The 11th edition of the Osian's Cinefan Film Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema was shifted from July to October to ensure better footfalls, but it seems to have failed to do so, courtesy the new Rs.300 registration fee.
Earlier audiences had to pay just for the movie tickets, but now they will have to register either online or at the desk by paying Rs.300 to watch movies. After paying the fee, movie buffs can watch any number of films at the fest and will also be given a catalogue worth Rs.700 as memento.
"Everyone's praising us for the changes this time but where is the audience? I just hope there's more footfall in the coming days through word of mouth," a festival official told IANS on the second day, requesting anonymity.
Asked if the fewer footfalls were due to the registration fees, the official said: "I don't think the footfalls are less because of the registration system. Die hard fans will still come? Rs.300 is nothing for them. It should pick up in a few days hopefully by more media penetration and visibility."
Audiences, however, have a mixed reaction.
"The system was better earlier as I could just buy a ticket for a show I wanted to watch, which was not more than Rs.20. But this year I'll have to cull out Rs.300 even if I want to watch just a couple of movies," said Surbhi Bhatia, a homemaker.
Punit Sabharwal, a first year student from Delhi University, felt differently.
He said: "I don't mind paying Rs.300 to watch 100 movies. We spend close to Rs.250 to watch one movie in a multiplex and here we can watch world cinema for the price of peanuts. And unlike early years, the catalogue is available for free. What else can movie fans ask for?"