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 2018 Festival Assistant blocks run from:
8 January to 30 March
2 April to 29 June
2 July to 28 September
1 October to 21 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.
Having never worked in an office before I can easily say this was a perfect introduction and opportunity to gain new experience and skills. Throughout the internship scheme I gained insight into the logistics of admin work and how the different departments fit and work together. I was also surprised at how much I felt part of the team and how satisfying it was to see the positive reactions to the festival. Aside from furthering career opportunities, being a festival assistant was simply a great way to meet new and interesting people who were always friendly and welcoming.
Being part of the Doc/Fest team during the run up to the Festival and over the Festival period was an incredible insight into film festivals and event production, as well as the current landscape of documentary film making. The Festival's Alternate Realities Strand and Virtual Reality Programme showed me how emerging technologies may shape the future of documentary and in particular working with the Marketplace team was an exciting introduction to an area of film festivals I didn't previously know!
Being a part of Doc/Fest just before the Festival was one of the best experiences of my life! I could definitely describe it in three words: challenging, rewarding and fun. As a part of the Alternate Realities Team, I gained a lot of experience and interesting knowledge about the application of new technologies. Being involved in a VR experience called ‘Doom Room’, I learned a lot about time management, event production and exhibition set-up. The knowledge I have gained has given me a lot of confidence for working on future events, and to be honest I already can’t wait for Doc/Fest 2018!
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.
Having the opportunity to become part of the immensely talented Doc/Fest team allowed me to develop on my existing interpersonal and communication skills, whilst also gaining new office and administrative experience. Having never worked in an office environment before, I now feel confident when dealing with professional phone calls, emails and office systems, especially Microsoft Excel. My time at Doc/Fest was challenging but extremely rewarding. The team are all so lovely and talented and made me feel extremely welcome. Thank you Doc/Fest!
Being a part of the Doc/Fest team as a Festival Assistant has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, allowing me to experience the inner workings of one of the UK’s leading film festivals, and coordinating with the various departments within the Doc/Fest office has made this experience much more fulfilling. I was placed with the Marketplace team after a couples months, where I could focus on more specific tasks relating to the department, and which lead to a paid placement as a Delegations Assistant with the team during Doc/Fest 2017.
Offering unrivalled access to the inner workings of a major film festival, I found the Festival Assistant programme to be deeply rewarding. I noticed an immediate improvement in my abilities and confidence while gaining a wider knowledge of the industry itself. Supporting the Operations department provided me with invaluable office experience as I carried out a number of administrative tasks, including production research, answering phone queries and placing stationery orders. My achievements as a Festival Assistant provided a clear vision of where I wish to take my career, as well as enabling me to undertake the paid role of Alternate Realities Programme Assistant during Doc/Fest 2017
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!