World International Film Festival relies on the generosity and dedication of thousands of volunteers year round. We seek volunteers locally, nationally, and internationally, who share a commitment to supporting independent film and theatre. Volunteers are vital to all of the Institute's programs, including the Film Festival; the Labs of Feature Film, Theatre, Film Music, and Documentary Film Programs; and year-round in our Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Berlin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and many other cities of the world.
HOW TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE WORLD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Every year, more than 5,500 volunteers help create a global platform for film submissions all around the world. Volunteers are needed to assist in all areas of the Film Festival--from theater entrances to shuttle stops. Of course, there are exciting benefits such as being among the first audiences to see world premieres of the best new independent films. But the real benefits of volunteering aren't things, or even films--they're the experiences. If you're ready for a one-of-a-kind experience, read on and apply to join us at any time!
The application to volunteer for the 2016 and 2017 World International Film Festival is now opened.
OVERVIEW OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
1. Learn More: Read over the Volunteer Requirements and Benefits and decide on the type and level of commitment you would like to make before applying.
2. Apply to Volunteer: The volunteer application generally opens in August for the following year's festival. The application for 2016 is now open.
3. Discuss Your Application: When we review your application, we'll email you to set up a Skype call and discuss possibilities. Applying to volunteer does not guarantee you will be offered a role, as we tend to receive over 40000 applications for just 5500 positions.
4. Receive a Specific Assignment: When a volunteer's interests and the Festival's needs fit, volunteers are offered a volunteer assignment with a Festival Department. All details are discussed on the Skype and confirmed via email.
5. Get Your Schedule.
Sign-Up Volunteers will log onto Shiftboard and sign up for shifts, making sure to sign up for a minimum of 24 hours.
Half-Fest Volunteers & Full-Time Volunteers will have their schedules set by the Volunteer Department and be able to access it via Shiftboard.
6. Learn, Check-In, and Festival! All volunteers come to check-in just before volunteering to get their Festival Credentials, uniforms, etc. Volunteers are also required to attend training, some of which is provided online.
Finally, it's Festival time! Volunteers enjoy working their assigned shifts in-between attending events, seeing films, and (maybe) sleeping.
REQUIREMENTS & BENEFITS OVERVIEW
Volunteers can choose between three different levels of commitment: Sign-Up and Full-Time. In short, the Sign-Up program offers flexible scheduling (you choose) with one film voucher for every four hours worked (24 hours minimum required). Full-Time Volunteers work every day of the Festival on an assigned schedule, but can see an unlimited number of films while not on shift. ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE BY JANUARY 21, 2016.
1. Sign-Up Volunteers, 24+ hours, you sign up for your schedule:
Commit to a minimum of 24 total hours during the Festival; sign up for more hours as you desire.
2. Full-Time Volunteers, 80+ hours, we assign a Full-Time schedule:
Commit to a preassigned Festival schedule of 8 to 10 hours each day (around 40-80+ hours total).
Be available to work the entire Festival period as determined by job assignment (varies).
Volunteers are essential to the Festival. We recognize the time they devote to the Festival and provide benefits to them as a thank-you for their service. Benefits are provided in conjunction with the number of hours volunteered, and for Full-Time Volunteers, the skills needed for the position held.
All Volunteers receive:
Festival Access: Volunteer Credentials allow access to non-theatre official Festival venues on a space-available basis (similar credential costs $200). We also offer a few screenings just for volunteers. Most of all, we want to be sure volunteers can see films.
Party: Ticket to the Staff and Volunteer Opening Night Party.
Refreshments: We offer light snacks and refreshments in our Volunteer Hub for volunteers to come get when not on shift. These snacks are not meant to replace meals which volunteers are responsible for providing themselves.
For almost every screening, we set aside a certain number of tickets only for volunteers. Film access depends on the number of hours volunteered:
Sign Up Volunteers.
24 hours: Receive one volunteer voucher for every four hours volunteered. Volunteer vouchers are redeemable for one film ticket for the volunteer through the volunteer or waitlist line on a space-available basis. Vouchers and credentials are transferable and can be used by the volunteer with his or her credential or by anyone to whom the valunteer presents it.
32 hours and above: Same benefits as above but you can exchange your volunteer vouchers for guest vouchers that can be used by anyone (including non-volunteers!) in the general waitlist line.
60 hours and above: Vouchers are replaced by a Volunteer Photo Credential, allowing the volunteer access to unlimited Festival screenings through the volunteer line on a space available basis (when not
volunteering, of course!) also four guest waitlist ticket vouchers.
80 hours and above: Vouchers are replaced by a Volunteer Photo Credential, allowing the volunteer access to unlimited Festival screenings through the volunteer line on a space available basis (when not volunteering, of course!) also four guest waitlist ticket vouchers.
Half-Fest Volunteers: Receive one volunteer voucher for every four hours volunteered. Volunteer vouchers are redeemable for one film ticket for the volunteer through the volunteer or waitlist line on a space-available basis. Volunteer vouchers and credentials are nontransferable and must be used by the volunteer with his or her credential. They will also receive an Awards Night Party ticket.
