1. What are the benefits of volunteering? The intangibles: We offer you the opportunity to be part of one of the most exciting events held here in Sonoma. With your cheerful, positive attitude, you can influence how people perceive both the festival and Sonoma. On the tangible side: You see some films for free, wear a special t-shirt, get fed between shifts, see your name in the program, and go to the Thank-You party later in April
2. Do I get to see any movies? Yes, volunteering is one of the best ways to see movies at the Festival. For all volunteers, vouchers are provided for each shift worked to get into movies on a space available basis after the STANDBY line has been accommodated. At your film venue, with Venue Manager permission, you may view a movie on your shift. Your Venue Manager is in charge of providing you with vouchers for shifts worked.
3. What is the time commitment required? Attendance at this meeting and another one in March for training purposes. Additionally, your Venue Manager may convene an additional meeting with your team to discuss items specific to your venue. Once the festival starts, we expect each volunteer to show up on time (10 minutes before your shift starts) and to work 2 shifts of 5-6 hours each at a minimum.
4. May I volunteer for more than one team and/or function? We ask our volunteers to focus their efforts on one team/function. This helps build expertise from year to year and builds more cohesive teams. It is, of course, possible to volunteer for non-conflicting jobs such as Venue Support and Pre-festival Support, or Volunteer Center (day) and Events (evening).
5. Are there any restrictions on volunteering? The volunteer positions that involve serving wine or other alcohol require volunteers to be at least 21 years of age. Speaking of alcohol, you may not drink during your shift or while you are wearing a volunteer t-shirt and apron. Please do not eat or drink in public while on your shift; there will be designated areas for that. Volunteers may not save seats for themselves or other volunteers at film venues. Volunteers are expected to wait until all pass holders and Standby attendees have been seated before taking a seat to watch a movie.
6. Is the film festival run as a non-profit or for profit endeavor? The Sonoma International Film Festival is organized as a 501c3 non-profit organization. Since 2002, the Sonoma International Film Festival and its members have continually supported the Media Arts Program at Sonoma Valley High School. This student program opens doorways to creativity in the digital arts through filmmaking classes, animation, scriptwriting, film theory, and – most of all – storytelling.