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Attend Indie Film Festivals for Free by Volunteering!
Volunteer and see the Latest Independent Film Festivals for Free and Connect with Fellow Indie Movie Lovers.

By Volunteering at Indie Film Festivals , Independent Film Aficionados Can Save a Lot of Money and Still Keep Up with the Latest Indie Movie Offerings... and Connect With Other Indie Film Lovers!

Virtually all film festivals depend on volunteers for staff, and will give you passes and other perks in exchange for your assistance. 

Even more important, you will become acquainted with the inner workings of a festival, get to make new friends both among your fellow volunteers and visiting filmmakers.

Ashland Film Festival's Volunteer webpage shows wide variety of skills festival producers seek, and how they compensate their volunteers.

"Volunteers are the heart and soul of the ashland independent film festival.  It wouldn’t be possible without their tremendous support.  In fact, the aiff is 99% operated by volunteers! 


"Folks generously offer their time, energy, experience and expertise in every aspect of festival operations; some volunteers help year round and others help primarily during the week of the festival.  Together we create an incredibly successful film festival which is an increasingly significant addition to the cultural life of the Rogue Valley. 


"Volunteer opportunities include (download form for full descriptions):

·       Box office

·        Ushers

·        Filmmaker hospitality

·        Facilitation of film question and answer sessions

·        Filmmaker transportation

·        Event planning and implementing

·        Housing a filmmaker

·        Office support (year round)

We are especially looking for volunteers who have experience in the following areas:

·       Computer technology

·       Graphic design

·       Website maintenance

·       PR and marketing

·       Grant writing

·        Publications


Volunteer benefits include:

Minimum of 12 hours:

·        2 film vouchers (to be redeemed for aiff film tickets)

·        2005 aiff tee shirt

·        50% off Awards Ceremony and Party ticket

·        Volunteer thank you party bash

·        Special recognition in the aiff Program

Minimum of 24+ hours:

·        3 film vouchers (to be redeemed for aiff film tickets)

·        Voucher for an aiff merchandise item

·        aiff tee shirt

·        50% off Awards Ceremony and Party ticket

·        Volunteer thank you party bash (post-festival date TBA)

·        Special recognition in the aiff Program

Captains of program areas:

·        All of the 24+ hours benefits

·        1 ticket to the Awards Ceremony and Party

For details CLICK HERE

Some examples of film festival volunteer possibilities. 

Austin Film Festival and Conference

Edinburgh International Film Festival.  Volunteer and  Paid positions.

LA Film Festival volunteers

LA Short Film Festival Volunteers:
"We are looking for hardworking, cooperative, and dedicated individuals who enjoy working with a team of other volunteers in a fast-pace moving environment during the hours of 10:00AM to 6:00PM. For those who are interested, please contact Krista Barnes Festival Director, 323.851.9100  LA Shorts Fest is also looking for College Reps to promote the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.

Ojai Film Festival Volunteers (try substituting 2005 for 2004 if url not working) receive

  • An All-Access Pass valued at $150
  • Free entry into the Opening Night Barbecue, as well as all screenings when you are not working at your post

Out On Film: Atlanta’s Gay & Lesbian Film Festival  How to volunteer.

OutTakes Dallas: Gay and Lesbian Film Festival volunteering

Reel Affirmations Film Festival Volunteers

Tribeca film festival volunteering

Washington Jewish Film Festival Volunteering

Woods Hole Film Festival volunteers

If you don't find the festival(s) you're interested in listed here, we suggest you contact the festival(s) of your choice regarding volunteering as not all volunteer jobs are advertised  

Online Film Festivals

How about "Sundance for free"?

Annual Sundance Online Film Festival Launching live on January 20, 2005, the 5th Annual Sundance Online Film Festival showcases the same short films as it’s namesake event, as well as exclusive Behind the Scenes filmmaker interviews and the special Frontier section – a dedicated program of the most explosive new work in experimental media being created just for the Web. Best of all, it’s free from anywhere in the world @

To submit Internet-Based Projects, email by September 24, 2004

Zoiefest: Celebrating Award-winning films from around the world  "... Zoie Films is about Independent Filmmaking. Quality Programs. We encourage the work of independent filmmakers and employ the Internet as a medium for the exhibition of those films."  Has annual festival.  Uses streaming video to exhibit over 30 films worldwide on an ongoing basis.  


