Welcome SBIFF Volunteers!


36th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival


January 27 – February 6, 2021

The Volunteer Code (3 R's)



Respect, Responsibility, Representation



  • Respect all those involved in making the festival possible. Be as polite, friendly, and helpful as possible during every interaction.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the festival and all those involved. Everyone loves to be in the know but in some cases, you MUST refrain from sharing certain information. Examples are: do not speak to press, do not share information regarding party locations or special guests, and do not gossip about artists and celebrities attending the festival.
  • Respect the pass and ticket structure of the festival. Know and follow the rules and timing of guest entry to each event.


  • Know your shifts and schedule.
  • Know what is expected of you during your shifts.
  • Know who your team leader is and ask questions if you don’t know what to do.
  • Show up to shifts on time, meet the commitment you have made, and keep track of your ambassador shirt and pass.
  • Give out accurate information and know where to find answers to questions you don’t know.
  • Be informed on the pass structure, venue locations, daily events, and details regarding your particular volunteer assignment.


  • Be an ambassador for SBIFF.
  • 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.
  • Keep interactions with talent and guests professional. No asking for photos or handing out cards and scripts while on duty.
Volunteer Requirements


The basic volunteer requirements for SBIFF 2020 are as follows:

  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years old
  • Volunteers must sign up for a minimum of five shifts
  • First-time volunteers on the Film Screenings and Tributes teams must attend in-person orientations
  • First-time volunteers must attend the Ambassador Kick-off


Volunteer Benefits


SHIFT REQUIREMENT: 5 (est. 15 hours)

  • SBIFF ambassador T-Shirt
  • Access to Sneak-peek movie night pre-festival
  • Volunteer Pass – grants access to all films during the Festival


  • One complimentary ticket to a film at SBIFF’s Riviera Theatre, valid for the current year
  • One raffle entry for Festival Merchandise


  • One complimentary membership to SBIFF’s Riviera Theatre, valid for the current year, which includes discounted tickets and select concession items


  • One raffle entry for a pair of passes to the next year’s SBIFF
Volunteer Teams


SBIFF’s volunteers are organized into six teams. These teams determine a specific facet of the event in which you will work.
SBIFF recommends joining no more than TWO teams. This ensures that volunteers will adjust to each team’s needs and become more effective at each new shift.

Film Screenings

The Film Screenings Team assists at the cinema venues: Metro 4, Fiesta 5, and Lobero Theatre. 

Assist with:

  • Crowd control
  • Answering Questions
  • Taking tickets
  • Counting attendees


  • Customer service experience
  • Attention to detail
  • A proactive mindset

Kids’ Events

The Kids’ Events team assists with SBIFF’s family-friendly screening events: Applebox Family Film Screenings and Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies. Both events take place at the Arlington Theatre. 

Assist with:

  • Crowd control at kids’ movie screenings
  • Escorting school groups to and from seats
  • Handing out refreshments


  • Customer service experience
  • Experience working with children
  • Spanish speaking skills beneficial

Festival Pavilion (Must be 21+)

The Festival Pavilion Team supports SBIFF’s special events at the Lobero Theatre courtyard. These events include: Opening Night Gala, Closing Night Gala, Studio Parties, and Happy Hours. 

Assist with:

  • Checking tickets, passes and IDs
  • Serving refreshments
  • Bussing tables


  • Customer service experience
  • A flexible schedule including late nights up to 2am
  • Reliable transportation


The Hospitality Team supports the Festival Hub at Hotel Santa Barbara and Will Call at SBIFF’s Education Center.  

Assist with:

  • Welcoming guests at Hotel SB
  • Directing Festival guests and volunteers at SBIFF’s Education Center
  • Answering questions
  • Distributing passholder gift bags


  • A friendly and polite demeanor
  • Previous hospitality experience
  • Foreign language skills beneficial


The Tributes Team assists the staff at SBIFF’s red carpet events. Most of our tributes are held at the Arlington Theatre. 

Assist with:

  • Managing lines at awards events
  • Taking tickets
  • Counting attendees


  • Customer service experience
  • Experience working under pressure
  • A firm yet polite demeanor


The Barricades Team assists with the setup and breakdown of the metal barricades around the red carpet area at SBIFF’s Tributes. 

Assist with:

  • Setting up metal barricades
  • Taking down metal barricades


  • Ability to work in cold or rainy weather
  • Ability to lift heavy weights
How to Join A Team


When creating an account with VolunteerHub you were asked to select your interests from a list. If you selected any items from that list, you have been automatically added to that corresponding team.
You may add or remove teams on VolunteerHub at any time. To add or remove teams:

  1. Log in to your VolunteerHub profile. You should be taken to SBIFF’s Volunteer Landing Page.
  2. Click on your name in the upper right hand corner.
  3. From the drop-down menu, click on “Manage Affiliations.”
  4. Select or deselect your interest from the provided list.

Joining a team DOES NOT guarantee a shift on that team.
All volunteers are required to complete the team trainings for each team they have joined.

Team Trainings


All first year volunteers on the Film Screenings and Tributes Teams are required to complete an in-person training. See Important Dates for training dates and location.

First year volunteers on all other teams and returning volunteers may review our online team trainings.

Team Training will be available in December 2020 by clicking the team names below:

Volunteer Team Training – Film Screenings
Volunteer Team Training – Tributes
Volunteer Team Training – Kids Events
Volunteer Team Training – Festival Pavilion
Volunteer Team Training – Hospitality
Volunteer Team Training – Barricades

Shift Sign-ups


Shift sign-ups will begin at 11am on Monday, December 16. 

How to choose a shift

  1. Log in to your Volunteer profile, or click on “Events” in the upper right hand corner. You should be taken to SBIFF’s Volunteer Landing Page.
    • You will see a list of shifts, or “events” on the lower half of the page.
    • You will see shifts for all teams, but you will only be able to sign up for shifts on your teams.
  1. Select your desired team or venue from the drop-down menu on the left hand side.
  2. Click on the red “Sign Up” button to the right of each shift listed.

How to see your schedule

  1. Log in to your VolunteerHub profile. You should be taken to SBIFF’s Volunteer Landing Page.
  2. Click on “My Schedule” in the upper right hand corner.
Important Dates


Shift Sign-ups

Registration Deadline


Ambassador Kick-off at the SBIFF Education Center


*The Ambassador Kick-off is mandatory for all first-time volunteers. Volunteers may choose to attend one of the five sessions listed. 

Team Trainings at the SBIFF Education Center

Film Screenings Team 


Tributes Team


*Team trainings are mandatory for all first-time volunteers on the Film Screenings or Tributes Teams. Volunteers may choose to attend one of the three sessions listed.  

Pass & T-shirt Pick-ups at the SBIFF Education Center


Volunteer Sneak-peak Movie

Volunteer HQ


SBIFF Office
1528 Chapala Street, Suite 203
Monday – Friday
9:00am – 5:00pm

2021 Volunteer Headquarters (January through February)
1330 State Street, Suite 101

Pre-festival hours:
Monday – Friday
9:00am – 5:00pm

Festival Hours:
Monday – Sunday
9:00am – 6:00pm

Volunteer Coordinator

Lena Childers