Sonoma International Film Festival

Volunteer Opportunities


Responsible for getting people seated so we start on time. If reserved seating is used for certain movies, must make sure seat markers are not taken or moved. Guide people to their seats, provide directions for water, rest rooms. Help cleanup, take out trash. At direction of Venue Manager, can release seats before movie starts.

Applies only to a couple of venues where food service may be provided.  At such venues, help will be needed with clearing tables, perhaps washing glasses,  set up and serving/pouring wine/beer (must be 21 for this),

Line up filmgoers according to priority of their passes/tickets outside venues prior to showings.  Communicate what's happening inside the theatre to those in line in terms of when doors open, any potential delays, etc. Patience, a sense of humor and good communication skills are required for this position.

Stand at entrance to the lobby and ensure that pass holders and ticket holders are admitted according to their priority when doors open. After all pass holders have been admitted and a count of open seats taken, the Ticket Taker will sell Standby Tickets (cash only). Ticket Taker will be responsible for filling out attendance form for each movie and reconciling cash to Venue Manager. Remaining calm when all around appear to be in chaos is essential. Multi-tasking skills invaluable.

Standing next to Ticket Taker, uses a clicker to count the number of pass holders admitted and Standby Tickets sold.  Might not sound like much, but this task is actually critical to SIFF efforts to secure grants for the following year as we are always asked to document our attendance figures.  It's much tougher than it sounds to keep an accurate count in the swell of the crowd. Attention to detail and ability to see the big picture value of this task helpful in this position.

Stand at entrance to auditorium and hand a ballot to each person prior to the movie.  Collect them afterwards from audience. Be prepared to hand out extra blank ballots as people leave because someone always looses them during the film.  Count totals of each number and record on the ballot count sheet at the end of each screening and hand over to your Venue manager. Remember, most of the directors showing at SIFF live and die on the audience results. Winning an audience award is a major marketing tool.  Focus, attention to detail essential here.


Trained team of volunteers needed to assist the festival's ticketing needs at the box office during the festival, and relaying information to festival-goers. Maintain a secure environment.  Cash handling experience, attention to detail, and a helpful, customer service attitude are essential.  Responsible for selling items SIFF has decided to make available to festival-goers.  Keep merchandise table/display neat and attractive, restocking items as needed. Maintain a secure environment.  Prior retail sales experience a plus. Will sweep film venues twice daily to pick up cash and ballots.


Support our Hospitality Tent Venue Managers in providing a welcoming space for festival goers.  You will be expected to do whatever is needed to make that happen.  Sometimes it will be as simple as greeting people, at others it may be more labor intensive such as moving boxes of glassware, emptying garbage, locking things up in the evening, making sure the venue is "customer-ready" for the following day. Will partner with the VIP concierge team, located in adjacent space.


Meet and greet sponsors, filmmakers and high-level pass holders as they arrive, communicate information to guests and assist with their needs.  VIP Managers and the team will make pro-active phone calls to VIP list welcoming them to festival, encouraging them to stop by either the table in the VIP Center in the Backlot Tent (Pass holders) or the one at the Maysonnave House (film makers and sponsors) and answer questions, etc.


Stationed on the Plaza during the festival, these volunteers work with the Volunteer Director to ensure smooth coordination of hundreds of volunteers. Typical tasks include getting venue shift schedules and sign-in sheets to Venue Managers, calling volunteers to remind them of upcoming shifts and answering questions from other volunteers. Doubles as food station for volunteers close to Plaza.  May also involve helping distribute food to further flung venues.


Help the Special Events manager with events that take place throughout the festival.  Check-in guests; assist with set up and clean up; hand out party favors, drink tickets, guard entrances, bartend, etc.  Hospitality industry experience a real plus.


Volunteers conduct surveys of attendees while in line, and at other locations during the Festival. They will be needed 20 minutes prior to screening.  If you enjoy interacting with new people, this might just be the spot for you.


Teams needed for various events throughout the festival to move materials from one site to another, pick up beverages and distribute to festival venues.  Can you lift 25 pounds?

Have a truck, too? You're our person!


Credentials - Assemble passes; distribute via one external location pre -festival on 2-3 days.

Gift bags - Assemble gift bags for VIPs, etc.

Supply Bin Inventory/Restocking - conduct inventory against list of needed supplies; prepare list of what supplies are needed; and restock bins, which will be delivered to each venue at start of festival.

Office Support: Provide off-site phone coverage and general office assistance in the week leading up to Festival. Must be able to communicate a smile over the phone line.  (This task is still being defined.)

*** As festival plans are still evolving, some of the descriptions above may change.


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