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Madonna Film Festival tickets hit eBay

Traverse City Film Festival officials want an online auction site to remove ticket listings to a Madonna documentary screening, a marquee event of this summer’s film event.

Entertainment superstar Madonna is scheduled to introduce in person her film, “I Am Because We Are,” on Aug. 2 at the State Theatre. The $25 tickets sold out in a flash, and some subsequently showed up for sale on eBay. A search of the auction site Wednesday found about 10 tickets.

One listing reached $1,625 by Wednesday afternoon, with the seller updating the listing to say the auction was for a souvenir T-shirt and a ticket at face value. Another listing showed two tickets priced at $3,550, with time remaining to bid.

The second-time-around ticket market troubles festival officials.

“(We) contacted eBay and asked them to remove the erroneous listings,” said festival Executive Director Deb Lake.

Proceeds from the festival’s sale of tickets benefit Raising Malawi Foundation, Madonna’s charity for orphaned children. Festival founder Michael Moore said he wanted to keep ticket prices reasonable.

Festival officials are concerned about what some Internet sellers promised potential buyers. “This is a once in a lifetime chance to talk with Madonna herself!!!!!” read a listing. Another said moviegoers “may have the opportunity to meet” the star, and perhaps talk with her in small groups following the film.

“The claims and the descriptions are erroneous,” Lake said.

When the event was announced, Moore said Madonna would conduct a question-and-answer session after the film. But all that’s confirmed now is that she will introduce it.

Marc Danyal of Keego Harbor posted two tickets for sale on eBay but is holding one for himself to see the film. Selling his tickets on eBay offers other Madonna fans a chance to see her, while Danyal plans to use the proceeds for a Madonna concert.

The State seats about 540, and those shut out of tickets also turned to the Internet. RJ Steyer, of Madison, Wis., posted a plea for tickets on a craigslist Web site, but hadn’t yet obtained tickets. Steyer couldn’t travel to Michigan to purchase tickets himself when they went on sale.

“I would really like to see the movie, and I don’t even know if it’s going to be released in any type of theater. Plus, I’ve been a fan for 25 years,” Steyer said.

Steyer is willing to pay $125 for a movie ticket but knows Madonna is a hot commodity. Tickets to the singer’s concerts fetch many more times than face value, Steyer said.

Avid Madonna fan Anne Dettmer, of Chicago, found someone through craigslist who was wiiling to sell her a ticket.

“Actually, I don’t want to say much because the tickets haven’t come in the mail yet,” she said.

The cost was less than what eBayers are asking for, so Dettmer thinks she “got a deal.”

source : record-eagle.com