Volunteer FAQ

We hope to answer many of your questions below and also recommend checking out the Festival page for general information about attending Mountainfilm in Telluride. All other questions will happily be answered by emailing volunteer@mountainfilm.org.

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How do I reach the Volunteer Coordinator?

Pam Shifrin, Mountainfilm’s Volunteer Coordinator, will be in the office starting around March 15. You can reach her then by calling 970-728-4123, or she can be reached anytime at volunteer@mountainfilm.org. During the winter months, please allow a few days for a response.

What is required to volunteer for a festival pass?

There are four main requirements for volunteering:

  1. Submit the online volunteer application.
  2. Include a valid credit card number as your deposit.
  3. Complete your shifts satisfactorily.
  4. Show up with a great attitude.

How many hours do I need to volunteer for a pass?

To earn a Sunshine pass, you need to volunteer for approximately 16 hours. To earn a Wilson pass, you need to volunteer for approximately 22 hours.

What is your deposit policy?

A credit card in the amount of $320 for the Sunshine or $370 for Wilson is required as part of the Mountainfilm in Telluride festival volunteer application process. The payment acts as a deposit against the completion of your shifts. This payment will not be deposited if your commitment is completed satisfactorily. When you've finished your shifts completely, we'll destroy your credit card information. If you do not complete your volunteer requirements, the $320 (Sunshine) or $370 (Wilson) will be charged to your card.

* We are no longer accepting checks as form of payment.

What if I need to cancel?

You can cancel until Sunday, May 10, and we will destroy your check or credit card information. Please send your request to cancel by email to volunteer@mountainfilm.org. After May 11, your deposit is non-refundable. Emergency cancellations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

When is the volunteer meeting?

The volunteer meeting is Wednesday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. Please watch announcements for location information.

What happens at the volunteer meeting?

At the volunteer meeting, you will first pick up your festival pass and your festival t-shirt. Next, you will find your manager and introduce yourself. Managers will be holding a sign with their department name on it. Once you have met with your manager, grab a seat in the theater for a presentation by the festival director, volunteer coordinator and, perhaps, a special guest speaker. A selection of shorts or a feature-length film will close the meeting.

What if I can’t make the volunteer meeting?

Notify the volunteer coordinator by email as soon as possible and explain  the situation that prevents you from attending the meeting. We understand that many of our fantastic volunteers travel from out of town and do not arrive by Wednesday evening.

If I miss the meeting, where should I pick up my pass and t-shirt? And what about meeting with my manager?

If you miss the volunteer meeting, you can pick up your pass and t-shirt at Mountainfilm Communications, located in the Telluride Community Room, 231 East Pacific Avenue in Telluride, Colorado. Communications will be open for volunteer pass pick up on Thursday, May 21, and Friday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Plan on arriving for your first shift 10 minutes early. Find your manager and explain that you missed the volunteer meeting.

What types of jobs are available to volunteers?

Volunteer positions are available in the following departments:

COMMUNICATIONS: The Communications team fields all phone calls and radio calls from Mountainfilm in Telluride guests and staff. Volunteers must be comfortable problem solving, running errands and using electronics. This is a relaxed position for someone who is detail oriented and friendly. Much of the job can be done sitting down, though you may be asked to run an errand or two.

FIELD CREW: Mountainfilm’s Field Crew is responsible for physically setting up and breaking down all aspects of the festival. Every theater, social event and decoration about town is put together and then taken apart by the Field Crew. Field Crew volunteers may be asked to unload storage lockers, fill trucks with gear and supplies, haul equipment in and out of theaters, paint, bang nails, hang flags, climb ladders, set up tables and chairs, unload boxes of books and more. Strength, a great attitude and willingness to work in all types of wacky mountain weather are required. Some lifting of 50+ pounds may be necessary.

GALLERY: Over the festival weekend, Mountainfilm in Telluride exhibits art by filmmakers and guests of the festival. Volunteers are needed to act as exhibit hosts at these galleries. The volunteer’s main responsibilities are to greet guests as they enter the gallery and make sure none of the art walks away.

HOSPITALITY: Mountainfilm Hospitality is open throughout the festival weekend for picking up passes, buying tickets, providing programs and as an information hub for the festival. Helpful, friendly and social volunteers who are comfortable with basic electronics and handling money are invited to join the crew.

RIGGING: Mountainfilm's Rigging Crew loads and unloads VERY HEAVY equipment in and out of our theaters pre and post festival and assists with other production duties as needed. Strength is first and foremost what you need to be a rigger.

