EIFF ticketing crisis

Hackers suspected as website slows to a crawl.

by Jennie Kermode

The Lovers And The Despot
The Lovers And The Despot

Visitors to the Edinburgh International Film Festival expressed frustration today after the ticket purchasing system on the festival's website slowed to a crawl. According to staff at the festival, hacking is thought to be responsible. The public have been asked to persevere as each page takes around 15 minutes to load.

Although little is known about the source of the problem at this stage, suspicion has fallen on North Korea, with one industry insider speculating that it may have taken umbrage at the planned screening of a documentary about Kim Jong Il's kidnap of his favourite film director. The Lovers And The Despot explores the abduction of director Shin Sang-ok and his actress wife Choi Eun-hee, who was held hostage as Shin was forced to make films that accorded with the then leader's tastes - many of them monster movies. In 2014 the Hermit Kingdom was the prime suspect in a major cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment after the studio released The Interview, a film about a fictional plot to assassinate Kim Jong Un.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently apologised for dropping Under The Sun, another film critical of North Korea, due to concerns about possible retribution. “Under The Sun is a remarkable documentary that was wrongly disinvited," said chief curator Rajendra Roy.

The Lovers And The Despot is scheduled to screen later today. Festival staff say that they wll do their best to process ticket requests manually until the problem with the website is resolved.

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