Welcome to the Doc/Crew Volunteer Programme page!
Here, you can check out the volunteer roles up for grabs at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest Volunteer Programme. Scroll down to see if there are any specific teams or roles that you would be interested in.
You can complete the Doc/Crew online application form here, make sure you have a clear picture of your face ready to attach. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully welcoming you on board in June for Doc/Fest 2017!
We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions, contact us here:
T: +44 (0)114 276 5141
At the Festival we have Juries made up of practising professionals (the Grand Jury, the environmental Jury, the Youth Jury, the Short Doc Jury, the Alternate Realities Interactive Jury and the Alternate Realities VR Jury) all of whom are looking to honour a film under different criteria. As a Jury Coordinator, it will be your role to look after your allocated Jury members throughout the Festival, ensuring they see the films they need to see and motivating them to ensure they have the ultimate Doc/Fest experience. Top notch people skills are a must for this super important role!
We invite filmmakers whose work is screening at the Festival to participate in Q&A sessions. Your role as a Q&A Wrangler is to make sure that the right people are in the right place at the right time. You will meet and greet these people, make sure they are properly prepared and most importantly, get them to their Q&A on time! An important role which is all about being able to manage your time, being quick on your feet as well as diplomatic and charming with our Delegates. This role will be based at the Showroom Cinema.
As a Cinema Steward you are in charge of the smooth running, including meeting and greeting any and all delegates and audiences guests who visit our many cinema venues. You will be at a designated cinema screen at one of our many venues for each of your shifts where it will be your responsibility to count attendance, check passes, tickets and carry out other front of house duties. This role gives you an additional chance to watch films, as you can sit in on the screenings, checking for any faults and then reporting them to the Cinema Production team. Lastly, all the films at Doc/Fest are eligible for the Audience Award, a film voted for by the viewers. As part of this team you’ll also be tasked with making sure that every film is given an equal chance - by handing out and collecting award slips, then collating the results into a pre-prepared spreadsheet. It sounds easier than it is, as there can be as many as 6 films going in or coming out at the same time. A perfect role for anybody wanting to gain work experience whilst broadening their film knowledge who is proactive, organised and quick on your feet.
The Doc/Player is Doc/Fest’s digital film library. We offer viewing stations in a quiet environment for Delegates to view selected films from this year’s programme, as well as films invited to appear exclusively in the Doc/Player. We are looking for a reliable team of volunteers to look after the Doc/Player desk, taking bookings and assisting delegates. Confidence, patience and good communication skills are essential. A keen interest in absorbing the film programme is a great advantage.
Alternate Realities Crew
You’ll be helping people take part in interactive and virtual reality experiences at Millennium Gallery. You’ll be able to communicate with the public, help them use the equipment (from iPads through to Virtual Reality headsets) and be able to make sure that the equipment is working as it should. You’ll need a mix of people and tech skills for this role, as well as meticulous attention to detail.
Talks & Sessions
Talks & Sessions Steward
The talks and sessions at Doc/Fest include keynote addresses and interviews with some of the world's leading documentary filmmakers, broadcasters and cross platform practitioners as well as workshops and pitch sessions. You will be at a designated session venue for each of your shifts where it will be your responsibility to count attendance, check passes, tickets and carry out other front of house duties. This role gives you an additional chance to watch the talks and sessions. You will need to be customer focused, bright and in some cases happy to stand for a while. Plus a good knowledge of the Doc/Fest ticketing system would be an advantage. By being on hand in these sessions you will get the additional bonus of listening in on some fascinating discussions. A perfect role for anybody wanting to gain work experience whilst broadening their knowledge of the film industry.
MeetMarket & Alternate Realities Market Crew
MeetMarket is an established pitching initiative at Doc/Fest, designed to match documentary maker’s most innovative project ideas with UK and international buyers. It’s a really exciting and dynamic event, and one of the world’s biggest documentary marketplaces.
Alternate Realities Market differs from the MeetMarket by selecting digital, interactive and media led projects, rather than traditional linear formats for TV and cinema. It’s an exciting marketplace because those who participate are at the forefront of new filmmaking practices, and are really expanding what the definition of documentary can mean.
We are looking for a group of bright, organised team players who would be comfortable offering high level support to international buyers and filmmakers. In return you get to see first-hand how a documentary Marketplace works!
Marketplace Sessions Crew
The Marketplace Sessions include Round Tables and Ten Minute Meets, which give interested delegates the opportunity to meet some of the decision makers at the Festival. The discussions that take place are strictly timetabled and need to be kept on track to avoid falling behind. We need people with strong people skills and who are able to remain polite always. These sessions will give you a great insight into how discussions at an industry level are conducted.
