Thank you to everyone who signed up to volunteer. We estimate that enough people have signed up to cover the needs of the Festival this year.
Sign-ups are now closed.
Now in its thirteenth year, the Festival depends on
the hard work of local volunteers for its success.
Volunteers helped make the Festival a great experience
for audience members and filmmakers and speakers. Last year, over 200 people
volunteered for the festival. They helped 34,500 ticket-holders enjoy films from
around the world and from right here in Wisconsin.
2011 Wisconsin Film Festival schedule: (approximate; these times include set-up time before films start and wrap-up
time after films end)
Wednesday, March 30 | 3:30 pm – 1:30 am
Thursday, March 31 | 3:30 pm – 1:30 am
Friday, April 1 | 11:30 am – 1:30 am
Saturday, April 2 | 9:30 am – 1:30 am
Sunday, April 3 | 9:30 am – 11 pm
Volunteers work in four- to six-hour shifts. All volunteers
are required to sign up for at least two shifts, and many choose to do more.
What do volunteers do? The volunteer teams who keep the theaters running smoothly during the
five-day Festival. The official staff of the Festival is small (two people) and
we need your help to put on the show.
help people find seats
introduce films and filmmakers
get each screening started on time by coordinating with the theater projectionist
make sure each film has the right sound volume and runs smoothly
assist with panels and Q&A sessions with filmmakers
hand out and collect audience award ballots
do it all over again for the next film in the schedule!
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.
Email and web access
You are required to have access to email and the web. Important communication
about volunteer assignments and activities will be given to you via email and
the Festival website.
Volunteer benefits Free movies! After you attend a WEEK A meeting (see below), we will email
you instructions for how to order your four free tickets through the regular
online ticketing service. You’ll get a set of codes unique to you that
will give you access to four free tickets. These can be ordered in any combination
(four different films, or all for one film) and these tickets can be used
by other people. We recommend redeeming your free tickets as soon as possible,
because some films sell out early.
In exchange for your hard work at the festival, you’ll
receive the coveted volunteers-only t-shirt. We wear these during the event to
identify ourselves as festival crew, and it’s yours to keep.
This year, we’re asking you to estimate your
preferred shirt size when you sign-up to volunteer. Chest measurements are given
on the sign-up form below. These are actual garment measurements.
Men’s long-sleeved t-shirts have ribbed wristbands and slightly longer
sleeves and longer body length. Women’s long-sleeved t-shirts are straight
(not tapered) at the waist, and have flat hemmed sleeves and a slightly narrower
On Sunday night (April 3), following the end of the
last films of the festival, we’ll have a volunteers-and-staff party in
the Lobby of the Orpheum Theatre. This has been our tradition for years — a
nice way to unwind, hang out with the people you’ve met during the weekend,
and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.
We hold two meetings (“WEEK A” and “WEEK B” meetings)
before the festival to present the information you’ll need to be a volunteer.
To accommodate people’s schedules, we arrange for two pairs of meetings.
You don’t need to tell us which meeting you’ll attend — just
You must attend one meeting
during WEEK A and one meeting
during WEEK B. 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 2011.
WEEK A (come to just ONE of these Week A meetings): Saturday, 26 February | 12 pm to 2 pm
Sunday, 27 February | 12 pm to 2 pm
4070 Vilas Hall (the UW Cinematheque theater), 821 University Ave., Madison,
WEEK B (come to just ONE of these Week B meetings;
location TBA): Saturday, 26 March | 12 pm to 2 pm
Sunday, 27 March | 12 pm to 2 pm
The five-day Festival is divided into specific shifts. After 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 free the whole weekend, and choose
to work four 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 are only free to work two shifts, and will mark only those two shifts.
The 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 (which are the weekend before the Film
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:
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
All volunteers are responsible for their own
transportation, lodging, and meals in Madison for Festival activities.
Volunteers understand that they are freely donating
their time and expertise to the Wisconsin Film Festival.
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.