From November 8th till November 19th, 2022, IDFA will celebrate its 36th edition at 20 different locations in the city of Amsterdam.
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us. IDFA could not exist without the hundreds of volunteers that work for the festival every year. Volunteers are an important and intrinsic aspect to the successful organization of IDFA. You will run into them in every corner of the festival: at the theater doors, hosting the box office, or delivering the festival daily, lunches and posters. They welcome our guests and audiences, function as our eyes and ears during the festival, and are ambassadors of IDFA thanks to their enthusiasm for the festival.
Jobs and criteria
Below is a list of volunteer jobs at IDFA that are available to non-Dutch speaking volunteers, stating the competencies you should have to carry out each job as required, and the skills you can develop within the job. If you speak Dutch, there are more jobs available here.
The A-team is especially busy in the days before the start of festival with building up our locations. Their tasks include moving furniture, putting up signing and decorations, delivering things to different locations, and much more. During the festival they mostly help setting up for events at various festival locations, and after the festival they take everything down. The A-team is a very close group of enthusiastic volunteers who love working hard.
- Shifts: The A-team is active from Friday the 3rd of November until Monday November 20th. The A-team does not work in shifts, but full days. It is best if you are available the whole day, the A-team coordinator will tell you when they need you throughout the day. During the festival you are free to go and watch films in-between jobs.
- Requirements: Flexibility, inventiveness, handy, flexible availability to facilitate planning (also before and after the festival), a good physical condition and not afraid of hard work.
- Competences: This job allows you to develop your teamwork skills and gives an insight into the resources that go into making the festival work.
As part of the Distribution team, your responsibilities include ensuring that all our festival locations are stocked up with our festival publications. With your team you are responsible for stocking up, refilling, and checking that there is always a sufficient supply of our publications at all festival venues.
- Shifts: The distribution team is active throughout the festival from the 8th till the 19th of November, mostly in the morning. On the first day of the festival the whole team works from 10:00 till 16:00, on the other days you will work in shifts.
- Requirements: sense of responsibility, flexibility, fast worker, alert and good physical condition. This position also requires confidence with riding a cargo-bike (bakfiets) around Amsterdam.
- Competences: This job allows you to develop in teamwork and organisational skills.
As a DocLab volunteer, you will spend most of your time at the exhibition. Your responsibilities will include welcoming our visitors and telling visitors about the different interactive and digital documentary projects in the exhibition. You will receive special training before your first shift. It is important you attend this training.
- Shifts: A DocLab volunteer is needed on every day of the festival, from the 9th till the 19th of November. DocLab has morning, afternoon and evening shifts.
- Requirements: You should be social and friendly, speak English well and have no fear of technology. Affinity with emerging media or virtual reality is a definite plus. Please note that special technical knowledge is not required.
- Competences: At DocLab, you can expand your knowledge of emerging media and virtual reality, as well as pioneering documentary storytelling formats and improve your presentation skills.
As part of the DocLab VR crew, you will spend most of your time with different VR experiences. Your responsibilities will include welcoming our visitors, guiding them through the VR experience, occasional troubleshooting, and telling visitors about the different interactive and digital projects. You will receive special training before your first shift. It is essential you attend this training.
- Shifts: The Doclab VR crew is needed on every day of the festival, from the 9th until the 19th of November. DocLab has morning, afternoon and evening shifts.
- Requirements: You should be social and friendly, speak English well and curious to work with new technology like virtual reality. The ability to quickly identify a technical issue is important, and experience with digital art, gaming and/or virtual reality is a definite plus.
- Competences: At DocLab, you can expand your knowledge of virtual reality, as well as pioneering documentary storytelling formats and improve your presentation skills.
Flex team members are assigned to various positions. During the festival you will fill in for sick volunteers, perform courier tasks and get assigned to rush jobs such as event usher and manning the volunteer desk. Flex team members also handle the distribution of catering to the various venues.
- Shifts: The Flex team is active throughout the festival (8-19 November). There are morning, afternoon and evening shifts.
