Sundance Institute relies on the generosity and dedication of thousands of volunteers year round.We seek volunteers locally, nationally, and internationally, who share a commitment to supporting independent film and theatre. Volunteers are vital to all of the Institute's programs, including the Sundance Film Festival; the Labs of Feature Film, Theatre, Film Music, and Documentary Film Programs; and year-round in our Los Angeles, Park City, and New York City offices (just to name a few).
If you have questions that are not addressed on these Volunteer pages, please contact us Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. MST at 435-658-3456 or email us: email@example.com.
Every year, more than 1,800 volunteers help create a global platform for independent film. Volunteers are needed to assist in all areas of the Sundance Film Festival--from theater entrances to shuttle stops. Of course, there are exciting benefits such as being among the first audiences to see world premieres of the best new independent films. But the real benefits of volunteering aren't things, or even films--they're the experiences. If you're ready for a one-of-a-kind experience, read on and apply to join us in Utah this January!
The application to volunteer for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival is now closed.
We appreciate your interest and encourage you to apply in the future. Applications generally open in mid-August for the following year's festival.
1. Learn More: Read over the Volunteer Requirements and Benefits and decide on the type and level of commitment you would like to make before applying
2. Apply to Volunteer: The volunteer application generally opens in mid-August for the following year's festival. The application for 2016 is now open.
3. Discuss Your Application: When we review your application, we'll email you to set up a call and discuss possibilities. Applying to volunteer does not guarantee you will be offered a role, as we tend to receive over 3000 applications for just 1800 positions.
4. Receive a Specific Assignment: When a volunteer's interests and the Festival's needs fit, volunteers are offered a volunteer assignment with a Festival Department, usually by early December. All details are discussed on the phone and confirmed via email.
4. Get Your Schedule
5. Learn, Check-In, and Festival! All volunteers come to check-in just before volunteering to get their Festival Credentials, uniforms, etc. Volunteers are also required to attend training, some of which is provided online.
Finally, it's Festival time! Volunteers enjoy working their assigned shifts in-between attending events, seeing films, and (maybe) sleeping.
Volunteers can choose between three different levels of commitment: Sign-Up, Half-Fest, and Full-Time. In short, the Sign-Up program offers flexible scheduling (you choose) with one film voucher for every four hours worked (24 hours minimum required). Half-Fest is a hybrid of a sign-up and full-time volunteer where volunteers can pick week one (roughly Jan 21-26) or week two (roughly Jan 26-31) of the Festival to volunteer and are given a set schedule of 40 hours with a mix of sign up and full time benefits. And last but not least, Full-Time Volunteers work every day of the Festival on an assigned schedule, but can see an unlimited number of films while not on shift. ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE BY JANUARY 21, 2016.
Volunteers are essential to the Festival. We recognize the time they devote to the Festival and provide benefits to them as a thank-you for their service. Benefits are provided in conjunction with the number of hours volunteered, and for Full-Time Volunteers, the skills needed for the position held.
All Volunteers receive:
Sign Up Volunteers
Recognition for all volunteers, volunteering for 100 Hours: Volunteers giving 100 hours or more are recognized for their dedication to the Festival and become a part of the 100 Club. They receive the same benefits as above (sign-up, half-fest, and full-time are eligible for this) as well as being recognized for their commitment on their credential along with a name listing at the Festival's Awards Ceremony and access to one pre-selected ticket to a screening of their choice (as available).
The majority of volunteer opportunities and festival operations (including the Volunteer Hub) are based out of Park City. Volunteers should plan to use the FREE Festival Shuttle System while in Park City as there is no designated volunteer parking available. Outside of Park City, the Festival operates theatres in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and at the Sundance Resort as extensions of the Festival. These positions are mainly sign-up positions in our theatre operations and ticketing departments.
