One of the most frequently requested volunteer positions is the chance to serve on our film submissions screening committee. The thinking goes something like this:
You mean I can do volunteer work that is nothing but watching movies?! Sign me up!
Which, at first glance, makes sense. Yes, being on the screening committee means you're going to see A LOT of movies in a very short time. But this is no popcorn-and-soda way to pass the time. We ask much more of our screeners, and it isn't all so glamorous!
Every film submitted to the festival (hundreds every season!) gets watched by at least two screening committee members. This is to ensure that if one viewer gives it a low rating, a second person - with their own perspectives and tastes - can also see it. Just because it didn't appeal to one person doesn't mean it won't appeal to others.
Each screening committee member is asked to rate the films they watch on a number of criteria. A film may have great acting, but the story just isn't up to par - we consider all angles when we think about what the festival audience will enjoy.
When all is said and done, we consider all the notes the screening committee has taken of the course of the process and sit down to determine which films have made the cut. This is both an invigorating and agonizing process, but always results in festival film selections that we're proud to feature.
Sure, watching movies for a few hours a week seems like a no-brainer. But as any of our screening committee members could tell you, there's a lot riding on their input - not the least of which is Joe MovieLover's festival experience. If we can find at least one film in our line-up of over a hundred that he's glad he got the chance to see, we've done our job!
image credit: Nataraj Metz via Flickr
If one half of getting the festival off the ground is getting the films in, the other half is building our team of dedicated volunteers and interns to help make the whole thing happen.
We're excited to announce the availability of several internships for the 2011 Festival season, and hope you'll take a minute to apply. While these are all listed as internships, each role is open to any dedicated volunteer with the time, interest and skill set right for the job.
Available positions include (click on each to open a PDF description):
- PR/Press Coordinator
- Print Traffic Coordinator
- Filmmaker & Guest Travel Coordinator
- Ticketing/Box Office Manager
- Festival Theater Manager
- Partner Relationship & Group Sales Coordinator
- Education Program Coordinator
Not sure which role is right for you? If you have an interest in working for the festival but aren't sure which role you'd like to engage in, please still forward your resume and cover letter to us at volunteer AT indyfilmfest DOT org. We have countless opportunities, including creating filmmaker gift bags, managing our annual surveys and working in our projection booths, and we'd love to have your help in any one of these ways!
We're looking for a few good souls interested in watching the good, the bad and the just plain ugly film submissions we'll be receiving over the next several months (and trust us, they get ugly...).
Be on the front lines of the review process, screening a slice of the more than 500 films we expect to be submitted this year. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to attend weekly meetings to screen short film submissions and watch 2-3 feature-length films on your own each week, rating each and every one of them as you go. Your input will directly impact the films screened at the 2011 Indy Film Fest.
It's really not as daunting as it sounds. In fact, it's fun! Screeners get to meet fellow filmlovers, share their opinions about independent film and get an inside glimpse into the way the film festival comes together.
Interested in applying? Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the forms - but don't delay. Meetings start soon, and we'd love to have you at them all.