BIFF faces backlash after technical glitch leaves many ticketless

A poster for the upcoming Busan International Film Festival [BIFF ORGANIZING COMMITTEE]

The online ticketing service for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) suffered a tech glitch Tuesday, triggering complaints from people who were eager to get their hands on tickets for films screened at BIFF that are usually sold out in minutes.

Moviegoers expected to see fierce competition this year as the festival, which takes place from Oct. 5 to 14, is returning to its pre-pandemic scale for the first time in three years.

Tickets to the general screening for BIFF went on sale online at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, but those who had purchased priority booking codes in advance, which were promised to make ticket purchases faster, complained that the codes did not work and their payments did not go through. While they were having technical problems, tickets to most of the popular films sold out.

The BIFF organizing committee posted an apology on its social media channels, explaining there was a technical problem, adding that it had been fixed. However, the statement did little to quell complaints as most tickets were already sold out at that point.

On Wednesday, the organizing committee said it will allow the priority booking code holders to make purchases to all the films from 2 p.m. for 12 hours on Oct. 1.

A total of 243 films from 71 countries have been invited to the upcoming festival. The opener will be Iranian director Hadi Mohaghegh's "Scent of Wind," while Japanese director Ishikawa Kei's "A Man" will close the festival.