Windfall: Festival tips worth a million

You're ready to take the plunge and invest in the Film Festival. To help you navigate the treacherous shoals of multiple movies in one day, The Hook suggests ways to make the experience as valuable as possible, for both you and your fellow festival-goers.

This is no time to be late: There's nothing worse than driving around looking for parking just when your movie is about to begin. This scenario is most likely to happen at Culbreth, where the Film Festival will compete with Homecoming on Saturday for scarce parking on the UVA Grounds. The wise moviegoer allows at least 30 minutes to get situated there. Also, if you need to pick up tickets, especially for sold-out events, get there before they're released to the general public.

Getting into sold-out screenings: At press time, nothing had sold out, but the bestsellers are opening night's Dog Day Afternoon and Frank Pierson's shot-by-shot screening of it, as well as The Company, The Tracker, and the David Gulpilil performance. All unclaimed tickets go on sale 10 minutes before the screening. The Festival holds back 20 to 25 percent of the tickets, even to sold-out events, so it's possible to show up, wait in line, and still get a ticket.

Culbreth warning: The Festival's largest venue is also the worst in terms of parking, concessions, and just plain uncomfortable seats for watching movies. Bring your own hearty provisions, especially if you're seeing more than one movie there. Tailgating is the civilized way to feed between screenings when you don't have time to dash out for a bite.

Cast your fate to public transportation: As chilling a thought as that is, sometimes taking the free trolley service from downtown to UVA really is the best way to avoid the parking hassles of movies at Culbreth. The trolley is supposed to run every 15 minutes until 11:53pm. You're still going to have to allow at least 30 minutes, and count on walking from the Rotunda to Culbreth.

Bring reading material: You've allowed plenty of time, so of course you'll run into no delays. Be prepared.

Set your clock back one hour: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2am Sunday, and you won't want to show up an hour early for a movie.

There are no stupid questions– not ! The scourge of the Festival is the proclaimer, the person who squanders the opportunity to ask people connected with a film about the film, and instead wants to talk about himself or make statements, as if we care. Quick test: If your question has the pronoun "I" in it, don't ask it.

Don't bring your autograph book: Okay, celebrity harassment shouldn't be a big problem this year. Still, worshipping from afar is the preferred method of honoring the famous.

No talking: It seems so obvious that we really shouldn't have to mention it, but every year we run across some moron who wants to talk during the movie– or worse, sing along. Remember, talkers, you'll be facing a hostile crowd that won't appreciate squandering its ticket money to hear you talk and is more than willing to pummel you with popcorn.

Cancellations: At press time, Paul Junger Witt, who was supposed to preside over the Darden Producer's Forum, is unable to come. Also, Wayne and Dona Powers, screenwriters for The Italian Job, will be no-shows.