Looking back on this year’s Austin Film Festival, it’s hard to decide what I enjoyed most since I attended it twice—as both a volunteer and a badgeholder. 2019 was my third year volunteering, and it proved as entertaining and exciting as years past. The program offers a unique festival experience each year that keeps me coming back.
I assisted with registration on the first two days, which gave me the opportunity to meet thousands (yes, thousands) of excited attendees and learn about the programming as they shared what attracted them to the festival. Following my time at the registration desk, I volunteered at screenings to ensure everyone made it to their seats in an orderly fashion. As they entered the theaters, many attendees shared the films they’d already seen and recommended or asked me about future screenings (and the fastest way to get through Austin traffic to see them!)
After completing my volunteer sessions, I headed straight for the venue circuit, badge in tow, to continue the festival. The recommendations I had received from other registrants led me to various films, talks, and parties I might not have otherwise considered. Attendees who recognized me from Registration shared festival stories as we crossed paths on the way to the next event. The highlight of the festival, as unusual as it may sound, was waiting in line for popular screenings, as it gave me the chance to catch up with friends I only see during this time of the year.
AFF 2019 was a fantastic experience, as I was rewarded twice over by contributing to an organization that makes film accessible to all. I’m looking forward to what they have in store for next year’s festival. I’ll be back to volunteer, and I hope to see you there as well!
– Corey Pallatto Hughan, Annual Volunteer
Do you have a love for film and want to volunteer? We have tons of volunteer opportunities all year! Each year, the enthusiasm, commitment and hard work of volunteers enable the Festival to pursue its mission of celebrating the writer at the heart of the process of storytelling.