Ah-ha! I just found out why so many of the films to which I was looking forward seem to be missing from the Press/Industry schedule. Apparently, there's a separate schedule called "Priority Press" to which I'm not privy. Privilege to one of these passes "depends mainly on the periodicity of the outlet and the coverage done during the Festival. Most of the daily newspapers and wire news agencies are provided with priority passes."
Sadly, that's not me.
While I may be blogging away on a daily basis, I'm simply not big enough to merit one of these passes. No, I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just stating a fact. It's a fair cop that keeps these screenings reserved for the hard working journalists while keeping the rabble away. No more kvetching from Roger Ebert that he didn't get into a particular screening while some schlub like me did.
It is interesting, though, to note what films are being held in this esteem. A lot of them are films which should be getting press screenings around the country over the next few weeks/months including Burn After Reading (opening while the Festival is still in progress), Secret Life of Bees, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (a title which causes me no small amount of duress), Rachel Getting Married, et cetera. Note that all of the "Priority Press" screenings take place during the first six of the ten day screening schedule.
The real puzzler are those oddball titles that merit a "Press Priority" screening without being "A" players. This includes The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World, Still Walking, Soul Power, and Kisses. How odd to limit the audience for these smaller films (not that I'd be banging down the door to see them).
A few of the "Priority Press" screenings are getting secondary screenings for the Press/Industry rabble, sure (including The Brother Bloom and American Swing), and I'll try to fit them into my schedule when possible, though having more opportunities to see them and having any opportunity to see something like Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler would be nice.
I thought that last year I had the chance to see any/all press screenings including those marked as "Priority Press" as I was under the impression that I'm press and am given priority but I've since learned that "The access of the Priority Press screenings are only for the Priority press passes." I figured maybe the "big boys" had first dibs and then we small fries got to fill in the empty seats behind Rex Reed or those AICN blokes.
Regardless, I'd try to queue up for The Wrestler and report back, dear reader, but it's playing against J.T. Petty's The Burrowers and I know that Petty's flick won't be getting a release wide enough to include Detroit any time soon.