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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 information below is kept on the web site for new volunteers who want to review some of the basics.
What do volunteers do?
Volunteers keep the theaters running smoothly during the Festival. The official staff of the Festival is small and we rely on volunteers to play crucial roles in putting 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 your first volunteer meeting (see below), you will receive two free film vouchers for each shift you work, minimum 2 - maximum ?, which you can exchange for the film tickets of your choice.
You'll receive the highly 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'll ask you to estimate your preferred shirt size when you sign-up to volunteer. You'll find a placeto choose a size on the sign-up form later. You will receive your shirt at the second volunteer training meeting, which takes place the weekend immediately before the Film Festival.
We hold four meetings (two "WEEK A" and two "WEEK B" meetings) before the Festival to present the information you'll need to be a volunteer. To accommodate people's schedules, we hold each week's meeting twice. You don't need to tell us which "WEEK A" meeting and which "WEEK B" meeting you'll attend - just come (to one each week)! 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 2014.
"WEEK A" orientation meetings (come to just ONE of these meetings):
"WEEK B" training meetings (come to just ONE of these meetings):
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:
Please note that acceptance of your application makes you an official volunteer and that you will be covered by the State's liability protection program so long as you perform your duties within the scope of the description provided above. Since volunteers are not covered by the state's worker compensation program, however, you are encouraged to maintain your own health insurance. If you should be injured during the course of your volunteer activities and the injury results from the negligence of a University employee or agent, you would have the legal rights to seek compensation from the negligent party or property owner.