Welcome to the Doc/Crew Volunteer Programme!

See below for the full list of Doc/Crew 2018 available roles and click here to apply.

The programme offers an unprecedented opportunity to gain valuable experience in the film industry, meet like-minded people and make lasting friendships. We welcome volunteer applications from people of all backgrounds. All Doc/Fest venues have access for wheelchair users and we work to ensure the Festival is accessible to everyone. If you have any questions about whether a role is suitable for you, please get in touch via
volunteer [at] sidf.co.uk.

Every volunteer will receive the following in return for giving their time as part of our Volunteer Reward Scheme: lunch and a film ticket for every shift; online access to Doc/Fest film highlights; an exclusive OTOXO documentary filmmaking workshop; access to industry sessions and parties!; friends and family ticket discounts for select events; a Doc/Crew exclusive tshirt; and access to student accommodation rates.


Jury Coordinator At the Festival we have Juries made up of practising professionals (the Grand Jury, Environmental Jury, Youth Jury, Short Doc Jury, Alternate Realities Interactive Jury and Alternate Realities VR Jury), who will choose the winning film in their category. As a Jury Coordinator, your role will be to look after your allocated Jury members throughout the Festival, ensuring they see the films they need to and making sure they have the ultimate Doc/Fest experience. Excellent people skills are a must for this super important role!

Q&A Wrangler Visiting filmmakers whose work is screening at the Festival will participate in Q&A sessions. Your role as a Q&A Wrangler is to make sure 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! This is an important role for which you will need to be able to manage your time well and be quick on your feet as well as diplomatic and friendly.

Cinema Production Crew Working with our Cinema Venue Coordinator, you will assist in making sure all films are in the right place at the right time and are set up correctly and ready to screen. You need to be quick on your feet, hardworking and completely committed. This is a time-intensive role that gives you a great overview of the production side of a film festival as well as a behind-the-scenes look at cinema venues.

Cinema Steward As a Cinema Steward you will be in charge of the smooth running of our many venues, including meeting and greeting a wide range of delegates, guests and audiences, recording attendance numbers, checking passes and tickets and carrying out other front of house duties. This role gives you a chance to watch films as you will sit in on screenings, checking for any faults and reporting them to the Cinema Production team. You’ll also be tasked with making sure that every film eligible for the Audience Award is given an equal chance by handing out and collecting award slips and collating the results. With as many as 6 films going in or coming out at the same time, this is a busy role and you’ll need to be alert and hard-working. This is a perfect role for anyone wanting to gain work experience whilst broadening their film knowledge.

Doc/Player Crew The Doc/Player is Doc/Fest’s digital film library. Viewing stations are offered in a quiet environment for delegates to watch selected films from the Festival programme as well as those invited to appear exclusively on 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 will be an advantage.

Films Marketing & Print Crew Doc/Fest will screen almost 200 films, including both shorts and features. The Films team will be overseeing posters and advertisements ensuring the films are being marketed at the right venues and times to ensure best possible promotion. The Films Marketing & Print Crew will support the Films team with distribution and display of film posters and prints for several days leading up to as well as during the Festival. The role also includes helping to gather up all remaining materials and returning them to the Doc/Fest office the day after the Festival.

Alternate Realities

You will play an essential role helping people take part in interactive and virtual reality experiences at our Alternate Realities exhibition. You will feel confident in communicating with the public, helping them use equipment (from iPads through to Virtual Reality headsets) and making sure this is working as it should. We have a number of roles that require a mix of people and technical skills as well as meticulous attention to detail.

Alternate Realities Exhibition Crew During the exhibition, we need volunteers to learn the exhibition floorplan/layout and ensure the gallery space is well-maintained, restoring computers, iPads and headsets to their start settings as needed. You will also carry out tasks such as wiping headsets after use, managing sign-up sheets/time slots, ensuring gallery lighting is correctly set and offering support on activating certain projects. You will generally oversee the exhibition, ensuring the safety and security of visitors and exhibited work and reporting to the Production Assistant with any queries. The exhibition will be super busy, so you’ll need to be alert and willing to pitch in as needed.

