DIFF Daily 2010

Volunteering for Festival’s success

Dec 16,2010 - 11:58 AM

Has anyone ever wondered who actually rolls out that red carpet for that festival premiere? Or who makes sure that the crowds don’t mob the celebrities when they parade in front of the world’s cameras? It’s time to shine a spotlight on the volunteers and event managers who toil behind the scenes to smooth our Festival lives in front.

This year, DIFF has recruited more than 600 volunteers who ensure that no stone remains unturned. They are mostly recruited through their colleges but there are people who still turn up everyday to register as volunteers.

Sahebveer, 20, a student at Dubai’s EMDI college who is both a volunteer and an event manager here at DIFF explains: “I had 15 people working under me and we were responsible for setting up the red carpet, decorating and putting up the poles to make the place look good. The funny part is that I helped set up the red carpet and I have no idea, which celebrities walked on it. But it still felt nice to see them walking on the very thing that I had worked on.”

Kajal Ramchandani, 17, a media student at Middlesex University says that she volunteered because she felt that the experience would help her to understand her field of interest better. “The whole experience has been amazing for me, she says. “Before I had no idea how difficult the job of a PR agent is. They constantly have to be on their toes and I can only imagine how stressful that job would be, handling the press along with the stars is not easy.”

Although they are unpaid, volunteering yields other benefits too. As Ramchandani notes: “Yes we’re not getting paid but we do get free food coupons at the end of our shifts and if our shift is at a movie theatre then we can just go in and watch the movie after we’re done with our work. So it works out fine for us.”

The HR and Volunteer Supervisor of the DIFF, Deepika Chambial spoke in detail about the responsibilities of the volunteers, “The shift timings are very flexible. Some people do a shift for 2-4 hours while some work the whole day. There are 14 departments for the volunteers to work in such as Marketing, Dubai Film Market, Registration, Admin Office etc. There are more male volunteers coming to work in the evening so there is more or less an equal balance between the male and female volunteers. 90 percent of them are students but we do have some people with full time jobs who come to work in the evening or on the weekend.”

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