Industry ticketing system still bogs down execs as much as two hours

The TIFF Sales & Industry Office scored several new triumphs this year — new digital sales tracking tools, online screenings for buyers — but it still seems to have one Achilles’ heel: the industry ticketing system.

Each morning at 6:30 a.m., dozens of film execs begin lining up for the ticket office’s 8 a.m. opening. With a significant wait after that, they may end up cooling their heels for as much as two hours to nab key sale-title tickets. Some feel it’s an outrageous waste of precious TIFF time — and unnecessary, citing the Cannes Film Festival’s quick online ticket-ordering system.

ATO Pictures acquisitions head Sarah Lash gives the program a mixed review, glad that one exec is allowed to gather tix for the entire team but frustrated that many sales titles scheduled more than 48 hours in advance of the pickup aren’t available on any given day.

“The festival’s strong slate of sales titles has resulted in an increased demand for public tickets,” responds Sales and Industry Office senior manager Justin Cutler. “We are constantly looking at ways to improve the pickup process.”

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