The role of volunteers in a film festival

Volunteer (United Nations) is defined as “activists who voluntarily serve the public interest without gaining any benefits, money, or reputation.” Specifically, volunteers can take the initiative to assume social responsibility without receiving any material remuneration and dedicate their time and actions.

The success of the film festival is closely related to many people. Everyone is indispensable, especially volunteers, who play an important role in connecting and handling the affairs of various departments. The recruitment of volunteers is open to all professions. No matter what occupation or identity, if you meet the requirements and contribute your talents, you can become a volunteer for the film festival. Volunteers who are open to the public should have certain social experience and work experience and have a faster response to team integration, the division of labour, and emergency handling. In addition to the incumbents, student volunteers are also needed. The participation of people from all levels can produce synergies and maximize the impact and effectiveness of the festival. They are even more needed for translators because film festivals often attract people who speak different languages and come from various cultural backgrounds. Taking Shanghai International Film Festival as a vivid example, it is not about offering the services to people who speaking different languages but making it possible to use the resource of volunteers to provide the top service of an accurate translation in cooperation with volunteers who study foreign languages. If a lot of translators come to help with post-translation and even host, there may be a true international-level film festival question and answer experience. It is not saying that the hosts and translators which are operated by the public relations company are not the right people. They may not be familiar with the movie or pay attention to the main creation. They have not done their researches beforehand, so they will always experience poor feedback after the show. In fact, these works should be delivered to them at Shanghai International Film Festival in advance. To some extends, people may be occupied by resolving the details which are the inconvenience of collating information. Therefore, this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival rethink the recruitment of volunteers, provide a brand-new opportunity for the audience to participate more deeply in the film festival, at the same time be able to consolidate the basic services of the film festival. If a volunteer is willing to do a good job of collecting relevant information in advance, it will also help the hosts and the translators. If a volunteer is at a high level, he or she can even provide services for his or her favourite film master. The Shanghai International Film Festival has closed the door to recruit volunteers from the society but turned to open door to find college student volunteers on campus. It has been implemented for 20 years, but it is not a hard rule.

The film festival’s volunteer service not only provides a large number of human resources but also makes the service more human and personalized. While providing volunteers with internship opportunities, they also provide more comprehensive social services to clients.



Love, G.W., Sherman, K. and Olding, R., 2012. Will they stay, or will they go? A study of volunteer retention at film/music festivals in the Southwest United States. Event Management16(4), pp.269-281.

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