As celebri­ties, film­mak­ers, and the gen­er­al pub­lic of film­go­ers con­verge on the 31st Annu­al Palm Springs Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val (PSIFF), it will be the role of about 800 vol­un­teers to make the film fes­ti­val an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence. More than 135,000 peo­ple are expect­ed at this year’s fes­ti­val, which touts near­ly 200 films from 81 countries.

With so many mov­ing parts, the fes­ti­val would not be pos­si­ble with­out our ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teer corps and the sup­port of gen­er­ous donors, such as the Auen Foun­da­tion,” said Kristin Bloomer, Spon­sor­ship and Devel­op­ment Man­ag­er for the Palm Springs Inter­na­tion­al Film Soci­ety, which pro­duces both the Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val in Jan­u­ary and the Palm Springs Inter­na­tion­al Short­Fest in June.

A $40,000 grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion sup­ports the recruit­ment, train­ing, man­age­ment and reten­tion of fes­ti­val vol­un­teers, 90 per­cent of which are seniors par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Festival’s Senior and Active Retire­ment Pro­grams. The grant also off­sets the cost of film fes­ti­val tick­ets for senior vol­un­teers, senior cen­ters and com­mu­ni­ty groups.

We believe this part­ner­ship with the Palm Springs Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val enrich­es the lives of our local seniors by pro­vid­ing them more access to this world-class event and get­ting them involved in their com­mu­ni­ty,” said Sher­rie Auen, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Vol­un­teer­ing helps peo­ple feel val­ued, and our seniors have so much to contribute.”

Pri­or to the PSIFF, vol­un­teers assist the small, year-round fes­ti­val staff by answer­ing phones, per­form­ing cler­i­cal func­tions, dis­trib­ut­ing posters and rack cards, cat­a­logu­ing films, and even par­tic­i­pat­ing in the screen­ing process. Once Palm Springs’ pre­mier event is under­way, a com­plex sched­ul­ing sys­tem ensures that vol­un­teers are tak­ing tick­ets at every screen­ing, count­ing bal­lots for the Audi­ence Awards, wel­com­ing guests at Fes­ti­val par­ties and spe­cial events and mak­ing every­one feel like a VIP at the Film Awards Gala.

The 31st Annu­al Palm Springs Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val, one of the largest film fes­ti­vals in North Amer­i­ca, runs Jan­u­ary 2–13, 2020. The Film Awards Gala, held on Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 2, hon­ors cin­e­mat­ic achieve­ments from some of Hollywood’s most cel­e­brat­ed tal­ents. For more infor­ma­tion about the Palm Springs Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val or how to vol­un­teer, vis­it or call 760–778-8979 or 800–898-7256.