Austin Film Festival
Spring 2013 Site Review
Position: Film Department Intern
Student: English Senior
My experience working at the Austin Film Festival was an exciting one… At least in terms of an office environment, AFF is interesting. I feel as though I’ve been accepted as part of their work family. The mamas and the papas all get along and are outgoing, encouraging people. We sometimes even have our dogs walking around the office. I love those days! I like working at AFF because we are all working toward the same goal- to be a creative platform in which filmmakers and screenwriters can express themselves.
I work as a film department intern. I check competition films in and out to our screeners, who watch and make notes on them. The screeners judge each film against itself, meaning they take into consideration what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish. I was recently added as a screener position in addition to my internship! I’m also becoming a master at the Excel spreadsheet, but like it said in the job description, it’s all in the name of film. I love being able to work among other filmmakers. Sometimes we even get to watch (but mostly listen) to documentaries while working! I’m very grateful to have taken my first step towards a film career at one of the most reputable film festivals around. There are wonderful films out there. Whenever I find a real gem, I get incredibly excited for the filmmaker. They have no idea where they stand, but I’m rooting for them. That’s the best part of my job. I’m working hard to give all filmmakers an equal chance at winning our film competition. It makes me feel good that my internship actually matters!
Fall 2011 Site Review
Student: Sociology Senior
Position: Volunteer Coordinator Assistant
I show up at the small, one-story, green house on Salina Street. You wouldn’t know it was any different than all the other houses except for the small sign in the window that says Austin Film Festival. I go inside and I’m instantly greeted by the hustle and bustle of at least ten to fifteen people. I find the Intern Binder and sign in to keep up with my hours worked. A normal day would then consist of answering phones and directing the calls to the respected people or answering questions about the festival. This job responsibility is one that never ends, the phones are almost always ringing. I check the Volgistics program to see if we have any new applications for volunteers. We call volunteers, their information listed in this computer program, to ask if they are still interested in volunteering this year and if they are, we notify them of the upcoming mandatory Volunteer Orientations.
I learn how to orient volunteers and can do the speech by heart. I interact with volunteers in the office helping with pre-festival work as they earn hours towards a film pass or badge for the festival. In the middle of all of this, I find time with the other Intern in my department to begin establishing shifts at each venue for each day of the festival. We start to schedule the volunteers into shifts we have created. I would soon find out that during the 8 days and nights of the festival I would be performing these same tasks all day, non-stop but would also be incorporating non-stop problem solving and a schedule filled with constant interaction with the volunteers, staff, panelists, filmmakers, celebrities and people attending the festival.