Alternate Realities Install Crew We need energetic and dedicated volunteers to help us install the exhibition. Tasks will include transferring equipment and unloading deliverables such as furniture and technical equipment, plugging in and cabling, making sure tablets and computers are securely locked, painting exhibition plinths and gallery walls, positioning signage and testing and trialling projects whilst learning their technical specifications.

Alternate Realities De-rig Crew Finally, once the exhibition is complete, we will need conscientious volunteers to help us carefully de-install the work ensuring equipment and artwork is returned safely. During the de-rig, you will carry out tasks such as unlocking and removing cables, packing up equipment, loading and transferring deliverables such as furniture and technical equipment and assisting with re-packaging of artwork/projects ready for couriering back to the sender.

Talks & Sessions

Talks & Sessions Steward The Talks & Sessions programme at Doc/Fest is populated with keynote addresses and interviews with some of the world's leading voices in the documentary and broadcast industries, 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 and tickets and carry out other general front of house duties. You will need to be customer-focused, quick-thinking and hard-working. A good knowledge of the Doc/Fest ticketing system would be an advantage. Being on hand affords you a valuable chance to experience exclusive, fascinating discussions; a perfect role for anybody wanting to gain work experience whilst broadening their knowledge of contemporary industry topics.

Marketplace & Talent

MeetMarket & Alternate Realities Market Crew   MeetMarket is an established pitching initiative at Doc/Fest, designed to match documentary makers’ 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 MeetMarket by selecting digital, interactive and cross-media 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 our 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 volunteers with strong people skills who always remain polite to help manage this. These sessions will give you a great insight into how discussions at an industry level are conducted.


Party & Venue Design Crew Assisting our wonderful Marketing Assistant, you will help us to turn the city orange for the duration of the Festival. You’ll dress up our world-renowned parties, networking events and cinema and talks venues. A fan of bunting? This is the job for you. For this role you should be creative, well-organised, quick on your feet and aware of the requirements of sponsors, providing support to the Marketing Assistant and Marketing team as a whole. This role will sometimes require lifting, heights and quick movement between venues.

Social Media Crew Working across the Festival, it will be your role to keep the world informed about what’s going on at Doc/Fest. Using Doc/Fest’s Twitter and Instagram, you’ll be in charge of updating our feeds to ensure people know exactly what’s going down at the Festival and where in Sheffield it’s happening. With our live Twitter feed on display in the Showroom Cinema at all times, this is a perfect way to learn more about the exciting possibilities of social media. This is a fast-paced role requiring great communication skills including excellent written English and the ability to pick up an organisation’s social media voice quickly! You’ll also be tasked with getting the Doc/Fest audience to engage with our social media feeds through selfies, hashtags and stories, so being friendly and responsive is a must.

Data Capture Crew As a member of the Data Capture Crew, 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 essential. You will 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. Other departments might claim this for their volunteers but we’re saying it here louder – this is truly the most important Doc/Crew role at the Festival.

Press Desk Crew 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. You’ll be meeting international press and learning all about what it takes to report on a Festival. A good knowledge of Sheffield is advantageous and the role requires top organisational skills, an efficient manner and a good sense of humour!

Film Crew There is so much happening at Doc/Fest that it is impossible for people to get around to see everything, so we do everyone a favour and film it. Being part of the Film Crew, you will professionally capture all the sessions, pitches, workshops and goings on. Camera knowledge and events filming experience is essential, whilst you will also need to be a confident communicator, be able to manage your time well and cope with a packed schedule of events.

VR Video & Exhibition Crew Have a foot in the future? We’re looking for a dedicated team to be our 360 Video Crew to film selected parts of the Festival throughout the week. Camera knowledge and events filming experience is essential and you will need access to your own filming equipment. You’ll be integrated with the Alternate Realities Exhibition Crew, learning the projects in the exhibition and ensuring the gallery space is well-maintained, restoring computers, iPads and headsets as needed. The exhibition will be super busy, so you’ll need to be alert and willing to pitch in as needed. You’ll get the best of all Alternate Realities worlds with this role!

Photography Crew We’re big on selfies at Doc/Fest HQ but we’re even bigger on Festival photos. We photograph everything. Being part of the Photography Crew, you will professionally capture all of the sessions, pitches, workshops and 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 cope with a packed schedule of events to cover. Please provide a photography portfolio along with your application.


