California Film Institute
  • 16-Nov-2021 to Until Filled (PST)
  • San Rafael, CA, USA
  • Seasonal

2022 DocLands Documentary Film Festival

Documentary Film Programmer

Location: San Rafael, CA (15 minutes North of the Golden Gate Bridge)

Status: Half-time, seasonal contract

Dates: January - mid-May

Status: Independent Contractor

Compensation: Range $4,000-8,000 | Compensation commensurate with experience and final scope of work

About DocLands Film Festival:

Presented by the California Film Institute, DocLands brings compelling stories and provocative conversations to the San Francisco Bay Area through public screenings each May. Based in Marin County, DocLands aspires to advocate for and elevate diverse voices through an active, inclusive, and equitable community within the documentary realm; and to inspire filmmakers, audiences, and funders through public screenings, engaged conversations, and filmmaker networking events.


About the Job:

The DocLands Documentary Film Festival seeks an experienced, dynamic documentary film programmer who is keen to foster a compassionate understanding of diverse communities and cultures - and cultivate empathy through their passion for, and insight with respect to impactful documentary film.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Provide direct programming support to the Director of Programming, while working closely within a small programming team.
  • Review, compile, and evaluate submissions and curated feature and short documentary films within software and spreadsheets as necessary.
  • Research and request screeners through film contacts (filmmakers, distributors, sales agents) and other film festivals as required, with top curatorial priorities being high-quality films for inclusion within three main programming strands (Wonderlands, The Great Outdoors, Art of Impact) while maintaining diverse voices and gender parity.
  • With programming team, evaluate films in development for DocLands' pitching forum, DocPitch.
  • Negotiate and invite feature-length and short films and guests as required.
  • Report progress at weekly programming meetings.
  • Maintain attending guest spreadsheets with Director of Programming.
  • Work with programming team to schedule films and Q&As in accordance with filmmaker availability.
  • Moderate and pre-record filmmaker Q&As, introductions, and panels as required in advance and during Festival.
  • Write compelling program and promotional film notes as required.
  • Participate in general audience and community outreach for DocLands as a whole.
  • Write thank you letters and end-of-contract wrap report in a timely manner.
  • Additional tasks as required.

Our ideal candidate has:

  • Minimum two years documentary programming experience with film festivals or cinema required.
  • Familiarity with Bay Area film community, documentary distributors, funders, studios, and decision-makers desirable.
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written, with experience moderating filmmaker/guest Q&As.
  • Passion for documentary film and knowledge of its culture.
  • Quick learner with apps and software, proficiency in FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Mac computer skills preferred.
  • A positive and professional attitude with the ability to work as a member of a high-energy, results-oriented team.
  • Strong time management, research, organizational, and multi-tasking skills, coupled with exceptional attention to detail while not losing sight of the big picture and ability to work independently with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to maintain complete confidentiality and discretion at all times.
  • This is a remote position with required in-person attendance during the Festival (May 5-11, 2022)

To apply, please submit:

  • Your resume including two references
  • A short cover letter (about 100 words), describing
    • Your interest in working for DocLands Documentary Film Festival
    • Your personal strengths that you bring to the position

About the California Film Institute:

The non-profit California Film Institute (CFI) celebrates and promotes film as art and education through year-round programming at the non-profit independent Christopher B Smith Rafael Film Center, presentation of the acclaimed Mill Valley Valley Film Festival and DocLands Documentary Film Festival, and cultivation of the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through CFI Education programs.

We are taking steps to ensure that CFI is a safe and equitable space for staff members, contractors, filmmakers, and audiences alike. This includes the incorporation of inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility measures into the organization's business plan and the introduction of tangible KPIs to hold ourselves accountable for our commitment to serve and engage diverse audiences through our work. We are also working to examine racial justice internally in order to drive self-discovery and best inform how we can change practices and utilize our voice and position within the community.

CFI is an equal opportunity employer. Our policies prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

California Film Institute
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