Volunteering at TIFF

(Dear English readers, please scroll down to find the ‘click’ for English translation )

在还没回多伦多前,我已听说多伦多国际电影节 (TIFF)的自愿工作。那时心里想,我在墨尔本的电影节看电影看了那么多年,也只是一名观众。现在,反正,我在多伦多有空闲时间,尝试一下自愿工作该是一个新的体验。

可惜,我赶不及回来出席在七月中举办的自愿工作者招收会。幸运的是,我回到多伦多的第二天时,刚好有一个last minute 的招收会,我就出席了。

那时我才了解到原来除了戏院工作者,还有许多幕后工作的机会。 例如:营销 (marketing) ,交际联系 (communication), 机场接待员,IT 人员,等等。我其实很希望参与营销和交际联系的工作。在这个国际水准的电影节,应该会学到很多东西。可惜的是,我回来迟了,那些工作已够人手。我只好做戏院工作者,这也是他们需要大量人手的部门。

他们鼓励我们做至少四个值班 (shift) ,因为做至少四个值班的人会分派到一件自愿工作者的T衫和可以参加自愿工作者的派对。我当然不在乎这些,可也签报了四个值班。除了做戏院工作者, 我也报名做ACE, 即使紧急工作人员。例如,任何一个部门或场地不够人手,就会派ACE 去帮忙。这样,我就有机会学到不同的东西。

值得一提的是, 在每一值班完成后,每一名工作人员会拿到一张粉红色的纸票 (简称 Pink)。以这张Pink, 工作人员可以换取一张戏票 ,有时甚至两张( 如售票不太理想的电影)。以这张Pink, 工作人员也可以以 Rush 的方式换取 Gala (即首映礼)或 Press and Industry Screening 的入门票。Rush 的方式即是如果在电影放映前的十五分钟有空席的话,就可以进场。

这个Pink嘛,倒是我很在乎的。嘻嘻!有机会看多些电影很好啊!Ed总是笑我傻,怎么为了这个Pink这么高兴。一张戏票才值约二十元。即是说,我要工作六至七个小时才有二十元的酬劳。哎啊!Ed不明白。 都说是自愿工作啦。我没要酬劳。我意想不到的是,他们会给我一张戏票。我已很满足了 ! 知足就会长乐 🙂

Before I came back to Toronto, I had already heard about the volunteering work in Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) . Although I had been an audience at Melbourne International Film Festival for many years, I never got the chance to be a volunteer. Since I would be quite free in Toronto, I told myself, this would be a good opportunity to be more involved rather than merely an audience. This would be a new experience too.

Unfortunately, I could not be back in time for the volunteer recruitment session in July. Thankfully, TIFF had a last minute recruitment session on the day after my arrival at Toronto in August. I took this opportunity immediately and attended the session.

Initially, my impression of volunteering in this sort of film festival was to work in cinemas. To my surprises, there were also many opportunities to work behind the scene and many other positions available. For example, working in areas like marketing, information technology, communications, even as a airport receiver etc. How I wished I could be working in marketing and communication department. Involving in such work in this huge international event would be quite a learning opportunity. Unfortunately, I was too late for these, the positions were all filled up. I then registered myself as theatre volunteers who were the people they needed the most.

TIFF encouraged volunteers to volunteer for at least four shifts. Volunteers who volunteered for at least four shifts would received a free volunteer T-shirt and an admit ticket to special volunteer post-festival party. Frankly, I did not care about these but I still registered for four shifts. In addition to being a theatre volunteer, I also volunteered myself to be a ACE volunteer. ACE volunteers were like emergency volunteers whom would be dispatched to any theatre or department that was in urgent need of help. I thought I would learn many different things through these shifts.

What worth mentioning was, volunteer would be given a Pink ticket at the end of each volunteer shift. This Pink ticket could be exchanged for a movie ticket at TIFF, sometimes two tickets depending on the popularity of the movie. In addition, Pink ticket could also be exchanged for a Gala or Press & Industry Screening ticket on Rush basis. Rush meant if there were any empty seats 15 minutes before screening time, Pink ticket holders could gain entry to the theatre.

In this case, I did care a lot about this Pink ticket. Hee hee ! Had the opportunity to watch more movies, why not? Ed laughed at my naiveness and dumbness. He explained that one TIFF movie ticket worth $20, it meant that I worked for 6-7 hours only were given $20 in return. It was not nothing to feel happy about. Well, Ed did not understand ! I went for volunteering work, I did not expect anything. For me, it was a nice surprise to have a free movie ticket. I was already quite satisfied and happy. I guess, those who know how to appreciate little things in life (like me), are happier persons 🙂


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