FESTIVAL ASSISTANT PROGRAMME
Every year Doc/Fest recruit a number of Festival Assistants to assist the team with preparations for the next Festival and the various year-round projects we coordinate. We are looking for two enthusiastic individuals to join our team from July to the end of September. It's a wonderful chance to gain professional office experience which will include, taking and transferring calls and queries, taking minutes in team meetings and working with various departments within the Doc/Fest team.
This is a great opportunity to work closely with the team to gain valuable professional office-based experience. You will be based in our Sheffield office and your typical duties might include: research tasks, maintaining databases, updating copy on the website and social networks, processing film submissions, and office runner tasks.
These positions are unpaid internships which last for three month periods with a minimum commitment of two days a week. Our office hours are 9:30am – 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Our 2017 Festival Assistant blocks run from:
2 October to Friday 15 December
Our Festival Assistant positions often lead to choice volunteer roles and could lead to employment opportunities at the Festival. We are also happy to provide you with professional advice, references and letters of recommendation if requested.
If you would like to apply please download and complete our application form application form explaining why you would like to apply for the role of a Festival Assistant, why you think you would be suitable for the role and what you would hope to gain whilst at Doc/Fest. Please send this to hannah.mchaffie [at] sidf.co.uk
What our Festival Assistants have to say
Having volunteered with MCM Comic Con in London, I wanted to get a better understanding of the “behind the scenes” processes that go into making Festivals and shows happen. At Doc/Fest I assisted the production department and took on research tasks for equipment hire and worked as part of the Doc/Fest Film Crew during the festival. The internship has given me an excellent foundation of skills and I have met wonderful people with whom I hope to keep in touch with for future projects.
My time as a Festival Assistant allowed me to find my feet in the office and get involved in tasks such as writing and sending out the monthly E-News, updating databases, arranging travel and answering phone calls. I worked closely with the Marketing Team and got a great hands-on experience during the Festival, building knowledge of several aspects of the department such as how press coverage is logged and social media is updated. The Festival Assistant Programme has helped me develop a solid foundation from which I can build my future career, in the industry that I am passionate about.
I decided to apply for the Doc/Fest internship as part of my gap year before starting university. As I am hoping to study film, the programme seemed perfect for getting my foot in the door of the industry and gaining insight into what goes into the Festival, year-round. Having never worked in an office environment before, I now feel confident in how to deal with phone calls, emails and general office admin. My time at Doc/Fest has been challenging but extremely rewarding, the team are all so lovely and talented and made me feel immensely welcome! I now feel much more confident in where I want to go with my career.
I volunteered at Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2016 and was fortunate enough to be placed in their Virtual Reality Arcade – an exhibition with which I was keen to get involved. Everyone I met, both public and staff, were so friendly and supportive that I felt genuinely valued as a member of the team. After those 6 hectic days, I applied for the internship as a way to extend my involvement with Doc/Fest whilst gaining valuable industry experience. Over these three months working in their offices, I have been able to develop both my administrative skills and knowledge of the processes behind organising a festival. The internship acts as a good taster for office life and allows you to figure out which departments you may be best suited to working. Having completed my time at Doc/Fest, I certainly feel more confident moving forward in my career.
My time at Doc/Fest gave me a real insight into the industry, allowing me to see how a Film Festival functions as well as working alongside a great team. During the Festival, I worked as a Registration Assistant and Head Volunteer which I enjoyed because I was at the heart of the operation; welcoming the delegates to the Festival. Plus, I even got to meet Documentary Director, Michael Moore!
After volunteering at the Festival in June 2015, I was eager to get involved further. I thought the internship scheme would be the best way to do this as well as a great opportunity to gain work experience in an office environment. It was fascinating to get a glimpse behind the scenes at the processes that take place as the team prepares for the Festival, including the high-level of organisation and investment that is required. I was very daunted at first by the unfamiliarity of the office environment but the team were very encouraging and helpful. After a mere few shifts I felt like part of the team. Every day was exciting and challenging in its own way as I frequently had to juggle a plethora of different tasks from office runner jobs to admin and research tasks as well as being the first point of contact for phone calls to the office. My 3 months in the Doc/Fest office were challenging but very rewarding, and it was invaluable experience within the cultural sector that I hope to make a career within.
After volunteering at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 as a Marketing Assistant, I was keen to gain a greater insight into the operations of the Festival. During the course of the internship I developed my office and administration skills; answering phones and emails, arranging travel and accommodation, completing research tasks and making cups of tea! I was also tasked with developing the Volunteers Alumni eNews and social media accounts. This work included making new industry contacts, creating and editing copy, and sharing industry opportunities with volunteers from past Festivals. The internship overall was engaging and informative, working as part of such a fantastic team was really rewarding, and it has given me the confidence and the experience to take the next step in my career. Saul came on board full time with the Doc/Fest team as Marketing & Publications Assistant for the 2016 Festival. He is now in the role of Operations Assistant for Doc/Fest 2017.