What does it take to run one of the world’s premiere film festivals? Lots of volunteers, of course! This week, the Toronto International Film Festival starts recruiting volunteers for the 2007 festival, a process that will continue throughout the summer. They’re not only looking for people to help out with the theatres during the festival, but a variety of tasks in the weeks leading up to the fest. Whether you are a new or returning volunteer, you can become a volunteer at any of these sessions:
Thursday, July 12th at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 18th at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 22nd at 1 p.m.
Wednesday, August 1st at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 11th at 1 p.m.
All recruitment sessions happen at Roy Thompson Hall. To volunteer you must attend a session and be eighteen or older. We recommend going to an earlier session as there are only a select number of shifts for each job and theatre. Once something is filled up you go on the ominous waiting list. More information about getting involved can be found here.
Why volunteer for TIFF? The most obvious answer is that the film fest needs volunteers to run. Whether it’s controlling lineups or ripping tickets, volunteers are crucial to the operations of TIFF. There are also many perks to being a volunteer: for each shift you get a voucher to use at the box office, in a rush line or, for a limited time, at Cinematheque; volunteers also get a nice gift bag with freebies inside; and then there’s the staff and volunteer party after the fest is over, which features an open bar of Jackson-Triggs wines and Stella Artois, plus food and is a nice way to unwind after the stress of the festival and party with all the people you worked with.
Of course, there’s always a chance you’ll get to stand two feet away from the dreamy star you’ve always been totally crushing on. That usually depends on what films are playing at your theatre that day. Last year, we got to hold the door open for Jason Biggs. The year before that we checked Roger Ebert’s press pass. Not really glamorous, but such is the life of a volunteer. We’re still going back for more and strongly recommend that you give it a try.
Photo of Reese Witherspoon from last year’s fest by TerraS from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.