Full-Time Volunteers: Vouchers are replaced by a Volunteer Photo Credential, allowing the volunteer access to unlimited Festival screenings through the volunteer line on a space available basis (when not volunteering, of course!), a ticket to the awards night ceremony, and four grub stubs (each transferable for a meal at participating locations). If providing own lodging, full-time volunteers will also receive four guest waitlist ticket vouchers.
Recognition for all volunteers, volunteering for 100 Hours: Volunteers giving 100 hours or more are recognized for their dedication to the Festival and become a part of the WIFF Club. They receive the same benefits as above (sign-up, half-fest, and full-time are eligible for this) as well as being recognized for their commitment on their credential along with a name listing at the Festival's Awards
Ceremony and access to one pre-selected ticket to a screening of their choice (as available).
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT THE FESTIVAL
FESTIVAL DEPARTMENTS WITH VOLUNTEERS
There are so many ways volunteers can get involved at the Festival! Please read on for a brief overview of the different departments that utilize volunteers:
Corporate Relations Act as liaison and provide guest services for corporate sponsors
Filmmaker Lodge Set-up, maintain, and breakdown filmmaker lodge. Assist with daily operation tasks.
Filmmaker Office Act as liaison and provide guest services for guests attending with a film (long hours).
Headquarters Assist with daily operations, set up, and tear down of headquarters and all associated offices (film office, SIO, volunteer hub, programming etc).
Information Services Provide customer service and general Festival information to patrons at designated locations.
Logistics Coordinate logistics for radios, equipment, and uniforms throughout Festival.
Marketing Video/content editing, photography, and associated duties as it relates to Festival content.
Merchandise Help in our merch stores with set-up, selling, and maintaining merchandise items.
Music Café Set-up, maintain, and breakdown Music Cafe. Assist with daily operation tasks.
New Frontier Set-up, maintain, and breakdown New Frontier (artist installations). Assist with daily operation tasks.
Press Help with press check-in, office duties, and press communications.
Production Help with behind-the scenes set-up, maintenance, and tear down of the Festival.
WIFF Set-up, maintain, and breakdown WIFF. Assist with daily operation tasks.
Tech Services Help set-up, troubleshoot, and breakdown technology at the Festival.
Theatre Box Office Distribute, collect, and account for all tickets at our theatres.
Theatre Operations From ticket taking to crowd control, Theatre Operations is our BIGGEST NEED for volunteers.
Ticketing Assist in filling ticket orders, answering patrons' questions about films and theatres, and providing customer service.
Transportation Navigate crowds from one location to another at designated transportation stops.
Volunteer FLEX Volunteers assigned to this role will be shifted throughout various positions to fill cancellations/no-shows OR they may be re-assigned completely to one role for the duration of the festival if help is needed on that team. FLEX volunteers MUST be willing to do ANYTHING, inside or outside, and be willing to rotate OR be re-assigned completely.
Works Crew Assist with snow removal, signage distribution, and other festival navigation duties.
- Special Events Help with set-up, maintenance, and tear down of Festival events (late hours).
STUDENT VOLUNTEERS AT THE FESTIVAL
If you are a student group of 5 or more that would like to attend the Festival as a volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with the names of the students attending, where you are attending from, and we will follow up with more details.
Student groups are scheduled within our theatre operations team by the volunteer department and have access to workshops and seminars designed for students only. Student groups must have a designated point of contact for communication and planning and have secured lodging and transportation to be scheduled.
FAQ for alumni to review prior to applying for 2016.
If you volunteered in 2015, you will receive a reminder email to re-apply when the application OPENS August 17, 2015. If you volunteered prior to 2015 but could not attend 2015, please set a calendar reminder to check the website to apply as we ONLY send reminder emails to most recent Festival alumni. (This is due to outdated contact information. Once an alumni, you are always an alumni and the application is the same for everyone).
Watch your email for updates on your status. Email will be our main source for contacting you and getting everything in line for the Festival. We do not send anything in the mail. Don't worry though, while we're cutting back on paper, we're not robots. You can always reach us by Skype: intellectpictures. As we use it as basic form for our communication.
I'D LIKE TO APPLY. WILL YOU CONSIDER MY RESUME?
No. If you want to volunteer, you must submit your resume online. Volunteers are only considered based on the information they provide in the online application and any information on previous Film Festival Volunteer experience.
WHAT IF I'M FROM A LAND FAR, FAR, AWAY?
We welcome a diverse group of volunteers from around the globe. You will be considered in the application process just as any other volunteer and notified within the same timeframe. The details of your passport, travel, etc. will be entirely your responsibility. You can work with us online too.
I'VE VOLUNTEERED BEFORE FOR THE WIFF FILM FESTIVAL. WHAT DO I DO TO APPLY FOR 2016?
If you've volunteered in the past, we consider you an Alumni Volunteer.
WHEN WILL I HEAR ABOUT MY APPLICATION?
