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Volunteer

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Sundance Institute. We rely on dedicated volunteers from around the world to generously devote their time and commitment to the Sundance Film Festival, our summer labs, and our year-round programs that support independent storytelling.

Volunteer for the Sundance Film Festival

Want to join us? Volunteering for the Sundance Film Festival is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Every year, volunteers (most of whom return year after year) help create a global platform to celebrate independent film. We’re looking for volunteers to assist in online and in-person aspects of the Festival. The real benefit of volunteering isn’t the perks or even the films—it’s being part of a passionate community. Please read the following information before applying. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact us at volunteers@sundance.org or (435) 776-7870.

Ready to join our volunteer community? Be sure to check out our Application Checklist and associated information before applying.

Apply Now

  • For more information and context regarding volunteer role opportunities for the Festival, please refer to our Volunteer Areas of Interest Catalog. If you are interested in becoming a Festival volunteer after reviewing the Catalog, you may refer to the Application Overview below.

    Festival Volunteers will be asked to select a volunteer type and commitment level when applying:

    • Volunteer Type: In-Person or Online
    • Commitment Level:
      • Full Time (In-Person or Online)
        • Your volunteer coordinator will assign you a shift every day of the Festival
        • On average these roles fall between January 19 to January 30.
          Required trainings and shifts outside of this date range is role dependent and subject to change.
        • On average, 7-8 hour shifts each day assigned
        • Approximate 80 hour schedule across 11 days of the Festival
      • Part Time Assigned (In-Person)
        • Your volunteer coordinator will assign you a full shift for approximately 6 consecutive days of the Festival
        • On average these roles fall between January 19 to January 26.
          Required trainings and shifts outside of this date range is role dependent and subject to change.
        • On average, 7-8 hour shifts each day assigned
        • Approximate 40-48 hour schedule across 6 consecutive days of the Festival
      • Part Time Self-Assign (In-Person or Online)
        • On designated “Sign Up Days”, you will log in and select shifts posted across all Festival days that are available within your role placement
        • 32 hour minimum total in collective shift hours must be met
        • On average, 6-8 hour shifts
  • Please review the steps and process involved in becoming a Festival Volunteer in the timeline below.

    1. Complete the Online Application: Our application is available on this page starting in August. You will be asked to complete all required sections, including your volunteer type, commitment level, areas of interest, experience, and a clear photo of yourself (headshot). The application will remain open until all roles have been filled. We recommend applying as soon as possible when the application opens, but keep in mind the following dates:

    • Volunteer Managerial Role Deadline: September 10, 2021
    • Alumni Volunteer Application Deadline: October 1, 2021
    • Late Cancellation Deadline: December 10, 2021

    2. Application Waiting Period: Applicants will receive an automatic email response within 5-7 business days confirming our database has received your application. Please note that applying to be a Festival Volunteer and receiving this automatic email response does not guarantee you will be offered placement. Once that automatic email response is received, applicants should wait for a member of the Volunteer Resources Team to reach out to them directly. If you need to adjust your volunteer commitment level, update lodging status details, or cancel your application prior to an assigned Volunteer Resources Coordinator reaching out to you, please contact volunteers@sundance.org.

    3. Application Assessment: Volunteer Resources Coordinators start their roles during the last week of October, which means volunteers will not be contacted for placement until the beginning of November (unless you have applied for a Volunteer Managerial/Supervisory role). Applications are assessed by the Volunteer Resources Team based on your answers to our required questions, experience, general availability, application submission date, and the needs of the Festival.

    4. Role Placement: From early November until all roles have been filled, approved applicants may receive a phone call (435 area code) or email from a Volunteer Resources Coordinator to discuss availability and role placement. If you are not selected for role placement, you can expect to receive a notification email in December from the Volunteer Resources Team and your application will not move forward.

    5. Onboarding: Applicants who have been selected for a role will receive an onboarding email from a Volunteer Resources Coordinator. This email will include the Volunteer Agreement, Volunteer Expectations, Community Agreement, and the Position Description. The paperwork included in this email should be completed as soon as possible as your official role placement is contingent upon signing and submitting. Confirmed Volunteers can also expect to receive a notification to attend or watch a required Volunteer Orientation prepared by the Volunteer Resources Team. Please note that volunteering for the Sundance Film Festival does require attention to details, adherence to deadlines, and timely communication. Preparation and trainings may happen at any point after being placed in a role. If a volunteer chooses to accept a role, they should expect to set aside time to prepare for the Festival and meet deadlines as needed.

    7. Training and Preparing for Shifts: In addition to the Volunteer Resources Orientation, onsite or online training is provided for most Volunteer roles in the weeks and/or days leading up to the Festival. A welcome email from the assigned team and training materials for review may also be sent ahead of time to ensure volunteers feel set up for success. At training, volunteers can expect to learn about the what, why, and how in relation to their tasks and additional expectations specific to their role placement. Pro Tip: Use this time to ask questions directly to your onsite supervisor(s) or your assigned Volunteer Coordinator.

    8. The Festival: Get out there and have fun! Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Festival and bring their energy, enthusiasm, and passion while helping thousands of film lovers and supporters of original storytelling. Between shifts, be sure to catch incredible films, make new friends, visit the Volunteer Hub, and take in the Festival atmosphere.


Volunteer with Sundance Institute

We look for volunteers throughout the year to help our programs run smoothly—like our artist labs, which help independent directors, screenwriters, producers, composers, theatre makers, and virtual reality and new media creators bring their stories to life. At this time, we are not accepting volunteer applications to support these programs and we will be sure to update this page as opportunities come available. If you have any questions, please contact us at volunteers@sundance.org.

If you have questions that are not addressed above, please email us at volunteers@sundance.org or call the Volunteer Resources Team at (435) 776-7870 Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. MT.