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submissions are closed for the 2013 Festival
volunteer at the festival
Thank you to everyone who signed up to volunteer at the 2013 Festival. Sign-ups are now closed until early in 2014.
The 2013 information below is kept on the web site for new volunteers who want to review some of the basics.
Now in its 15th year, the Festival depends on the hard work of local volunteers for its success.
Volunteers make the Festival a great experience for audience members, filmmakers, and speakers. Last year, 250 people volunteered for the Festival.
2013 Wisconsin Film Festival schedule
(approximate and subject to change; these times include set-up time before films start and wrap-up
time after films end)
Volunteers work in five- to six-hour shifts. All volunteers are required to sign up for at least two shifts, and many choose to do more.
What do volunteers do?
The volunteer teams who keep the theaters running smoothly during the five-day Festival. The official staff of the Festival is small and we need your help to put on the show. Some duties may include:
You work a lot, ideally committing to at least ten hours of volunteering during the Festival, over two or more shifts.
In exchange, you become a core part of the Wisconsin Film Festival, see movies, meet the filmmakers, and learn how a festival works behind the scenes. It’s also a great way to connect with other volunteers and community members who share your passion for great movies.
Free movies! After you attend a WEEK A meeting (see below), you will receive four free film vouchers which you can exchange for the film tickets of your choice.
You’ll receive the coveted volunteers-only t-shirt. We wear these during the event to identify ourselves as festival crew, and it’s yours to keep. To help us order enough shirts to fit everyone, we’re asking you to estimate your preferred shirt size when you sign-up to volunteer. You’ll find a place to choose a size on the sign-up form below. You will receive your shirt at the WEEK B training meeting, the weekend immediately before the Film Festival.
We hold two meetings (“WEEK A” and “WEEK B” meetings) before the Festival to present the information you’ll need to be a volunteer. To accommodate people’s schedules, we arrange for two pairs of meetings. You don’t need to tell us which meeting you’ll attend — just come!
You must attend one meeting during WEEK A and one meeting during WEEK B. This is true for returning volunteers as much as for first-timers—we rely on the experiences of those folks who worked at past festivals to help us improve our procedures for 2013.
“WEEK A” orientation
meetings (come to just ONE of these meetings):
“WEEK B” training meetings (come to just ONE of these
The eight-day Festival is divided into specific shifts. After you attend the WEEK A meetings, you’ll complete another online form, telling us which of the shifts you’ll be available to work, and the number of shifts that you’d like to sign-up for (minimum: 2).
Some people are available for a big chunk of the Festival and choose to work four or more shifts! They will mark all their available shifts on the form, and we’ll figure out the shifts that work best given other volunteers’ availability. Some people want to only work two shifts, and will mark only those two shifts. The more flexibility you have, the better, since it means we can more easily schedule volunteers for those shifts where they are most needed.
Before you send us your availability (which will happen after the WEEK A meeting), be sure to get your tickets to the festival films you want to see. Being a volunteer at a theater means doing a lot of tasks outside the theater, and so it’s not a good time to see a favorite film. Better to get a ticket in advance, relax, and enjoy the movie.
The final schedule of your assigned shifts will be emailed to you before the WEEK B meetings. This is the weekend immediately before the Film Festival.
The Wisconsin Film Festival is a public program of the UW Arts Institute, a nonprofit, tax-exempt unit of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To successfully accomplish our mission of educational outreach, support for independent filmmakers, and service to the community, we ask volunteers to commit to the following:
Meg Hamel, volunteer coordinator