As the countdown for the third edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) begins, organizers are seeking over 400 volunteers to help ensure a smooth run of the event that is expected to draw over 100 celebrities and nearly 400 guests from the regional and international cinema industry.
DIFF’s call for committed secondary and university students comes at a time when the festival has adopted a broader programming format, including a new competition section for Arab film makers and a segment for children’s films.
Over 300 volunteers, including a large number of high school and undergraduate students, lent their support to DIFF 2005 in a variety of tasks ranging from ushers, transportation and guest relation assistants, floaters and runners, in addition to administrative roles.
This year, DIFF is aiming to increase the number of volunteers as the scope of work has been extended to include the pre-festival period.
Shivani Pandya, Managing Director-DIFF said: “In the previous two years, volunteers have played a critical part in the festival management. We again count on their support this year to ensure the success of the event.
“DIFF provides a chance for people starting out in the media or film industry to learn about the workings of an international film festival. This year, we are stepping up that process with a new component in the volunteer programme – the Learning Series – to provide hands-on learning experience of film festivals.”
Pre-festival volunteers will support the DIFF team from 11am-3pm, once a week. As members of the Weekly Administration Crew, they will have the mandate to assist in volunteer recruitment meetings, handling data entry and invitations, co-coordinating mail-outs and assembling packages for various departments.
During the week long event from 10-17 December, volunteers will be on hand throughout the day at different festival venues including Madinat Jumeirah, Cinestar Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates, Mercato Theatre and Dubai Media City’s Screen on the Green.
Rashid Abdalla Al Maftoul, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator, Student Council at the Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology is a former festival volunteer. This year, he has helped start the new Volunteer Planning Group at DIFF.
Al Maftoul said: “DIFF is making a creditable effort to build an international cultural bridge that can facilitate productive global communication through the medium of film.
“The role of the volunteers reinforces this goal by representing a multicultural perspective to international guests and delegations. As a Volunteer Captain, DIFF has provided me with invaluable learning opportunities and a definitive foothold in my career.”
Those wishing to volunteer for DIFF 2006 may apply online at dubaifilmfest.com. Following this, they are required to send an email to volunteer[.]tecom.ae to subscribe to the DIFF Volunteer e-News for first notice of DIFF volunteer sign up opportunities and DIFF job postings. Details on the Learning Series will also appear in the volunteer e-newsletter.
Successful applicants will be called for a DIFF orientation prior to the festival, and assigned to different sections.