Be a part of North America’s longest-running competitive film festival!
If you are a movie lover and are at least 18 years of age, this is a great opportunity to help bring international cinema to Chicago. With emphasis on providing underserved citizenry with access to world-class cinema, you’ll be a part of something larger than yourself. You’ll also get to meet other film enthusiasts, learn about the ins and outs of the festival world and see plenty of movies in the process!
After you have volunteered at the festival, you are welcome to join us year-round for our diverse programs, including the international screenings program, education screenings, television festival, and cine-youth festival for young and emerging filmmakers.
The Perks of Volunteering
Be part of the longest-running competitive film festival in North America, and one of the most passionate volunteer teams around.
Meet and network with fellow filmmakers and film lovers.
See free movies: for every shift you volunteer, you will receive a voucher for a free screening during the festival.
Score a free festival t-shirt and be entered in daily raffles for prizes and festival merchandise.
Receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Cinema/Chicago (volunteer 25+ hours before/during the festival).
Get a six-month Cinema/Chicago membership (Dec-April) if you volunteer 30+ hours before/during the festival) or a year-long membership if you volunteer 35+ hours.
Film Festival Volunteers are vital in a variety of roles both before and during the festival. The roles below are a sample of the opportunities festival volunteers may have, but new opportunities may also arise.
During the Festival
“Ask Me” floater
Move around the space, identifying customers who seem to need direction, answer inquiries, direct patrons to box office, rush line, membership table, merchandise table, information table nearest restrooms; answer questions about screening times and locations, aid patrons who may need accessible seating. If you do not have any requested information find another volunteer or member of the staff who does.
Industry Days Assistant
Assist Industry Days team with check-in, and all other needs at Industry Days events.
Information Table Assistant
*Seated. Manage the information table. Answer guests’ questions, direct moviegoers to the box office, theaters, membership table, merchandise table, restrooms, etc. Provide information about programming and show times. Provide parking validation vouchers for guests, staff and volunteers.
Line Assistant/Crowd Control
Help with rush lines, scanning tickets, expedite lines, arrange and double lines when needed, crowd control lines.
*Seated. Answer questions about becoming a member of Cinema/Chicago, discuss membership perks and benefits, pass out pamphlets and membership materials.
Rush Line Assistant
Give numbered ticket to patrons waiting in rush line, stand rush line in chronological order; if seats are available 10 minutes prior to show time, patrons may exchange their numbered ticket, along with cash for regular screening ticket; rush tickets are Cash Only. Remind patrons that receiving a numbered ticket does NOT guarantee a seat; remind patrons that rush seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis; remind patrons that rush seats may not be located right next to each other.
Assist with house lines, rip ticket stubs at entrance, click for headcount, handout ballots and pencils, turnover theater, collecting and organizing ballots. NOTE: It is at the Theater Manager’s sole discretion to seat on-shift volunteers during a screening. IF the shift is slow and seats are available, your Theater Manager may allow you to sit in the rear of the screening until there is work for you.
Scan all patron tickets as they head to their screenings, welcome and direct them to the correct theater.
Although our biggest volunteer event is the Chicago International Film Festival in October, we also have volunteer opportunities at our other events, such as CineYouth in the Spring, our Summer Screenings program, and member screenings/events throughout the year. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries into offseason volunteering opportunities.