Volunteers Issus in Shanghai International Film Festival

P41( image: http://www.siff.com )

In January of this year, there was an article entitled “Volunteers, Shanghai International Film Festival should be reconsidered”. According to the report, since 1997, the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) has no longer used the society to find volunteers, but to collect college students from cooperative colleges. The report also pointed out that using students’ volunteers led to some problems at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) in recent years. The most obvious one is the translation problem,which the translation is not accurate enough, there will be a phenomenon that it is not timely or even loses sentences. First of all, the students’ volunteers have no relevant experience, neither the work experience in the media industry nor the experience of instant translation. Secondly, the volunteers have insufficient preparation time and do not have enough preparation for the relevant film. This may lead to some derailment in the Q&A session. These problems, if convened by social volunteers, may be alleviated.

Volunteers are an essential part of most film festivals. Film festivals and volunteers should belong to a mutually beneficial win-win relationship. The festival will reduce the cost and expand the number of staffs through volunteers to ensure the integrity of the service. Volunteers gain experience by participating in the film festival, for personal interests or future careers. The author believes that the problem of the SIFF is to give students’ volunteers too much professional work, such as on-site translation, subtitle translation and so on. For example, in the Melbourne International Film Festival, the work of student volunteers is to scan tickets and solve non-professional but demanding jobs such as customer needs. SIFF does not provide a job to student volunteers at check tickets and customer service.


( image: Interview with the UK: The harvest of the internship at the film festival.  Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/ukchina/simp/uk_education/study_iv/2015/03/150317_study_uk_iv_zhouyining)

However, it does not mean that student volunteers cannot have professional positions. The author once touched an interview report. The interviewee was a Chinese student studying in the UK and the leader of the volunteer media group at the 2014 International Chinese Film Festival in London. Although a student, she has professional media industry knowledge and internship experience. When asked about the main work content, the student responded in an orderly manner. The primary responsibility of the media group was to communicate with the media in the early stage, including writing and sending news releases, publicity, and so on. On the day of the award ceremony, they were responsible for receiving the media and arranging interviews. After the event, they were responsible for the post-media contact work. It can be seen that students with professional backgrounds can be qualified for more professional jobs, but this requires the organisers of the film festival to be detailed and cautious about the requirements of the positions when recruiting volunteers and provided related training.

In any case, the altruistic spirit and selfless dedication of the volunteers touch the cinephile. Fans can enjoy the festival’s fantastic, volunteers are an indispensable part. The 21st Volunteer Convenience of the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2018 is also open to the community, and specific conditions are planned for each occupation. This also reflects the SIFF’s insistence on innovation and the establishment of a communication platform for world cinema.




Movie Classical of Mountain and the Sea. (2018). For the volunteers, the Shanghai Film Festival should be reconsidered. Ifeng. Retrieved from http://wemedia.ifeng.com/45676883/wemedia.shtml

Shanghai International Film Festival Organizing Committee. (2018). Shanghai International Film Festival Volunteer Recruitment Regulations. 2018 Shanghai international Film & TV Festival. Retrieved from http://www.siff.com/siff2017/chinese/schedule/notice/2018-03-22/2285.html

Zichuan. (2015). Interview with the UK: The harvest of the internship at the film festival. BBC British Network. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/ukchina/simp/uk_education/study_iv/2015/03/150317_study_uk_iv_zhouyining


Author: Songhua Liu

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