Events Crew Doc/Fest hosts some of the best regarded events within the industry. As an Events Crew team member you will help make sure things run smoothly. You will assist setting up, dressing and closing down events, looking after talent and sponsors, checking admission to parties and receptions and keeping things clean and tidy. 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.


Production Crew As part of our volunteer mobile production unit, you’ll be on the road during Doc/Fest and will gain access to the inner workings of the festival. 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 Festival events. You’ll get to see how an international organisation runs a citywide event and this role will suit people who are outgoing, happy to work as part of a team and keen to gain 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 – a valid driving licence and geographical knowledge of Sheffield would be an advantage.


Delegate Centre Crew Volunteering at the Delegate Centre places you right in the middle of Doc/Fest’s buzzing industry hub. The Centre is the first point of contact for the 3500 industry professionals who visit the Festival every year. It’s your job to ensure they’re met with a welcoming smile and that the process of registering them is as smooth as possible. You’ll also be operating the Delegate Centre ticket office, and providing our Festival pass holders with any information they require. You need to be friendly, approachable and have great people skills. If you’re considering a career in events or hospitality, this is the perfect role for you, and you’ll get invaluable first-hand experience of how one of the UK’s biggest film festivals is run.

Box Office Crew Working as part of the Box Office Crew provides an excellent opportunity to work closely alongside Box Office professionals and be trained in Doc/Fest’s bespoke ticketing system. You could be based at our main Box Office on Tudor Square or at any one of our pop-up Box Offices located around the Festival. It is your role to distribute tickets for our programme of Films, Alternate Realities, Talks & Sessions and Special events, whilst advising on event running times, venue locations, accessibility and general festival information. This is a hugely important role and one that requires a calm, friendly and professional manner with great communication skills and a passion for film and events. This is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to enhance their customer service and front of house skills.

Festival Runner Festival Runners are vital to the success of Doc/Fest. This is a varied, diverse role that requires you to cover any and every aspect of the Festival. One minute you may be delivering sponsor signage to a venue, the next you might be helping at an industry networking event or assisting a guest speaker get to their venue on time. Enthusiasm, energy and a can-do attitude are required of all our runners. This is a fast-paced, exciting, challenging role that will give you a great insight into how a massive film festival like Doc/Fest operates.

Team Hub Crew Working in the Team Hub Crew you’ll be based where the magic happens – in the Doc/Fest office. This is a vital role where you’ll operate as a first point of contact for anyone looking to liaise with the Doc/Fest staff whilst dealing with important queries from guests and delegates. You’ll be providing administrative support to the various departments that make up the Doc/Fest team, including collating and processing the votes for the Doc/Fest audience award, giving you invaluable experience of the inner workings of the Festival. This role will sharpen your administrative skills, setting you up for a career in the arts and beyond.

Doc/Info Crew Our Doc/Info crew are the face of the Festival. You’ll be the vital first point of contact for anyone attending events. As such, it is essential that you are a warm, approachable person with great communication skills – you’ll be entrusted to publicly represent Doc/Fest and help festival-goers have the smoothest experience possible. As well as providing general information, you will be displaying, selling and logging Festival merchandise. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to strengthen their hospitality skills and gain valuable experience towards a career in the service or events industries.

Special Events Front of House Crew Doc/Fest is renowned for its special events – bringing the best in documentary and media landscapes to Sheffield year on year. Volunteering as part of the Special Events Front of House Crew will give you insight into how these huge events are delivered. Are you a people person? A problem-solver who likes to think quickly on their feet? If you enjoy working in a time-sensitive environment to ensure the show must go on, this is the role for you. As part of the Special Events Front of House Crew – the face of the festival - you will meet and greet our international audiences and be trained on our Front of House tracking technology, working closely with staff at our flagship venues.

BSL Access Team For the first time, we are delighted to be piloting a new scheme – the BSL Access Team - to ensure our D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences who are BSL users get the most out of Doc/Fest. We are looking for students or professionals who would be willing to volunteer for the scheme, in which they will be paired with someone who requires BSL interpretation in order to participate and accompany them to screenings, sessions and events of their choosing. For more information on this new role please email
volunteer [at] sidf.co.uk to discuss further.

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