Sundance Film Festival and  Institute Volunteer Opportunities

"Always wondered what it's like to volunteer at the Film Festival? Sundance Institute will gather more than 1000 volunteers this year to help with everything from ticket-taking to transportation. If you want a behind-the-scenes role, apply online to be part of this year's team."

An overview of the Volunteer Program

A more detailed overview of the various aspects of the Sundance Volunteer program

Student Volunteer Program

California Film Festivals Actively Seeking Volunteers

Los Angeles

AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival-is the longest-running film festival in Los Angeles and one of the most influential film festivals in North America. They definitely rely upon the help of people like you to help put on the various aspects of the festival... including AFM Desk and Shuttle Service, Box Office, Theater staff, Transportation, Village Production/Cinema Lounge. This is a great opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of film festival production from one of the best!

Big Bear Lake International Film Festival "...dedicated to showcasing emerging screenwriters, film talent and independent films. Our goal is to create a forum by bringing upcoming filmmakers and industry professionals together, staged in the Big Bear Lake Community...." Get involved... call 909) 866-3433. Held mid-September

Cinecon Classic Film Festival ".. Have you ever said to yourself:  "Gee, those folks helping to put on Cinecon sure look like they're having a lot of fun!" ? Join the Big Parade and become a Cinecon volunteer!..." First week in September

COLCOA "City of Lights City of Angels" seeks volunteers. A week of French film premieres in LA, featuring films from acclaimed French filmmakers not likely to be seen in the US otherwise. Early April.

Dance Camera West Dance Film Festival "... venues for the festival range from The Getty Center, REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hammer Museum, Skirball Center, and Track 16 at Bergamot Station to movie theaters like American Cinematheque’s Egyptian and Aero and the Laemmle’s, to outdoor locations like TreePeople in Coldwater Canyon Park. DCW represents a truly unique cinematic experience. Contemporary Dance for Screen, Documentaries, Dance Installations, Dance Technology Symposiums, Panel Discussions and Workshops are all part of an expanding Dance Film Festival structure. The Dance Camera West Dance Film Festival showcases many forms of dance including modern dance, post modern dance, world dance, tap dance, dance theater and practically all dance that has been captured on film in a way that is electrifying and looking for volunteers to help with fundraising, assist in administrative duties, distribute programs, help with marketing or contribute in other ways...." Annually in June

Hollywood Film Festival "...Exciting volunteer opportunities await you with the Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards..... Our venues include the prestigious Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, as well as the Beverly Hilton Hotel and our offices in Beverly Hills. The Hollywood Film Festival needs volunteers year round to help with all aspects of preparation and execution of our projects and events. Volunteers assist at the theaters, festival office and hospitality desks at the venues — and in many other ways. By becoming part of the festival team, you will network with other people, see films, and play a valuable role in the festival organization.... Volunteers can assist in a variety of departments: Administration, Marketing, Programming and Sponsorships. Virtual Volunteering: All year round. If you have computer access and the necessary Internet skills, we need you as a virtual volunteer...."

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles ".... have the opportunity to experience first hand how a film festival comes together and to interact with a dynamic group of filmmakers whose films will be featured. Plus there will be opportunities to see these great films for free!..." Takes place third week in April at ArcLight Hollywood.

Israel Film Festival "...Are you a student? An Israeli living in the U.S.? An avid filmgoer? Film Festival Devotee? An American who loves Israel? Join the Israel Film Festival as a valued Volunteer, the backbone of the festival and an integral part of bringing these astonishing films to the US audience...."

LA Short Film Festival "... We are seeking hardworking, cooperative, and dedicated individuals who enjoy working with a team of other volunteers in a fast-pace moving environment..." LA Short Film Festival " looking for College Reps to promote the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. We're looking for outgoing students who know the college scene and enjoy the college life. This just might be YOU! Now people will come up to you asking, �when is the next hot LA Shorts Fest event?� Soon you will be more popular than the starting center on the varsity basketball team...."

