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. 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:

Help out at our film screenings. Tasks include taking tickets, crowd control, and counting attendees.

Provide support for the staff at Applebox Family Films and Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies. Volunteers’ main duties are ushering, crowd control, and handing out refreshments.

Provide support for the staff at SBIFF’s red carpet events. Volunteers are needed for taking tickets, counting heads, and line management.

• FESTIVAL PAVILION (Lobero Courtyard)
Assist the Special Events team with SBIFF’s reception lounges and studio parties. Duties include serving, hosting, and other event related tasks.

• FESTIVAL HUB (Hotel Santa Barbara)
Serve in a variety of roles at SBIFF’s hospitality center. Tasks include acting as concierge for festival attendees, answering questions, and assisting the press team.

Help set up and take down the metal barricades at the Tributes. This team requires able-bodied volunteers to lift heavy objects.


Volunteer Coordinator: Lena Childers – lena@sbiff.org
Volunteer Hotline: 805-979-9665