There are so many ways volunteers can get involved at the Festival! Please read on for a brief overview of the different departments that utilize volunteers:
|Corporate Relations||Act as liaison and provide guest services for corporate sponsors|
|Filmmaker Lodge||Set-up, maintain, and breakdown filmmaker lodge. Assist with daily operation tasks|
|Filmmaker Office||Act as liaison and provide guest services for guests attending with a film (long hours)|
|Headquarters||Assist with daily operations, set up, and tear down of headquarters and all associated offices (film office, SIO, volunteer hub, programming etc)|
|Information Services||Provide customer service and general Festival information to patrons at designated locations|
|Logistics||Coordinate logistics for radios, equipment, and uniforms throughout Festival|
|Marketing||Video/content editing, photography, and associated duties as it relates to Festival content|
|Merchandise||Help in our merch stores with set-up, selling, and maintaining merchandise items|
|Music Café||Set-up, maintain, and breakdown Music Cafe. Assist with daily operation tasks.|
|New Frontier||Set-up, maintain, and breakdown New Frontier (artist installations). Assist with daily operation tasks.|
|Press||Help with press check-in, office duties, and press communications|
|Production||Help with behind-the scenes set-up, maintenance, and tear down of the Festival|
|Sundance House||Set-up, maintain, and breakdown Sundance House. Assist with daily operation tasks|
|Tech Services||Help set-up, troubleshoot, and breakdown technology at the Festival|
|Theatre Box Office||Distribute, collect, and account for all tickets at our theatres|
|Theatre Operations||From ticket taking to crowd control, Theatre Operations is our BIGGEST NEED for volunteers|
|Ticketing||Assist in filling ticket orders, answering patrons' questions about films and theatres, and providing customer service|
|Transportation||Navigate crowds from one location to another at designated transportation stops|
|Volunteer FLEX||Volunteers assigned to this role will be shifted throughout various positions to fill cancellations/no-shows OR they may be re-assigned completely to one role for the duration of the festival if help is needed on that team. FLEX volunteers MUST be willing to do ANYTHING, inside or outside, and be willing to rotate OR be re-assigned completely.|
|Works Crew||Assist with snow removal, signage distribution, and other festival navigation duties|
|Special Events||Help with set-up, maintenance, and tear down of Festival events (late hours)|
If you are a student group of 6 or more that would like to attend the Festival as a volunteer, please contact us BY November 1st, 2015 at firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of the students attending, where you are attending from, and we will follow up with more details.
Student groups are scheduled within our theatre operations team by the volunteer department and have access to workshops and seminars designed for students only. Student groups must have a designated point of contact for communication and planning and have secured lodging and transportation to be scheduled.
FAQ for alumni to review prior to applying for 2016.
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.
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. That said, 99% of this housing is given to our returning alumni full time volunteers.
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—
You can also try joining our Facebook group specifically for meeting, and pairing up for housing with, other volunteers. Email us at email@example.com to be invited.
If you are applying for a...
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 2016 Festival, we strongly encourage you to apply with secured accommodations.
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.
If you've volunteered in the past, we consider you an Alumni Volunteer.
We process applications starting in October all the way through the end of December, and 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 1st, 2016. We appreciate your patience while we sort through the applications!
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.
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!
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.)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 in Park City 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.
We invite you to contact us if you have questions that are not addressed in this FAQ or on the other Volunteer Pages.
To contact us:
Volunteer Hotline: 435-776-7870
General Sundance Institute Inquiries: 435-658-3456
Office Hours; Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (MDT).
Pick a Program to learn more about how to apply and what opportunities are available to volunteers
The Institute’s labs take place throughout the year in Utah and elsewhere. Volunteers play a fundamental role in the Institute’s labs in Utah during the summer months. The Summer Labs Volunteer Application will open February 2017.
If you have questions about Lab opportunities please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at NEXT FEST. We'll start accepting applications for 2016 Next Fest on May 1, 2016.
The volunteer application for Sundance London 2016 is now closed. If you are interested in volunteering for Sundance London 2017, please email@example.com in early March 2017 for more information.
Beyond our Festivals, Sundance Institute has events and programs that rely on the help of volunteers to make them happen. These opportunities are part of our “year round” volunteer program and involve one day events and/or projects. They are usually based out of our LA, NY, and Park City, Utah Offices and typically range between 4-6 hours. Past year round opportunities have included:
If you would like to hear about upcoming year round volunteer opportunities, let us know by filling out an application.
The Volunteer Department
If you have questions that are not addressed on these Volunteer pages, please contact us Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. MST at 435-776-7870 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.