Tips for Watching Eiga Sai 2012

This is my 5th year of attending Eiga Sai and today I'll give you guys comprehensive tips (lol) on how to maximize your attendance. These will be very helpful especially if this is your first time attending.

But before we move on, please be reminded that these tips only apply if you're watching Eiga Sai (and maybe some other free film festivals) at Shang Cineplex. Also, these are based on my experience watching it at Shang in the last three years (my first was at CCP) so changes might occur this year. But I hope this still helps. Let's start, shall we?

To be able to watch, you should fall in line twice. This event is free but you still need to get a ticket and that is where the 1st line (level 6) and tip start.

1.  Be Early 
This year the movies start at 2 pm but tickets are given one hour before they start (1pm). I suggest that you should be there around 11:30 pm or earlier so that you can assure that you will get tickets for they are limited. Eiga Sai is a well-attended event which means the line will get longer eventually. Be early because you don't want to fall in line for hours for nothing, right?

After getting a ticket, you should go upstairs (Cinema 4) where the 2nd line is formed. This is where most people wait until they are allowed to enter the movie house. You may opt to eat first or stroll around the mall but be sure to get back before the movie starts. Also, be vigilant with your line.

2. Watch Early
Eiga Sai usually lasts for 10 days so I suggest to watch it on the first three/four days if you can because more and more people are coming everyday. Hence, longer lines especially during weekends (read my experience last year when my sister and I watched it on the second to the last day and you know what I mean).

3. Eat Early
Foods are not allowed inside the movie house unless you buy them from  the movie house's snack bar like popcorn, soft drinks, etc. Foods from other stores are confiscated but you can still get them after watching. If you want, you can eat while on the line like some people do. 

4. Be Patient
You will be falling in line for hours so you have to be really patient. Bring a book or a companion or whatever it is to keep you company for a while. 

5. VIP Seats
If you're a VIP, which means you have a special pass, then you don't have to fall in line anymore. Not to mention, you are the first to enter once the movie starts and you'll be sitting on the best seats (damn it!). How to be A VIP? That I don't know, I'm just saying such seats exist.

6. Chance Seats
In case you didn't have a ticket, don't lose heart yet. You may stay in line and wait for another ticket release which means another two hours of waiting or you might want to try the chance seats. Here's how:

Go upstairs (where the 2nd line is) and ask the ushers/usherettes where the line for chance seats is located. Once you know, fall in line immediately. Some people know this strategy very well so don't be surprise if you're not first in line. Please remember that in chance seats, you may only watch the movie 15 minutes after it started. Let me also clarify that your chance of watching depends on the availability of unoccupied seats. More often than not, 3 to 5 people are accommodated. But who knows? You might just get lucky.

7. Best Movie
I noticed that one of the best movies in Eiga Sai belongs to the first movie shown on the first day. Since the first day is always invitational, you may simply watch its other screening dates.

So there you go. Whew! What I expected to be a quick post turned out to be a short novel and I apologize for that. For more details, please check The Japan Foundation Manila official website. You may also want to check this for still shots of the movies and whatnots. See you all! :D

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