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De Niro Wants You!
To volunteer for the Tribeca Film Festival
Written by: Kelly Calabrese
Calling all actors… from April 21st to May 2nd New York will transform into a moving picture; an action-packed, high stakes, series of unforgettable moments known as the Tribeca Film Festival. Countless opportunities exist for NYC artists. Here's how you can land a juicy part in it…
Volunteer Applications are currently open online at: http://www.tribecafilm.com/get-involved/volunteer.html
Q: What learning opportunities are there for volunteers?
Working for TFF, volunteers get plenty of opportunities to learn different aspects of what it takes to make a film festival work. All departments will be utilizing volunteers, so you can conceivably get a chance to learn everything from web and video production to venue operations.
Q: What are the benefits of volunteering?
All volunteers are required to sign up for a minimum of 3 shifts during the Festival. In exchange, they receive a voucher that they can exchange for a ticket to a Festival screening. Volunteers also receive a free bag filled with goodies from our sponsors and an invitation to the exclusive TFF Volunteer Wrap Party (one of the most fun events of the year in my opinion). Most importantly, they get the opportunity to be a part of one of the most prestigious, culturally exciting events in the world!
Q: Are there networking opportunities for volunteers?
Many of our volunteers already work in the film industry or have a desire to. Every year we have a Volunteer Hub where people can hang out and relax after shifts, between screenings, etc. This is a great place to network & get to know some of your fellow volunteers. Who knows…that person scanning tickets across from you could turn out to be your new screenwriting partner!
Q:Are there any specific benefits that an aspiring actor would be interested in?
There are several positions for which actors would be perfect for! We are particularly looking for outgoing people to assist at venues as line captains, door greeters, etc. Volunteers are truly the face of the festival sometimes, so you can't be shy!
Q:We also have many casting directors, agents, talent managers, etc who post on NYCastings - are there any volunteer opportunities that an industry guru might be interested in?
I would say that people who are interested in talent management and casting would do well to volunteer for the unique experience of gaining access to screenings of films that haven't been seen before anywhere. The Tribeca Film Festival has always been a champion of new filmmakers and, in turn, of new acting talent. This allows for a head start on the buzz that is sure to be generated by an impactful newcomer.
Q: Can volunteering help an aspiring actor, writer, director – take their career to another level?
We expect our volunteers to maintain a professional decorum, so it's not designed as an opportunity to get your latest script or headshot into the hands of a director. Volunteering at Tribeca is not designed to “take your career to another level”, but here are many opportunities for networking available…particularly if you take your assignments seriously and perform them well.
Q: Can volunteers request a certain job that aligns with their interests?
You can indicate your interest on your application, but unfortunately we can't guarantee you placement in a specific department.
We usually have somewhere around 1500-1800 Volunteers every season. This is a huge festival!
Q: On what criteria do you decide who is accepted?
Volunteers are chosen in several different ways. Mainly, general enthusiasm, a demonstrated interest in the festival, and the ability to communicate clearly are the first things that we look at when accepting volunteers.
Q: Are there any paid positions?
For any paid positions that might still be available, go to: http://tinyurl.com/yhog8et
Q: Do you give school credit to any volunteers?
Volunteers do not receive school credit for their work. However, there are still several internship opportunities available at the festival. All you have to do is indicate that you would be interested in a TFF internship on your application.
Q: When do you stop accepting volunteers for 2010?
We will most likely continue accepting volunteers through the month of March. However, once we receive enough volunteers to fill all available positions, we will place you on a wait list until something else opens.
Q: Our volunteers mainly from the entertainment industry… filmmakers, actors, etc?
Our volunteers come from all walks of life. Obviously, being a film festival, we do tend to attract quite a few people in the entertainment industry.
Volunteers come in all ages, as long as they are over 18. The oldest volunteer that we had last year was 77 years old.
Q: Does volunteering in 2010 guarantee you a spot in 2011 if you do your job well?
As long as they respond in a timely fashion, we would welcome anyone who has done a good job for us in the past and wishes to return.
Q: Must volunteers be available for the entire festival or just a certain minimum schedule?
Volunteers are required to sign up for a minimum of 3 shifts as well as 2 mandatory orientation sessions.
Q: Does volunteering for Tribeca help a person get a volunteer gig at another festival?
A great deal of our applicants and staff members move around to several different festivals, so working with some of them can definitely help you in continuing your mission.
Q: Have any of your previous volunteers gone on to get their movie accepted? Either as cast or crew? If so – is there a connection between their volunteering and getting a break, lead, networking that paid off? Or was it just the combination of persistence and talent?
Persistence, talent, and uniqueness of vision are what I believe the main qualities are for getting your film accepted to ANY festival. These qualities will definitely pay off, so good luck!
Q: For those unable to volunteer do you offer any student discounts, artist discounts?
We do have tickets priced for students (with ID), but unfortunately we don't offer artist discounts.
Q: You have several free events during the festival. What are the free events for 2010 and is there anything that an actor would specifically be interested in?
The events haven't been formally announced yet. In order to find out more about the events as the festival approaches, sign up for the Tribeca Film newsletter at http://www.tribecafilm.com/register/
In addition to all the glitz and glamour that comes with volunteering for the Tribeca Film Festival, it also makes you a part of New York's artistic growth and economic recovery.
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur a financial and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan through the celebration of film, music and culture.
Since its founding, TFF has attracted an international audience of more than 2.3 million attendees and has generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City.
Again, the link to apply is: http://www.tribecafilm.com/get-involved/volunteer.html
Special thanks to Loren Hammonds, Volunteer Manager for the Tribeca Film Festival, who gave NYCastings this special Q&A footage.
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