Volunteers FAQ

Application Process

I'd like to apply. Will you consider my resume?

No. If you want to volunteer, you must fill out and submit a volunteer application online. Volunteers are only considered based on the information they provide in the online application and any information on previous Sundance Film Festival Volunteer experience. Volunteer Applications will be available ONLINE starting August 15, 2014 HERE.

I don't have lodging in Park City, what are my options?

It is important to know that we do not review applications if they do not have secured lodging. Due to the heavy reliance we have on our volunteers to fulfill roles, we cannot place a volunteer into a role unless we know they have a roof over their head or it is likely they will cancel and we will be left short-handed.

If you are a new volunteer and need to secure lodging, we recommend our official lodging resource page which offers discounted rates through official partners. You can search for lodging at the following: sundance.org/lodging

There are several ways to search for the best deal—

  • Book Early! Save big! – Discount rates will be higher if booked prior to November 5th, 2014.
  • If you are applying as Full-Time or Half-Fest, OR if you are planning to stay longer than 6 nights, use promo discount code: backboneSFF
  • If you are applying as Sign-Up, use promo discount code: GOTMY71CKE75
  • We encourage you to try both discounts when booking as rates and availability can vary depending on time of booking.
  • Have Questions? Need Help? Contact the reservation team
    at 877-SFF-STAY (733-7829)

You can also try joining our Facebook group specifically for meeting, and pairing up for housing with, other volunteers. Email us at volunteers@sundance.org to be invited.

What dates should I book my lodging?

If you are applying for a...

  • full-time position, plan to be here by Jan 21 - Feb 1 to be eligible for most volunteer positions.
  • half-fest position for week one, plan to be here Jan 21-27.
  • half-fest position for week two, plan to be here Jan 27 - Feb 1.
  • sign up position, plan to be here any 4-5 days of the Festival to ensure you can get your 24 hours in. If you are new to the program, your chances of shift availability are greater after opening weekend as alumni will have priority to sign up.

I've heard you have lodging for volunteers, is that true?

We do have a small amount of Festival provided lodging available to qualified FULL TIME ONLY volunteers. That said, 99% of this housing is given to our returning alumni FULL TIME volunteers. Please keep in mind that if you apply without secured lodging, in hopes of getting Festival provided lodging, chances are we won't see your application as we prioritize alumni followed by new applicants who have secured accommodations first. We'd hate to have you miss out because of this!

To better your chances of being selected as a NEW volunteer for the 2015 Festival, we strongly encourage you to apply with secured accommodations.

What if I'm from a land far, far, away?

We welcome a diverse group of volunteers from around the globe. You will be considered in the application process just as any other volunteer and notified within the same timeframe. The details of your passport, travel, etc. will be entirely your responsibility.

I've volunteered before for the Sundance Film Festival. What do I do to apply for 2015?

If you've volunteered in the past, we consider you an Alumni Volunteer. Please click HERE to read more about how to apply as Alumni.

When will I hear about my application?

We process applications starting in October all the way through the end of December, they are not reviewed based on the date submitted. We fill open positions starting with qualified Alumni Volunteers, then new volunteers, and will inform applicants of their status throughout the process. Some positions are filled later depending on when that department's manager starts. We understand your need to make travel arrangements; we'll get you assigned as quickly as we can. We will work diligently to inform volunteers no later than mid-December but hopefully sooner! All volunteers will be notified of their status by January 2, 2015. We appreciate your patience while we sort through the applications!

What if I’m also attending as press or another role within the film industry? Can I have both credentials?

No. Unfortunately we cannot allow volunteers to have any other type of industry related pass if they are volunteering. This includes passes for other industry related events at the Festival (official or not). If you wish to attend as press or some other type of industry role that requires an application for a credential, you will have to choose between one role or the other. That said, if you want to purchase a patron pass (meaning a ticket related pass) on top of your volunteering, you are more than welcome to do so.

Hours and Volunteer Benefits

If I am a local volunteer, can I work all of my required hours before the Festival?

We love all the help our local volunteers can provide pre-Festival, however, ALL volunteers must work the required hours of their volunteer role (24 for sign up for example) during the 10 days of the Festival to be eligible to receive any volunteer incentives such as vouchers. The Festival is when we need you the most!

How do I use my credential to get into screenings?

A Volunteer Photo Credential (for volunteers giving 80+ hours) provides entry to Festival screenings and panels on a volunteer space-available basis via the volunteer ticket line OR the general patron waitlist line.

Volunteer vouchers, presented with a Volunteer Non-Photo Credential and matching ID, are redeemable for tickets to Festival screenings and panels on a space-available basis. Volunteer vouchers are based on the number of volunteer hours worked. Four hours = one voucher. One voucher = one ticket through the staff and volunteer ticket line or through the general waitlist line.