We process applications starting in August all the way through the end of December, and they are not reviewed based on the date submitted. We fill open positions starting with qualified Alumni Volunteers, then new volunteers, and will inform applicants of their status throughout the process. Some positions are filled later depending on when that department's manager starts. We understand your need to make travel arrangements; we'll get you assigned as quickly as we can. We will work diligently to inform volunteers no later than mid-December but hopefully sooner! All volunteers will be notified of their status by January 1st, 2017. We appreciate your patience while we sort through the applications!
WHAT IF I’M ALSO ATTENDING AS PRESS OR ANOTHER ROLE WITHIN THE FILM INDUSTRY? CAN I HAVE BOTH CREDENTIALS?
No. Unfortunately we cannot allow volunteers to have any other type of industry related pass if they are volunteering. This includes passes for other industry related events at the Festival (official or not). If you wish to attend as press or some other type of industry role that requires an application for a credential, you will have to choose between one role or the other. That said, if you want to purchase a patron pass (meaning a ticket related pass) on top of your volunteering, you are more than welcome to do so.
HOURS AND VOLUNTEER BENEFITS
IF I AM A LOCAL VOLUNTEER, CAN I WORK ALL OF MY REQUIRED HOURS BEFORE THE FESTIVAL?
Yes, you can.
HOW DO I USE MY CREDENTIAL TO GET INTO SCREENINGS?
A Volunteer Photo Credential (for volunteers giving 80+ hours) provides entry to Festival screenings and panels on a volunteer space-available basis via the volunteer ticket line OR the general patron waitlist line.
Volunteer vouchers, presented with a Volunteer Non-Photo Credential and matching ID, are redeemable for tickets to Festival screenings and panels on a space-available basis. Volunteer vouchers are based on the number of volunteer hours worked. Four hours = one voucher. One voucher = one ticket through the staff and volunteer ticket line or through the general waitlist line.
A limited number of screening tickets are held at certain theatre box offices for staff/volunteers and are available an hour prior to screening time through the staff and volunteer ticket line. If those tickets have all been distributed, you may join the general waitlist and use your credential and voucher for admittance. Waitlist patrons are admitted to the theatre on a space-available basis 15 minutes before the screening begins.
Staff and volunteers will be admitted on a space-available basis to the Staff and Volunteer ONLY Screenings, no vouchers required! (Credential or photo ID is required for admittance.)
WILL I BE ABLE TO CHANGE MY SHIFT TIMES/WHAT IF I CAN'T DRIVE WHEN IT'S SNOWING?
Full-Time Volunteers and Half-Fest Volunteers agree to be available as assigned by the Festival. Sign-Up Volunteers are able to sign up for available shifts in advance of the Festival. From there, in the mind of the Volunteer Department, you are committed to fulfilling your shifts. There are systems in place, however, to change your shift times, which will be detailed at the volunteer orientation and in the volunteer training. When committing to shifts you should also be sure to take into account travel times and your ability to travel in inclement weather. As always, change and flexibility are large components of a successful Festival, so we are happy to work with you as situations arise - just contact us ahead of time!
WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND?/WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE FESTIVAL AFTER ALL?
Once accepted, volunteers will sign an agreement committing to the volunteer position they have been offered. If you are signing and committing to the volunteer agreement, you should have no reason that you know of that you cannot volunteer. The deadline for final cancellations is listed in your agreement though. We have a cancellation deadline to give us enough time to fill the position again. Volunteers who cancel after the deadline will jeopardize their ability to volunteer with WIFF in the future. Of course, extreme circumstances may negate following the deadline. In such extreme cases, please contact the Volunteer Department as soon as possible to discuss your situation with a staff member.
AT THE FESTIVAL
CAN I TAKE A FRIEND TO THE SCREENINGS?
The easy answer is to get your friend to volunteer! But if that won’t work, you do have the option to exchange your volunteer vouchers (this applies to sign up volunteers with 30 or more hours) for guest vouchers which can be used in the general waitlist line in exchange for tickets. Guest vouchers cannot be used in the volunteer/staff ticket line but volunteers are welcome to wait in the general waitlist line with their guests and will be allowed to use their volunteer voucher from there. If a volunteer chooses to use their volunteer voucher in the general waitlist line however, keep in mind that this will not count towards the allotted tickets set aside for the volunteer/staff line but will be admitted if space allows after all ticket holders (including volunteer/staff ticket line) are seated.
HOW DO I GET INTO PARTIES?
Volunteers will receive one ticket to the Staff and Volunteer Opening Night Party. Everyone that is volunteering is encouraged to attend! Full-Time and Half-Fest Volunteers will receive a ticket to the Awards Night Celebration (unless otherwise specified). Anyone attending an official party must have a hard ticket and their credential for admittance.
WHAT ABOUT FOOD?
Full-Time volunteers receive a set number of Grub Stubs which can be exchanged for a pre-determined meal at participating locations. We also offer light snacks throughout the day at the Volunteer Hub located in the Marriott Headquarters. Officially, though, meals are not provided by the Festival, so please plan accordingly.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT UPCOMING YEAR ROUND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, LET US KNOW BY SENDING US AN EMAIL.
The Volunteer Department