So How Many Films Can You See?

Over the years I have become intrigued with the following question: is it physically possible to see each and every film during the festival? Not physically as in human stamina, but physically as in physics i.e. time and space. So this year I began to plot it out–161 films screening at 8 venues over 10 days. And the answer is…

It can’t be done, at least not without the help of a Douglas Adams plot device. There are too many scheduling conflicts and too many films. While most films screen twice, there are enough that screen only once to put a serious wrench in the works. This year The Vault at Ship Creek Center gives pass holders the ability to screen films from DVD to a wide screen TV. So that helps, but the task is still daunting.

If you could sit down with all 161 films it would take 5490 minutes, not including potty breaks. That’s a little over 91 hours or about 9 hours for each day of the festival. Wow! So how have I done so far this year? I’ve been pacing myself: 22 films in five days–mostly features and documentaries with one animation program–for 1130 minutes. So if I pick up the pace a little, I may end up seeing about half of the film screened during the festival.

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