Each year the Santa Barbara International Film Festival brings together a dedicated team of volunteers to help celebrate the art of world cinema. Volunteers ensure the best film-going experience possible for our patrons, filmmakers, jurors and international visitors. As a non-profit organization we are grateful for the effort and considerable contributions made by our volunteers every year. We recognize the volunteers returning from years prior as well as welcome all the new faces for this year! We could not present the Festival without your hard work and absolute dedication.

For questions, please contact our Volunteer Hotline: 805-979-9665


All volunteers must be 18 years or older. Volunteers who work parties or special events must be 21 or older.


The Three R’s

Respect, Responsibility, Representation

• Respect confidentiality, the pass and ticket structure and all the people who make the festival possible.
• Confidentiality – everyone loves to be the person in the know but in some cases, you MUST refrain from sharing certain information. Examples are: don’t speak to the press, don’t share information as to party locations or special guests, and don’t gossip about artists and celebrities attending the festival.
• The pass and ticket structure is an integral part of the festival. Respect the structure by knowing it and following the rules as to who gains entry to what and when.
• SBIFF would not be the fantastic festival that it is without the hundreds of volunteers, dozens of staff and interns, thousands of attendees and many sponsors who have a role in making it happen. Be respectful of all those involved by being polite, friendly and as helpful as possible during every interaction.

• Take personal responsibility for knowing your role, your shift, giving out accurate information and knowing where to find answers to questions that stump you.
• Taking personal responsibility for your role means knowing your responsibilities, knowing who your team leader is, asking questions if you don’t know what to do
• Taking personal responsibility for your shift means showing up on time, meeting the commitment you have made (not cancelling at the last minute or just not showing up), keeping track of your nametag and
• Giving out accurate information and knowing where to find answers requires you to be knowledgeable as to the pass structure, venue locations, daily events, SBIFF in general and details regarding your particular volunteer assignment.

• Be an ambassador for SBIFF and represent the festival in the best possible way.
• Dress appropriately and follow the volunteer dress code
• Refrain from eating, smoking, chewing gum, or drinking beverages other than bottled water.
• Represent the festival not your own personal agenda (no photos, handing out cards, scripts, etc. while on duty)


There are various teams you may sign up for via Shiftboard in early December. A team is the group you will be working with during the festival. Please note you may only sign up for a maximum of 2 teams. Teams include but are not limited to: FILM SCREENING TEAM, KIDS EVENTS TEAM, TRIBUTE TEAM, FESTIVAL PAVILION TEAM.


This is a wonderful opportunity for a group who want to share the volunteer experience while giving back to the community and doing something fun. Your group would help with film screenings during one of the last three days of the film festival. Each team’s members would fill several volunteer roles such as ticket takers, counters, balloters, merchandise volunteers, ushers and information volunteers. Please note that to register to volunteer for this special opportunity, you will NOT be using the Shiftboard website. If you have a group of 8 to 10 people who can commit to volunteering for up to 8 hours during the last weekend of the festival, please contact us for details via email: contactus@sbfilmfestival.org or the Volunteer Hotline at 805-979-9665.