While waiting in queues or between films, I realized there’s a method to the kind of people who attend the film festivals (probably around the world.) This extrapolation comes with slight arrogance of a standup comedy and an equal measure of observation at two Mumbai film Festivals I attended in the last 2 years.
Here goes, the 10 types of people most likely to be seen at a film festival.
1. The Late Guy: This guy, generally an older man, walks in late. In every damn film. And not just 5 or 10 minutes late, sometimes an hour late. Which simply means he just wants to be seen walking out of a film, nodding his head, and telling fellow goers ‘kuchh khaas maza nahin aaya…but it could have been a great metaphor.’
2. The early leaver: As opposed to the late guy, this person walks out 10 or 15 minutes before the film ends. Again, in every damn film. Probably he is so smart that he has already guessed the end and decided it’s not worthy of his intellect, or he wants to keep the suspense alive FOREVER, or that’s his way of saying ‘I am not impressed’.
3. The Einstein Shastri: The man knows it all. And he believes in telling it all. While a film is running on the screen, he is directing a parallel film in his head, and speaking aloud, telling his friend how this scene is too long, how this character’s graph is all fucked-up, and how the film should just end now.
4. The Alien Intellectual: This guy looks like an alien, has spent half his life working at it, and frowns at anybody who goes to watch Hollywood films at the festival. Also, he is the first one to grab the sofa-seats at the back of the hall.
5. The angry journo: The journo wants preferential entry, the journo wants his free water bottle and coffee, the journo wants the organizers to manage the crowds, the journo wants the doors to be closed and movie to be started once he is inside, and the journo will fight for it.
6. The token white guy: Like in Hindi films, there’s a token white guy at Indian film festivals too. He walks around lost, keeps to himself, and is treated like a jury member even when he is not.
7. The token oriental girl with the token white guy: The oriental girl, generally holding a file that may, for all we know, contain Vijay Sales pamphlets walks around seriously, just a step behind the token white guy. She adds to the impression that the guy is a jury member, as well as the feeling that he walks really fast.
8. The fading or rising star: Only two types of stars attend a film festival – the 50-plus fading star or the under-25 rising star. Both have one eye on the schedule and another on people checking them out and going ‘Hey…that is the guy from JK Cement ad.’
9. The long haired dude: This guy has long hair.
10. The over-enthusiastic private film school student who knows shit: A sizeable number of this type actually. love talking in the lift, showing-off their film knowledge. (Actual conversation, overheard in a lift: “Yeh Wong Kar Wai kaun hai? Usko dekhte hain aaj.” “Hai ek chinky. Bhansali copy maarta hai usko.” “Bhansali ki maa ka…”)