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The Significance of Volunteering

Before delving into this post, I want to emphasize that I strongly believe in utilizing your knowledge and expertise to earn compensation. However, it's often the case that when you're just starting in your dream field, you may initially need to volunteer or work without payment.

A few weeks ago, I announced on social media that our platform was granted press credentials for the Atlanta Film Festival. However, shortly after, I received a text message from someone asking if they could borrow (yes, borrow) my press pass. They explained that despite the festival's 47-year existence, they had never had the opportunity to attend. This same person had been previously invited to several of our virtual and in-person events, but they didn't consider us worth their time. Yet, suddenly, they expressed interest in borrowing one of our press passes.

This raised a question: What impact would lending a press pass to this person have on my brand? And who would be responsible for dishonesty if I allowed them to borrow it, knowing their name wasn't on the application? As the CEO, I informed them that I had only applied for press passes for my writers and that lending a press pass was not an option.

During our conversation about borrowing my press pass, I suggested to this person that volunteering with the film festival would be a fantastic opportunity. I have been volunteering with the Atlanta Film Festival since 2017. I earned a cool t-shirt and helped me to forge numerous industry connections. Furthermore, after each shift, I received a ticket to a film screening. Through my extensive volunteering efforts, where I demonstrated punctuality and consistency, I was eventually promoted from volunteer to shift captain, and as a result, I was rewarded with a complimentary 2018 membership to the Atlanta Film Society.

Why is volunteering important?

New Dawn Films lists several reasons why volunteering at film festivals is a good idea.

  1. You create connections and gain filmmaking friends.

  2. Get to know those behind the scenes

  3. Watch the best chosen movies and find out what works.

Would you like to share your experiences volunteering in the film and tv industry? Send us an email to

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