Behind the Scenes: Volunteering for the NZIFF

Two days to go before the start of Wellington’s New Zealand International Film Festival! Today was my last day of volunteering for the NZIFF head office. Here is a brief summary of my experience.

Welcome in the NZIFF head office!

Situated in the Embassy building itself –the cinema that Peter Jackson chose for his latest films’ world premiere-, the office of the New Zealand International Film Festival is a nice open space on the 2nd floor. As you can imagine, everyone is MEGA busy at the moment. The Auckland Festival has already started. The Wellington’s start must be perfect and everything needs to be done for the other towns. So, the team is working on it (they are around 20 people to work at the same time in the office), and as one of the volunteers, I helped them as much as I could.

There is no sound associated with my picture, but just imagine the phone ringing every two minutes, the fingers typing frantically on the keyboard and everybody talking to each other searching last-minute solutions!

By the way, it is impossible to forget that you’re in the building of a movie theatre, because dinosaurs are hidden just behind the wall! When the screening of Jurassic World is on, you can hear them screaming. Be careful, not for the fainthearted!

 Arts and Crafts for complimentary tickets

The prep of a festival consists in a lot of different manual tasks. Volunteers’ tasks are often the easiest one. Yet, you get well-paid: the NZIFF team offers you one complimentary ticket for 3 hours work. Pretty good in these times of high cost of a trip to the cinema. I can assure you that it gives you motivation!

So, I began to help Kailey, the Online Content Coordinator, with copying and pasting the synopsis of the amazing films of the Festival. A good way of finding out which one you don’t want to miss.

Volunteering for the NZIFF-stampingThen I helped Lisa, the Assistance to General Manager, stamping as much ten trip passes as I could. How rewarding this is, when you stamped your 700th! You’ve got sore muscles at the end but you can see the results of your pain while admiring the piles in front of you.

Same kind of tasks to aid, Sibilla, the Publications Manager. We had to write the name of staff members on their complimentary tickets. Some of them receive more than 25 tickets and they’re around 90 in total. I’ll let you do the maths 🙂

Megan, the Publicist and Angela, the Audience Development Coordinator also needed a hand: it’s time to photoshop, to chase bounced email and to update press release.

But I must say that the guillotine was my favourite tool. How unusual for a French girl, isn’t it?

Volunteering for the NZIFF - Guillotine

Welcoming Kiwi Film Festival Team

To sum up, even if it was hard work (!), volunteering for the NZIFF offered me a privileged insight into everybody’s tasks 😉 I could meet passionate people, share a cup of tea or two while talking about our my love for Film, and treat myself with handmade coconuts sweets. Now, it’s time to go to the NZIFF and use my complimentary tickets! Thank you!

In my next post, I’ll present you the two interns of the NZIFF, Cianna & Poppy, young, determinate and passionate, adjectives that suit the entire NZIFF team.

PS: The Embassy having a facelift at the moment, the building is covered with scaffolding. But I’ll show you the famous auditorium soon. It has as much character as any Broadway Venue!

Sally Welly

2 responses

  1. Cool que tu sois libre juste avant le festival, tu auras plein de temps pour préparer tes critiques de films etc 🙂

    • exactement, ça s’est parfaitement coordonné! N’oublie pas d’aller voir le Tout Nouveau Testament à sa sortie pour retrouver un peu d’humour belge!! ça doit te manquer quand même 😉

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