A limited number of screening tickets are held at certain theatre box offices for staff/volunteers and are available an hour prior to screening time through the staff and volunteer ticket line. If those tickets have all been distributed, you may join the general waitlist and use your credential and voucher for admittance. Waitlist patrons are admitted to the theatre on a space-available basis 15 minutes before the screening begins.

Staff and volunteers will be admitted on a space-available basis to the Staff and Volunteer ONLY Screenings, no vouchers required! (Credential or photo ID is required for admittance.)

Will I be able to change my shift times/What if I can't drive when it's snowing?

Full-Time Volunteers and Half-Fest Volunteers agree to be available as assigned by the Festival. Sign-Up Volunteers are able to sign up for available shifts in advance of the Festival. From there, in the mind of the Volunteer Department, you are committed to fulfilling your shifts. There are systems in place, however, to change your shift times, which will be detailed at the volunteer orientation and in the volunteer training. When committing to shifts you should also be sure to take into account travel times and your ability to travel in inclement weather. The Sundance Film Festival is in January - it's likely there will be some snowy days. As always, change and flexibility are large components of a successful Festival, so we are happy to work with you as situations arise - just contact us ahead of time!

What if I change my mind?/What if I can't make it to the Festival after all?

Once accepted, volunteers will sign an agreement committing to the volunteer position they have been offered. If you are signing and committing to the volunteer agreement, you should have no reason that you know of that you cannot volunteer. The deadline for final cancellations is listed in your agreement though. We have a cancellation deadline to give us enough time to fill the position again. Volunteers who cancel after the deadline will jeopardize their ability to volunteer with Sundance Institute in the future. Of course, extreme circumstances may negate following the deadline. In such extreme cases, please contact the Volunteer Department as soon as possible to discuss your situation with a staff member.

At the Festival

Can I take a friend to the screenings?

The easy answer is to get your friend to volunteer! But if that won’t work, you do have the option to exchange your volunteer vouchers (this applies to sign up volunteers with 30 or more hours) for guest vouchers which can be used in the general waitlist line in exchange for tickets. Guest vouchers cannot be used in the volunteer/staff ticket line but volunteers are welcome to wait in the general waitlist line with their guests and will be allowed to use their volunteer voucher from there. If a volunteer chooses to use their volunteer voucher in the general waitlist line however, keep in mind that this will not count towards the allotted tickets set aside for the volunteer/staff line but will be admitted if space allows after all ticket holders (including volunteer/staff ticket line) are seated.

How do I get into parties?

Volunteers will receive one ticket to the Staff and Volunteer Opening Night Party. Everyone that is volunteering is encouraged to attend! Full-Time and Half-Fest Volunteers will receive a ticket to the Awards Night Celebration (unless otherwise specified). Anyone attending an official party must have a hard ticket and their credential for admittance.

How do I get into the Music Café?

Your volunteer credential allows you access to all of the non-theatre venues on a space-available basis. This includes the Music Café, New Frontier, Sundance House, and Filmmaker Lodge. You may be asked to observe the "Family Hold Back" rule for high-profile performances or panels, waiting until 15 minutes prior to the start of the event before being admitted. In these cases, staff and volunteers may not be admitted if the event is full.

What about food?

Full-Time volunteers receive a set number of Grub Stubs which can be exchanged for a pre-determined meal at participating locations. We also offer light snacks throughout the day at the Volunteer Hub located in the Marriott Headquarters. Officially, though, meals are not provided by the Festival, so please plan accordingly.

How do I get to Festival Headquarters in Park City from the Salt Lake City Airport?

If you are driving or taking a shuttle, you can look at official Sundance options here:  Getting Around

The SLC airport also lists transportation resources (not affiliated with Sundance) here.

We suggest teaming up with other volunteers though, as arranging transportation independently can end up being MUCH cheaper if you are able to find a private ride service or go in on carpooling options.

What time should I arrive on my scheduled arrival date?

It is important to clearly understand your start date as a Full Time Volunteer-this is the date you will want to plan to arrive in Park City. Arrive no later than 4:00 p.m. (and we recommend 3:00 p.m.) to allow travel time to Park City. This means you should be walking out of the SLC airport no later than 1:30 p.m. to allow travel time up the canyon. Check-in hours vary so be sure to check your email for a list of dates and times. If your lodging will be provided by the Festival, you will not be able to check in until after 4:00 p.m. If you arrive before then, please plan on hanging out (or attending training) for a few hours until lodging keys can be distributed.

How do I get in touch with the Volunteer Department?

We invite you to contact us if you have questions that are not addressed in this FAQ or on the other Volunteer Pages. If you are interested in applying to volunteer for the Sundance Film Festival, please click HERE.

To contact us:

Email: volunteers@sundance.org
General Phone: 435-658-3456
Volunteer Hotline: 435-776-7870
Office Hours; Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (MDT).