Around 1,000 people queued for hours yesterday morning to get coveted tickets to 7 Letters, a collection of seven short films marking Singapore's 50th birthday.
The snaking queue at the National Museum began forming at 8am, although tickets were given out only from 10am.
By about 1pm, all tickets for the second round of screening at the museum's Gallery Theatre, on Aug 8, 9 and 10 of the National Day weekend, were snapped up.
To accommodate demand, three more screening slots were created on Aug 9 and 10. Tickets for these were also snapped up. In all, 1,500 tickets were given out. Tickets were free but recipients were encouraged to make donations to charity.
These additional screeenings were arranged for the public after a successful gala premiere at the Capitol Theatre that ran for three days last weekend.
Then, all 6,000 tickets were taken up within two hours of release. The Straits Times was a partner of the charity gala screening.
7 Letters, a government-funded project by seven of Singapore's award-winning film directors, was the first film to be screened in the newly refurbished theatre, which has been vacant for the past 17 years. The film-makers are Boo Junfeng, Eric Khoo, K. Rajagopal, Jack Neo, Tan Pin Pin, Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong.
Each short film tells a story about the lives of Singaporeans, past and present, as seen through the eyes of the film-maker. Tan Pin Pin said: "I am very happy with the response to the film. The films were made sincerely and I hope the audience will donate generously to the charities we have chosen."
A spokesman for the film has said talks are under way with distributors, and information about a commercial run will be released at a later date.
Media planner Lisa Teh caught the film last weekend and went to queue for more tickets for her friends yesterday.
"This film struck a chord for me because it is so different from the usual local films that we see," she said. "One can feel the heart of the film-makers and it is really their love letters to the country."
This article was first published on August 2, 2015.
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