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.

The social impact of the film festival

Different film festival focuses on different types of films. When submitting their own works, the directors should also consider whether the film matches the festival’s tastes. Movies such as romantic comedy may not be the favourite type of the Rotterdam Film Festival. What kind of film is selected is actually shows the personal opinion somehow. Some people may think that the film festival is a matter of effective relationship, which is not the case. Although there are many movies to watch, the process of film selection is also a process of discovery, discovering the talent and unique ability of the director. The process of each film festival also affects the type and quality of the films it exhibits. Movies of the same or similar are grouped together to maximize their social value. If the filmmaker participates in the festival for the purpose of communication and is examined and examined the original intention of being explored, it is the justest. The filmmakers don’t feel that they are just running around for a few spotlights. In order to cope with the popularity, the film festival is actually contributing to the talent and enthusiasm of this industry.

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If people can communicate directly and speak the same language, then the film festival is the epitome of the world, said Jean Cocteau. Film Festival is not just for the audience to watch the star’s red carpet show. “Movies” should be the only theme throughout the festival. The French Vesoul Asian Film Festival invited Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai to serve as the chairman of 2018, and continuously screened 12 films by Wang Xiaoshuai to pay tribute to the director from Beijing. On January 31st, 2018, the film “left and right” once again attracted the attention of the audience. The story is about two young couples who reorganize their families to break through social, psychological and emotional entanglements in order to save a girl with cancer. By using love to solve problems, and convert seemingly irreconcilable conflicts into sublimation, it can be a completely new example. This is a story of a lyrical drama shaped in a melancholy tone. Talking about art perspective, Wang Xiaoshuai once again used various contradictions and conflicts of daily life to focus on the habits of the majority people in Chinese society, and then put these scenes in a very specific and very special plot to make the story rooted in reality. Making the social environment a soil, weaving multiple clues of stories and emotions in the same combination of music and polyphony, allowing the audience to find themselves while watching other people’s stories, thinking about emotional message and excitement. The artist’s work also suggests that the breakthrough power of the system can be used to benefit the society. As a cultural platform in France, the Festival international des cinémas d’Asie has fully demonstrated and recognized the talents of outstanding Chinese filmmakers and the social significance of their works and made people realize that film artists use high-level literary and artistic means to restore social reality and objectively and in-depth examination. China’s national conditions and the significance of the reference to decision-making; this significance far exceeds the economic indicators of the box office of the entertainment industry.

Culture value of film festival

As one of the vital carriers of culture, films are getting more and more popular in converting the ideas into visual signals to present the certain kind of information. To present the films, film festivals are organized as events in a city or in a region to attract people from different fields to share the culture value with the through selected films in a particular theme.  According to incomplete statistics, there are currently more than 600 film festivals in the world. Among them, 55 film festivals are recognized by UNESCO. The Shanghai Film Festival is one of them, and it is also one of the most influential and representative cultural events in Asia.


Considered as one of the biggest film festivals in Asia, Shanghai film festival was first held from October 7 to 14, 1993. It has been succeeded in transforming the huge city into a cultural centred city from an economic capital in recent years in some ways. All the contribution of the events began to assert itself. It shows hundreds of films from all around the world. As the only film exchange market in mainland China, Shanghai Film Festival has entered a stable growth period in recent years. When it comes to the Shanghai Film Festival, the first thing that stands out is the value and significance of its cultural exchanges. Through the selection and comparison of many films, the Shanghai Film Festival has allowed more countries’ films to enter China. For example, movies which are imported from India, Canada, Germany and Thailand.  Opening the window for the Chinese audience to know more types of films which are excellent with ethnic characteristics and regional representatives. Through the appraisal and selection, the Shanghai Film Festival may select a batch of high-quality works to introduce to the Chinese audience every year. The events offer an opportunity for the filmmakers to communicate and share their experience with each other. In addition to the cultural exchange of the festival, the significance and value of cooperation, the Shanghai Film Festival also takes the responsibility to introduce the Chinese culture to the world.

By contrast, not all of the movies from other cultures are accepted by audiences. There are also some situations which may occur beyond the initial purpose of the film festival. Take one of the films named The Mirror which is directed by Margarita Terekhova as an example, it is hard for the audience to fully understand the metaphor of the scripts in spite of being introduced in one of the popular film festivals. In short, it is also necessary for the organizer to think about the drawbacks or limitation to fill up the gap between the ages.

Being expected to provide the platform, the film festivals are able to help the audiences to involve in different cultural circumstances to take shape the aesthetics sense of films. Although cultural values are introduced in the article above, further knowledge can be explored in the future study of the course which is related to the film festival in terms of other possible perspectives.



PANORAMA. (2018). Retrieved from

The initial understanding of film festival

Film festival, usually seen as a gatekeeper and tastemaker filter was arranged to particularly screen out a number of films and television programs for audiences in a certain period of time. Since 1932, the film festival has become a platform for film workers to exchange ideas and cooperate with each other dealing with the themes, scripts and even casting. To some extends, excellent films also promote the development of culture in various perspectives. Taking Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) as an example, it offers an opportunity to people from different cultural background to communicate in a well-organized platform to make the full use of the cultural diversity. In MIFF, around 300 movies include feature movies, documentaries, short films which are totally non-profit will be shown within 18 days in a row.

Unlike the Festival De Cannes, there are no red carpets in MIFF, on account of the situation that movie stars or celebrities may seldom be invited.  It is my first time to have the unforgettable experience of attending the film festival on the 8th of August,2018. In the MIFF, we watched a brilliant documentary named Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley which was directed by award-winning director Nicholas Wrathall in its World Premiere screening. There were only filmmakers, journalists, audiences and workers stayed in a theatre to sincerely share their spectatorship with the audience face to face. As I learned from the video, the Kimberley is a beautiful place located in the west of Australia where aborigines live from generation to generation. There are abundant mineral resources that government wants to exploit, which will threaten to not only environment but also local communities. People who born and grew up there narrated their story about living in the Kimberley and represented their attitude about undermined. Aborigines strongly against and appeal to protect the environment. I was touched by the tales because people really love their land and life.


Films like Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley are rarely be shown in cinemas. In most cases, this kind of films is cultural capital which means that the film festival confers the value of culture upon the film itself. Specifically, these films mainly focus on education function to the audience to shed light on the impact of the visualized statement of the current problem. The content of these movies normally related to a certain cultural background. The development of economic and cultural protection, the inheritance and creation of a series of realistic shocks and contradictions have made the film worth reflecting and rethinking from different aspects. This special filming experience inspired me in understanding the contemporary society by introducing the stories in the Australian context. My understanding of the world is not limited to the surrounding of my life but extends to broader and deeper circumstances relating to both cultural and economic issues. I hope in the further study, I can keep learning about the procedures and operations of the film industry to truly understand how to make it valuable to the human history.