (‘LOST’) and Nathan Fillion (‘FIREFLY’, ‘SERENITY’). Michelle Rodriguez told the journalists that she loved ‘CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON’ while Nathan Fillion stops zapping the television as soon as he encounters the great ‘KUNG FU HUSTLE’ from Stephen Chow on a channel. That was all fine, no problems. But what do you want to do at a Film Festival as a journalist? Watch as many movies as possible and write one review after the other. So after the press conference I headed to the Film Art Center in Puxi, by taxi to save time, I wanted to see the screening of MAPADO 2 at 1:30 p.m.. But I couldn’t get in. I had a press badge alright, but no one told me that the journalists can only see some movies. I started reading through the ‘Guide For Journalists’ that I got when I accredited, and damn, it said there that journalists can only see movies for the ‘JinJue Award competition’. So I went to the press office to figure out which movies I could see since the movies where not marked as JinJue or not at all. 15 minutes later a woman printed me out 3 pages of movies that I would be able to see. None of these were interesting, so I asked if I could get tickets for the movies that I wanted to review. 90% were sold out already. Nice!

So I said to myself, forget the festival, make some pictures from the red carpet ceremony and that’s it. No, sir, not without invitation. So I went back to the press office to get a invitation for the red carpet ceremony. I sat there for 45 minutes and waited like they told me, when finally a guy showed up and told me that I can’t go there since I ‘only’ work for a magazine and not a daily newspaper. Great!

Here’s some advice for you, dear SIFF organizers. I have been to the Festival de Cannes and many other ones in Germany. You give the journalists one card that allows them everything. You don’t mess around with your best friends like that. We had planned to publish more than two full pages of my coverage from the festival, now there won’t be anything in it at all. Get rid of this stupid bureaucracy and make sure journalists enjoy the festival rather than to send them around and make them wait for hours. You want to become the chinese Cannes, SIFF? You have a damn long way to go. I’ll try again next year.

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