SPECIAL EVENTS: Special Events volunteers set up, break down and cater all of Mountainfilm’s events throughout the weekend. Volunteers are needed to work the Film Maker’s Dinner, the Gallery Walk, the Ice Cream Social, the Book Frenzy, the Coffee Talks and the Closing Picnic. TIPS-certified bartenders are needed at the Film Maker’s Dinner, the Gallery Walk and the Closing Picnic. Please let us know if you hold this qualification. Events volunteers are energetic, outgoing and quick with a smile.

THEATER OPERATIONS: Mountainfilm has seven theaters in operation throughout the weekend: The Palm, The Sheridan, The Nugget, The Masons, The Library, High Camp and Base Camp. Base Camp is an outdoor theater; all other theaters are indoors. As a theater volunteer, you will be assigned to ONE theater for your shifts. Your duties will include ushering, collecting tickets, answering questions, greeting and smiling.

When will my schedule be available and how do I check it?

We hope to have schedules available by Friday, May 8. You will receive an email once they are ready. Due to the nature of last minute changes, it might be later. Contact the volunteer coordinator if you are concerned.

You will receive an email from volunteer@mountainfilm.org with a link to access your online schedule. Please make sure to add volunteer@mountainfilm.org to your contacts so that our correspondence and your schedule do not end up in SPAM.

The instructions for accessing your schedule, as well as your login and password information, will be in this email. If you need the email re-sent to you, please email volunteer@mountainfilm.org.

Where does my shift meet?

Shift information is located in your online schedule. (See the previous question for information on checking your online schedule.) For a quick reference, most shift locations are listed below. For shift times and all other details, check your schedule.

Unless stated otherwise, all locations are in Telluride, Colorado.

COMMUNICATIONS: Telluride Community Room, 231 East Pacific Avenue.
FIELD CREW: Meet at the Green Building across the street from Baked in Telluride. Baked in Telluride is located at 127 South Fir Street.
GALLERY: Please check your schedule.
RIGGING: Meet outside of the Mountainfilm office at 109 East Colorado Avenue.

Film Maker’s Dinner: (check your schedule)
Gallery Walk: (check your schedule)
Ice Cream Social: (check your schedule)
Book Frenzy: (check your schedule)
Coffee Talks: (check your schedule)
Closing Picnic: (check your schedule)

The Palm: Telluride High School, 721 West Colorado Avenue
Sheridan Opera House: 110 North Oak Street
The Nugget: 207 West Colorado Avenue
The Masons: 200 East Colorado Avenue
The Library: The Wilkinson Public Library, 100 West Pacific Avenue
High Camp: Telluride Conference Center, 580 Mountain Village Boulevard, Mountain Village, Colorado
Base Camp: Telluride Town Park, 500 East Colorado Avenue

Do you provide lodging for volunteers?

We do not provide lodging for volunteers, but we do recommend checking out our lodging sponsors by clicking here.  For RV and camping information, click here.

What should I wear to my shift?

FIELD CREW and RIGGING: Wear work clothes that you can get dirty and closed-toed shoes. You will be outside for some of your shift, so dress for the weather at 9,000 feet in the spring.

FILM MAKER’S DINNER and GALLERY WALK: Wear black pants or a black skirt and a white shirt. If you don’t own these items, then come as close as you can get.

BASE CAMP OUTDOOR THEATER: Please dress very warmly. A down jacket, a hat and gloves are highly recommended. A head lamp is helpful.

All other shifts, please dress in clean, comfortable clothes.

What is the weather like during Mountainfilm in Telluride?

The weather at 9,000 feet is variable. It could snow, rain or be warm and sunny. Please check your favorite weather forecast before you pack your bag or leave for your shift. Read more about Telluride, Colorado.

I want to see as many films and presentations as possible when I’m not volunteering. Any advice?

Yes! Our advice is as follows:

Choose films showing at The Palm, High Camp or Base Camp. These are the largest theaters and the least likely to sell out. A sell-out is still possible at a popular event, but the chances of getting into a show are better at the larger theaters.

Choose a second showing. If you see a film you’d like to see listed twice, choose the second showing, especially if it is at a larger theater.

Wake up early and head to one of the Town Talks. Don’t forget your own mug to the morning "Coffee & Conversation" talks!

Plan ahead: Printed schedules will be available at Hospitality starting Thursday, May 21. The online schedule is often live on our website a few days sooner. Using your volunteer schedule and our program, plot your weekend strategically.

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