Long Beach International Film Festival "... Long Beach was the first city in California to have, at the turn of the last century, an operational silent film studio. While the Queen Mary has transported and entertained many of Hollywood's Golden Age cinematic luminaries, including: Bob Hope, Laurel and Hardy, Gloria Swanson, Clark Gable, and many more...." Is seeking help to put on their festival... held annually in the fall.

Los Angeles Film Festival "... For ten days each June, more than 60,000 people descend on the Los Angeles Film Festival to see and celebrate the best of independent American and international cinema. We rely on the help of hundreds of volunteers to make the Festival a great experience for everyone who attends...."

Los Angeles Italian Film Awards "...Are you passionate about Italian films? We are currently seeking volunteers to help organize LAIFAFEST .... Learn the nuts and bolts of putting a festival together while working in a creative and stimulating atmosphere. we are seeking the support and assistance of qualified volunteers..."

Los Angeles Latino Film Festival "... The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival features over 100 films from all over Iberoamerica. Last year, over 25,000 people attended the Egyptian Theatre to experience this cultural awakening. As our organization grows we continue to seek more experienced volunteers.... Volunteer positions now available include: Marketing, Promotions, Production, Print Traffic, Venue, Programming and Publicity. Our volunteers are the heart and spirit of the Film Festival. We could not be successful without dedicated men and women. However, we are compensated through the friendships with other volunteers and the satisfaction of giving back to the community...." Third or fourth weekend in October.

Malibu International Film Festival "... is a competition festival that focuses on premiering new films and talent that are looking for distribution and representation.  Quality independent films from around the world, the Opening Night Film under the stars, the Opening Night Party and Maui & Sons Fashion Show, sponsors exhibits and the lavish IndieVest Awards Night Dinner Party sponsored in part by Gladstone's Malibu & Classic Party Rentals make this event one to sponsor and attend. " Seeks volunteers. Takes place second week in April

Newport Beach Film Festival Needs volunteers for their late April festival. Last 11 days in April.

Ojai Film Festival "...Four days of non-stop screenings at convenient venues... The best of world-wide new... independent films... Hot filmmaking seminars with top industry icons... Opportunities to mingle with the filmmakers, directors, production staff... As a non-profit organization, the Festival relies heavily on its dedicated, hard working volunteers. If you would like to take part, and can make a minimum commitment of at least 12 hours...In return, you'll experience the behind-the-scenes excitement of the prestigious film industry Festival. You'll also get:
* An All-Screening Pass valued at $75
* Free entry into the Opening Night Barbecue

Other Venice Film Festival "... Volunteers make the Other Venice Film Festival a success. We are a community event that's been getting larger each year, and we need your support to make it happen.... Almost all volunteers commit to some portion of 'working' the weekend, which typically entails working the door, answering questions, ushering and other event specific responsibilities. It's not high pressure work, and you get to meet interesting people and see some great screenings. Some volunteers dive in deeper, helping with local marketing and out reach, working the projection booth or getting our gift bags in order. For students, we can try to help with school credit, and for locals who want to be part of the mix, come join in..." Annually, Mid-March.

Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival "...WE NEED YOU. Support an established nonprofit that serves the LGBT community. Meet new friends. Earn a free Outfest membership. Earn access to festival screenings (space available)...."

Palm Springs International Film Festival "... depends upon our team of over 500 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. By becoming part of the festival team, you will work in a stimulating, exciting and fun atmosphere and have the satisfaction of contributing to the production of our internationally acclaimed film festivals. You’ll have opportunities to assist in the theatres, festival office, merchandise and ticket sales venues; assist at special events; and help in many other ways.  We ask that you attend training specific to your assigned area and celebrate the success of the Festival at a special volunteer celebration...."

Pan African Film and Arts Festival "... Without you we could not get it done... We are most grateful to the many volunteers, sponsors and friends who make this Festival possible...."

Santa Barbara Film Festival Begins volunteer applications in December. Must attend one of two volunteer meetings in January. "... Volunteers work long hours, ideally committing to 8-10 hour days for the ten days of the Festival. In exchange, they become a vital member of the Santa Barbara Film Festival family, getting a chance to see some films and gain an exclusive hands-on, behind the scenes glimpse of the Film Festival in action. Approximately 400-500 full and part-time volunteers will be needed..... All Festival events, (films, panel discussions, special events, etc.), are essentially run by a team of volunteers.... helping out in all areas, from general office help, to data entry and technical operations, theatre operations, ticket taking, and much more...." Annually, end of January/beginning of February.