Doc/Fest hosts some of the best events known within the industry. As part of the Events Crew you will help make sure our events run smoothly. You will assist setting up, dressing and closing down events; looking after talent and sponsors; checking admission and maintaining tidiness during events. This role will appeal greatly to those interested in pursuing a career in event/hospitality management, those with a passion for documentary filmmaking and also those from the local community wishing to support one of Sheffield’s largest festivals. We are looking for well-presented volunteers with excellent communication skills and preferably experience of front of house customer service.
Marketing Crew (Doc/Shop OR Party & Venue Design)
Assisting our Marketing Coordinator, you will help coordinate the placement of signage across our Festival venues or help to sell our merchandise. You will assist our Marketing department in the dressing of parties, networking events, and standard venues, or help to restock the Doc/Shop Merchandise stalls at the Festival. For this role you need to be well organised, quick on your feet, friendly and personable with the public, open to taking on different tasks throughout each day and considerate of the needs of sponsors, the Marketing Coordinator and the Marketing team as a whole.
Social Media Crew
Working across the Festival, it’s your role to keep the world informed about what’s going on at Doc/Fest! Using Twitter and Instagram you’re in charge of updating the Doc/Fest feed using our official hashtags to ensure people know exactly what’s going down at Doc/Fest and where in Sheffield it’s happening. With our live Twitter feed on display in the Showroom Cinema at all times, it’s a perfect way to discover the true power of social media. A time precious role that needs somebody with great communicative skills, great written English and the ability to pick up an organisation’s Social Media voice fast! We also need smartphone filming experts who can convey the range of things going on over the Festival on video. If you have a director's eye for amazing mise en scene, we want to hear from you also!
Data Capture Volunteer
As a Data Capture Volunteer, you will be out speaking to members of the public getting feedback about their experience of Doc/Fest. You will be working as part of a dedicated team so teamwork skills are a must. You need to be friendly, enthusiastic and approachable, with great people-skills. This is a great role for someone already with, or looking for more, experience in market research.
Press Desk Volunteer
Assisting our Press team, you will be meeting and greeting all visiting press to the Festival, logging interview requests and dealing with any queries that the press have. A good knowledge of the city is advantageous and the role requires top organisation skills, an efficient manner and a good sense of humour!
There is so much happening at Doc/Fest that it is impossible for people to get around to see everything and so everything is documented. Being part of the Film Crew you will professionally capture all of the sessions, pitches, workshops and goings on. Camera knowledge and filming events experience is essential, whilst you will also need to be a confident communicator, be able to manage your time well and able to cope with a packed schedule of events to film.
There is so much happening at Doc/Fest that it is impossible for people to get around to see everything and so everything is documented. Being part of the Photography Crew you will professionally capture all of the sessions, pitches, workshops and all the legendary parties! Photography experience is essential, as well as your own professional equipment, whilst you will also need to be a confident communicator, be able to manage your time well and able to cope with a packed schedule of events to cover.
There will be areas across the Festival venues dedicated to engage people in sharing their Festival enjoyment through our social media platforms. This is a fun and social role where you will be conversing with all Delegates and the public to share and print out their stories and selfies to the world wide web via our photobooths. You will be crucial in keeping up the Festival buzz over the six days.
Delegate Centre Volunteer
The Delegate Centre is the first point of contact for Delegates visiting our Festival, and so is always buzzing with industry professionals. Your role will incorporate meeting and greeting people when they first arrive, registering them, providing them with their Delegate bags and Full Festival passes, as well as operating the Delegate Centre ticket office and providing them with any additional information they may require. You need to be friendly, approachable, calm under pressure and have a smile on your face. This is the perfect opportunity for anyone thinking about a career in event management or hospitality as it gives you a great overview of how the Festival is run from ground zero.
Box Office Crew
As part of the Box Office Crew you will have access and be trained in using the brand new ticketing system that has been designed and integrated for Doc/Fest 2017. This is an exciting opportunity to work with Box Office professionals in the distribution of tickets for Films, Talks & Sessions and Special Events, as well as advising on event running times, venue locations, accessibility and general festival information. You could be based at our central Box Office on Tudor Square, or at one of our pop up Box Offices situated around the Festival. This is a great public facing role for those wanting to gain or enhance their front of house experience, and who want to develop their customer service skills and gain insight into the operations of a world renowned film festival. The Box Office Crew will be able to work calmly under pressure, be able to think on their feet, and remain calm and professional at all times. Do you have great communication skills? A passion for film and large scale events and festivals? Like to be challenged in a fast paced environment? Then this is for you!
Festival Runners are all over every aspect of the Festival. It might be you need to deliver sponsor signs to a venue, deliver water to the venues, lend a hand at a networking event or assist a guest speaker getting to the right place on time. Being a runner gives you the best insight into how an event like Doc/Fest works. You need to be quick thinking, energetic and happy to get stuck in as you will be playing a crucial role in making sure the Festival runs smoothly.
