The success of the Palm Springs International Film Festivals depends upon our team of over 500 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers. By becoming part of the festival team, you will work in a stimulating, exciting and fun atmosphere and have the satisfaction of contributing to the production of our internationally acclaimed film festivals.

You'll have opportunities to assist in the theatres, festival office, merchandise and ticket sales venues, assist at special events, and help in many other ways. We ask that you attend training specific to your assigned area and celebrate the success of the Festival at a special volunteer celebration.

If you wish to volunteer for the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films in June, the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, or during the year at other times, click here to register or LOG IN online.

For further information, email or call 760.322.2930.



All volunteer duties require outstanding people skills. These include the ability to interact with the public in a helpful and courteous manner and say NO with grace. PATIENCE, rational thinking in crisis situations, and a willingness to do whatever needs to be done are necessary. Some duties require special skills and those will be noted in the description.

Bring a smile, positive attitude and a pen and/or pencil. There is no place to secure valuables, so plan accordingly. Fanny packs are allowed.

Dress code:

ShortFest - Khaki slacks/shorts/skirts & Aqua T-Shirt (t-shirt provided to you by the Festival).

January festival: Black slacks or skirts, white tops. Comfortable shoes (no rubber thongs).



In addition to meeting lots of fun people, for each 4-5 hour shift that you work (minimum of 5 required), you will receive one regular screening voucher that you may exchange at the box office for a regular film screening or seminar of your choice (excludes opening and closing events, and gala screenings). These vouchers are good for the festival AND for some of the Palm Springs Intl Film Society Screenings throughout the year. (The vouchers you receive for ShortFest will not be accepted for the January festival, and the vouchers you receive for January festival will not be accepted for ShortFest). In addition, there will be a thank you luncheon/dinner in your honor.


No previous experience is required. Theatre volunteers must be dependable, confident and able to follow instructions. For many of our guests, you will be the only face of the festival they will see, so friendliness is a must. We also need to be on time, so that we can be well organized. You must be fluent in English, and able to communicate clearly and effectively with customers.

Volunteers are scheduled to arrive at the assigned theatre one hour prior to the assigned first screening time. Find your sign-in sheet and enter your name and time of arrival. When leaving sign-out on the same sheet with the time of departure. You will use the same sheet for each day you work at that theatre.

You will be STANDING most of your shift, so wear comfortable shoes.


  • Team Leader:

    Assist Theatre Manager with volunteer assignments, supervise Theatre Volunteer Team, and follow through with administrative and other tasks as assigned. Man the manager’s desk and troubleshoot customer issues as needed.
  • Ticket Taker:

    Pay close attention to individual event tickets. Make sure that filmgoers are entering the right program, date and theatre. Direct erroneous ticket holders to the Team Leader stationed at the Manager’s table. The Team Leader will tell you how to tear the ticket and what to do with the ticket stubs.
  • Pass Counter:

    Find out what passes are good for the film/program that you will be working. As passholders enter the auditorium, check to make sure it is one that is accepted for the program, and that the photo (if there is one) matches the person holding the pass. Use the clicker to count each person once. If a passholder leaves the auditorium and wants to return, they must obtain a re-entry pass. Do not count pass holders who have a re-entry pass, they have already been counted.
  • Inside Auditorium Control:

    Distribute and collect ballots and assist Team Leader in protecting “reserved” seating, counting available seats for Rush ticket sales, and notifying Outside Control how many tickets they may sell. (Rush tickets are sold when a film/program is sold-out and people are willing to wait for possible no-shows). Place collected ballots into envelope, mark envelope with film/program title, date, time, and seal.
  • Outside Crowd Control:

    a resonant voice is needed. Announce program number: check type of tickets and/or passes to be sure that people are in the correct line. Announce which line is which --- Pass Holders, Individual Ticket Holders, and Rush line. Continually monitor the lines prior to and during admission. Announce program number and type of seating available (front row only, extreme side, etc) when the theatre manager begins last minute sales of available Rush seats.


You will be STANDING most of your shift so wear comfortable shoes.


  • Assist Coordinator with set-up
  • Direct guests to restaurants, shops and screening venues
  • Bus tables as needed
  • Set-up and load out(heavy lifting may be involved)
  • Run local errands


Work with Credentials Manager with making and organizing Pass and Will Call orders.


  • Disseminate local and festival information (knowledge of Palm Springs are essential)
  • Work prior to festival to laminate and organize passes as directed.
  • Attend training session/walk through.


Assist distributors and others in viewing videos/DVDs of festival films in the viewing stations. Some bending and reaching is required.


  • Issue videos to accredited industry/press people as directed.
  • Maintain library system (organizational skills and ability to file in alphabetical and numerical order required).
  • Keep viewing areas orderly – bus viewing booths as necessary.
  • Assist with viewing stations as directed.


Work with merchandise manager with selling and set-up of souvenir merchandise.


  • Sell merchandise at merchandise station or outside lines.
  • Handle cash and credit card transactions.
  • Operate ticket machine (computer skills required).
  • Maintain a secure environment
  • Maintain inventory (some lifting required).


Work on various community outreach activities prior to and during the festival.


  • Distribute posters, programs and other promotional material to stores and hotels in the Palm Springs business area and other parts of Coachella Valley as assigned.
  • Work with schools and outside groups attending the festival.


Interpret for visiting filmmakers and industry guests.


Work with festival staff to move festival programs, flags and other production materials to/from venue sites. Ability to lift 25+lbs required.


Duties and hours vary according to what needs to be done. Typically, volunteers are needed on short notice. Knowledge of computers and basic office equipment required.


  • Answer phones
  • Take ticket orders (computer skills required)
  • Data Entry
  • Faxing
  • Mailing
  • Filing
  • Run errands