Don't know how big the allocation is but previous years I've never had a problem booking for "sold out" events when Amex booking opens. Also bear in mind that there's an allocation of tickets for all of the LFF's sponsors, which are often not used, so almost always extra tickets will turn up later.
I booked for three films yesterday - the morning screening of The Shape of Water, the Saturday screening of Downsizing and the first night showing of Good Times - all recommended by my brother who lives in L.A. and is a more serious theatre buff than I am. I may try to pick up more but it was quite glitchy - for The Shape of Water I had five goes and long waits between each go, before a ticket ended up in my basket.
Like a couple of you, last year I was at the morning screening of La La Land when not only Gosling but the director, producer and cinematographer all turned up - so that was fun. I went to the Confessions of Nat Turner morning screening - it was a bit grim and no one from the film turned up (there had been a scandal involving the director which killed the buzz on that film shortly before it arrived at the LFF.) And we went to the overflow Closing Night Gala which was kind of fun but nothing like (I suspect) being at the real Gala - I wouldn't say it was good value and I wouldn't do another overflow gala.
But as xanderl (who is always spot on in all of his ticket advice) extra tickets can turn up. Sometimes more screenings are added and occasionally free tickets or deals appear. In addition to the films I booked, my brother also recommended "Blade of the Immortal," "The Venerable W," "Promised Land," and "24 Frames" so I may try for some of those - though a couple of them look pretty intense.
Just about to battle with the AMEX pre-sale and spotted the 9 tickets per cardholder clause - was that there last year? I have way more than 9 tickets I want to book!
Edit: It must have meant 9 per screening, as I managed to book all 34 tickets I wanted.
I even splurged and got a ticket for the opening gala of Breathe because I have no impulse control and there were only a few tickets available. Oh well.
My list is: Breathe Mudbound Downsizing The Shape of Water Call Me By Your Name Journey’s End Big Fish and Begonia Journeyman 6 Days The Killing of a Sacred Deer Dark River Bad Lucky Goat Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool Funny Cow Sweet Country A Matter of Life and Death Scarface
Thanks again to xanderl and the others who posted about the Amex presale which I haven't used in previous years - got all four films I'd missed out on in the member booking, so now have a full house of 22 films! (First year since retirement and can use the cheap midweek matinees!)
And, very oddly, just went in to the Closing Night Gala page, for Three Billboards to enter the ballot and I have tickets available on sale for that, too...! I expect they'll be cancelled but worth a try...
Have to say I was disappointed the Blanchett talk was already sold out. Got what I wanted though (surprise film & Battle of the Sexes gala), but will wait until general release day as I can't buy concession prices on Amex presale.
Still tickets for the Embankment screening of Three Billboards.
Just had an email saying I was unsuccessful in the ballot for the closing gala - not too bothered to tell the truth, I'm not overly keen on the idea of paying £40 to see a film regardless of who is in attendance, and Three Billboards will be out in the UK in January anyway, so I'd rather save the money, wait and see it somewhere a lot cheaper and treat myself to something with the money I saved.
Any more guesses for Surprise Film? If it's Darkest Hour, I can't for the life of me think why they wouldn't do it as a gala with a massive fanfare. Joe Wright, Gary Oldman and KST all on the red carpet for a huge Leicester Square event is textbook LFF. It doesn't make sense for them to do it as the Surprise Film if they managed to get it.