Based at the Doc/Fest office, you are the first point of contact for anybody wanting to contact a member of staff at the Festival or if someone needs help finding where to go. You’ll be helping with some of the administrative aspects of the Festival from departments, so you need to be organised, versatile and practical. One of the most important tasks involves collating and processing the votes for the Sheffield Doc/Fest Audience Award, throughout the Festival. A must for you administrative gurus!
As part of our mobile volunteer production unit, you’ll be on the road in the Doc/Fest mobile and will gain access to the inner workings of Doc/Fest. Reporting to the Production Coordinator, your role will involve collecting, delivering and in some cases assisting with basic set-up of equipment and materials essential to the smooth running of events around the Festival. You’ll get to see just how an international organisation runs a citywide event and these roles will suit people who are very outgoing, happy to work as part of a team and keen to gain some event production experience. A technical background isn’t a must but certainly wouldn’t hurt! You’ll be working across various venues throughout the duration of the Festival – people with a valid driving license and a geographical knowledge of Sheffield would be at a great advantage.
FESTIVAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMME
Every year Doc/Fest recruit a number of Festival Assistants to assist the team with preparations for the next Festival and the various year-round projects we coordinate.
This is a great opportunity to work closely with the team alongside one of our departments to gain valuable professional experience. You will be based in our Sheffield office and your typical duties might include: research tasks, maintaining databases, updating copy on the website and social networks, processing film submissions, and office runner tasks.
These positions are unpaid internships which last for three month periods with a minimum commitment of two days a week. Our office hours are 9:30am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Our 2017 Festival Assistant blocks run from:
3 July to 30 September
2 October to Friday 15 December
Our Festival Assistant positions often lead to choice volunteer roles and could lead to employment opportunities at the Festival. We are also happy to provide you with professional advice, references and letters of recommendation if requested.
If you would like to apply please download and complete our application form application form explaining why you would like to apply for the role of a Festival Assistant, why you think you would be suitable for the role and what you would hope to gain whilst at Doc/Fest. Please send this to hannah.mchaffie [at] sidf.co.uk
What our Festival Assistants have to say
I decided to apply for the Doc/Fest internship as part of my gap year before starting university. As I am hoping to study film, the programme seemed perfect for getting my foot in the door of the industry and gaining insight into what goes into the Festival, year-round. Having never worked in an office environment before, I now feel confident in how to deal with phone calls, emails and general office admin. My time at Doc/Fest has been challenging but extremely rewarding, the team are all so lovely and talented and made me feel immensely welcome! I now feel much more confident in where I want to go with my career.
I volunteered at Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2016 and was fortunate enough to be placed in their Virtual Reality Arcade – an exhibition with which I was keen to get involved. Everyone I met, both public and staff, were so friendly and supportive that I felt genuinely valued as a member of the team. After those 6 hectic days, I applied for the internship as a way to extend my involvement with Doc/Fest whilst gaining valuable industry experience. Over these three months working in their offices, I have been able to develop both my administrative skills and knowledge of the processes behind organising a festival. The internship acts as a good taster for office life and allows you to figure out which departments you may be best suited to working. Having completed my time at Doc/Fest, I certainly feel more confident moving forward in my career.
My time at Doc/Fest gave me a real insight into the industry, allowing me to see how a Film Festival functions as well as working alongside a great team. During the Festival, I worked as a Registration Assistant and Head Volunteer which I enjoyed because I was at the heart of the operation; welcoming the delegates to the Festival. Plus, I even got to meet Documentary Director, Michael Moore!
After volunteering at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 as a Marketing Assistant, I was keen to gain a greater insight into the operations of the Festival. During the course of the internship I developed my office and administration skills; answering phones and emails, arranging travel and accommodation, completing research tasks and making cups of tea! I was also tasked with developing the Volunteers Alumni eNews and social media accounts. This work included making new industry contacts, creating and editing copy, and sharing industry opportunities with volunteers from past Festivals. The internship overall was engaging and informative, working as part of such a fantastic team was really rewarding, and it has given me the confidence and the experience to take the next step in my career. Saul came on board full time with the Doc/Fest team as Marketing & Publications Assistant for the 2016 Festival.
After volunteering at the Festival in June 2015, I was eager to get involved further. I thought the internship scheme would be the best way to do this as well as a great opportunity to gain work experience in an office environment. It was fascinating to get a glimpse behind the scenes at the processes that take place as the team prepares for the Festival, including the high-level of organisation and investment that is required. I was very daunted at first by the unfamiliarity of the office environment but the team were very encouraging and helpful. After a mere few shifts I felt like part of the team. Every day was exciting and challenging in its own way as I frequently had to juggle a plethora of different tasks from office runner jobs to admin and research tasks as well as being the first point of contact for phone calls to the office. My 3 months in the Doc/Fest office were challenging but very rewarding, and it was invaluable experience within the cultural sector that I hope to make a career within.