Short Shorts Film Festival "...we have several volunteer opportunities [in their LA Office] throughout the year and you are welcome to submit a cover letter and resume..." Festival takes place in Japan... and is expanding to include the best of short films worldwide.

Silver Lake Film Festival: LA's Independent Film and Arts Festival "... is Los Angeles' leading film festival organization. But we haven't forgotten our roots. In fact, we remain largely a grassroots, volunteer organization. If you would like to find meaningful employment (not the salaried kind), then we'd love to hear from you...." Last week in March.

Slamdance Film Festival "... is one of the top film festivals in America.... olunteers needed for all departments of the Slamdance Film Festival...."

SoCal Independent Film Festival "... Five days of official selections and award winning movies; industry speakers; professional workshops; Q&As with directors and actors; special guests; a professional panel of jury members and screeners; volunteer opportunities; and scores of film watching attendees ... " Takes place in Huntingdon Beach, early September.

Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival "...has successfully cultivated an appreciation for the arts in the Temecula Valley by spotlighting the work of outstanding independent filmmakers and musicians from across America and around the world.... Volunteering at the Festival is an opportunity to be a part of the behind the scene-excitement. Learn the nuts and bolts of putting a festival together while working in a creative and stimulating atmosphere. We are seeking volunteers who are willing to contribute their time, enthusiasm and hard work..." Some of the perks include:

2 One Day Passes to Festival Screenings

2 Workshops Tickets Complimentary Festival T-Shirt

Access to Volunteer Appreciation Party

Special Discounts on Special Event Parties (Opening Night Regular $25, Discount $15 after 2 Shifts Worked Black Tie Gala Awards Regular $95, Discount $50 after 3 Shifts Worked)

VC Filmfest: The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival "...Visual Communications, the nationís premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, is seeking outstanding, motivated individuals for employment and volunteer opportunities..... Visual Communications is recognized for its 30 year-plus track record of producing, presenting, and preserving the Asian Pacific American experience in film, video and new media technologies; and offers training and educational workshops in various areas of media arts production. Additionally, Visual Communications partners with community arts and social service organizations in an effort to make the arts accessible to all communities in the Greater Los Angeles area...." Click on "VC Filmfest"... then on "Volunteer Opportunities" at bottom of page. Takes place in early May.

San Francisco

Bicycle Film Festival

International Latino Film Festival

Mill Valley Film Festiva l"...The success of the Mill Valley Film Festival depends upon its volunteers' dedication and enthusiasm. Each year our volunteers help us produce an internationally-acclaimed event and enjoy being part of one of Mill Valley's most exciting annual celebrations. It's a great way to get involved, make new friends and see great films!..." Volunteer Coordinator: 415.383.5256 ext. 128,

San Francisco Black Film Festival Volunteer Application

San Francisco Documentary Film Festival Contact Volunteer Coordinator: Alicia Perre-Dowd for information. "...Please join us after the screening of Mana: Beyond Belief for our Opening Night / Roller Disco Party right down the street from the Roxie at Art SF."

San Francisco Film Society lists several intern positions.

San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival Seeking volunteers and interns.

San Francisco International Film Festival "... Hundreds of volunteers and interns donate their time to the Film Society throughout the year, and especially during the San Francisco International Film Festival each spring. We are always seeking volunteers who want to share their precious time, talent, enthusiasm and hard work throughout the year. Assistance is needed in many areas..."

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival "...has occasional year-round volunteer opportunities and many exciting and satisfying ways to be involved as a volunteer during the Festival in July and August. To add your name to our volunteer list, send an e-mail to" (Click on "Support".)

San Francisco Silent Film Festival

San Francisco World Film Festival

SUPERFEST, International Disability Film Festival

See Also:

How to Enter Independent Film Festivals

How to Make Budget Independent Films

Where to Find Independent Films and Indie Movies

Independent Films Reviews of Indie Movies

Film Festivals Where to find film festivals



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