The volunteers have been part of the Black Nights Film Festival since its beginning in 1997. Over the years the number of volunteers has increased, so has the structure and methods of their involvment developed to much more diverse one.
Today the contribution of the volunteers in PÖFF has become irreplaceable and they have become full members of our team. 195 people in 2009 and 235 people in 2010 voluntarily helped organising the festival in Tallinn, 75 people were involved in other cities.
This year 95 of the 235 volunteers in Tallinn have voluntarily helped PÖFF also in the previous years. 140 new people were selected among 300 applications. The coordinator of PÖFF volunteers also managed the 90 volunteers of European Film Awards 2010 ceremony. Some of those people participated both in PÖFF and EFA 2010 organisation.
PÖFF involves volunteers for several reasons:
- desire to improve the civil society and give people an opportunity to be part of the promotion of high-level films and organisation of an important cultural event in Estonia;
- desire to increase the acitivity in the community;
- to highlight the volunteers’ contribution in creating the festival atmosphere;
- the volunteers are highly motivated to offer the festival guests professional customer service, since the purpose of the festival team (including the volunteers) is to organise the festival in the best possible manner;
- the volunteers are the business card of the festival, creating the atmosphere and the face of the festival;
- the volunteers help spread the word about good films and make more people come to the cinema.
Requirements for PÖFF volunteers:
- at least 16-years of age;
- share the values and principles of the festival team;
- willingness to contribute to the festival for at least six working days.
The volunteers contribute to the festival mostly in the following five fields:
1) customer service in the cinemas (ticket checks, information clerks, cashiers, cloakrooms);
2) assisting foreign guests (accompanying the guests, information clerks, drivers, administration of video library);
3) technical and logistic assistance (film print logistics, technical assistants in cinemas, subtitles);
4) office (office assistants, data entry);
5) special events (hostesses);
6) marketing (questioners, data-entry).
In addition to the festival atmosphere the motivators in engaging in voluntary work are festival passport, festival shirt, trainings and special events, work experience and the team spirit of the festival team.
We are pleased to note that our volunteers represent various age-groups, nationalities, life and work fields joined together by the common interest in cinema and culture. The number of people volunteering for PÖFF has been increasing year after year. Several volunteers have now become part of the festival management team or are empolyed project based. After the festival some of our volunteers have been employed by the festival partners (e.g. cinemas).