- Requirements: You are service-oriented, flexible, an effective communicator, have a good command of English, are in good physical shape and able to think on your feet.
- Competences: Depending on the various jobs you get assigned to, this position can help you experience different aspects of the festival and your skills. In whatever case, you’re sure to develop your sense of responsibility and your skills as a team player.
The Guest Desk is the first place our 3000+ (international) professional guests visit when they arrive at the festival. Your most important task is to make our guests feel welcome. You will be handing out guest passes, supplying guests with relevant information about the festival and the city of Amsterdam and fielding any questions they might have about their stay at IDFA.
- Shifts: The Guest Desk is open from Tuesday November 7th till Saturday November 18th and has multiple shifts per day between 09:00 and 21:00. Two shifts are mandatory; on Saturday November 4th (in a morning or afternoon shift) we get together with the full team and alphabetise passes; and on Monday November 6th in the evening to prepare goodie-bags for the guests.
- Requirements: You are an effective communicator, good with computers, able to improvise, helpful and have an excellent command of English.
Are you interested in getting insight into the industry and business side of documentaries? As Industry Crew, you will be helping our team at Docs for Sale, IDFA Forum or IDFAcademy – IDFA's professional development and networking events. You will help prepare for the events (setting up the venue, filling goodie bags for registered guests), welcoming international guests and guiding them at the venue, sourcing questions, offering production assistance and keeping the venue neat and clean. This is an exciting moment to join as Industry Crew, as IDFA has moved all industry activities to new venues this year.
- Dates: Docs for Sale – 10-15 November / IDFA Forum – 12-15 November
- Shifts: The shifts will depend on the event you’re working on. Docs for sale have morning/afternoon and afternoon/evening shifts. It is best if you are available for all the days of the event. At IDFAcademy and Forum you will ideally work the full days of the events, and a shift in preparation of the event.
- Requirements: You are an effective communicator, service minded, able to improvise and have an excellent command of English (most of our guests attending these events are international). Good computer skills are also needed for some roles.
- Competences: In this position, you can develop skills in terms of teamwork, people coordination, and hospitality. As a volunteer you are part of a bigger team of volunteers. You will gain insight into the importance of IDFA for documentary professionals and will see first-hand how industry events at IDFA function. It’s great if you have an interest in or understanding of the broader media field, as this will help you guide our guests. These roles are service oriented and are an invaluable part of the production of the event. Therefore, there is no room for personal networking with our professional guests within these volunteer roles.
To determine if you are suitable for the team, you’ll be invited for an interview with the volunteer coordinators.
The poster crew is responsible for decorating the festival locations with film posters, updating public bulletin boards and distributing flyers. Because there is limited space for film posters, these need to be changed daily. The Poster team is active throughout the festival (8th till 19th of November). There are morning and afternoon shifts, but you will mostly work in the morning. On the first day (November 8th) everyone works from 10:00 – 16:00.
- Requirements: sense of responsibility, flexibility, fast worker, alert and good physical condition. This function requires a feeling of confidence with riding a bike around Amsterdam.
- Competences: This job allows you to develop insight into the resources needed to promote the festival and inform our visitors.
As a theater crew member, you are part of the largest group of volunteers. You’ll be helping at our festival venues making sure that all screenings run smoothly. During your shift, the location or floor manager will assign you to one of the following tasks:
- scanning tickets,
- problem solving related to ticket scanning
- upkeeping of the screening rooms in between screenings,
- making sure the audience finds their way around the venue
- and other small production-related jobs in the theater.
If you are lucky you might get to watch a film during your shift.
- Shifts: The theatre crew is active throughout the festival (8th till the 19th of November) and has morning, afternoon and evening shifts
- Requirements: You are an effective communicator, helpful, service-minded and speak English very well. Attending the emergency and scan training for theater staff the Saturday before the festival is mandatory.
- Competences: This position will allow you to develop skills in collaboration and communication.