The San Francisco Dance Film Festival

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My work over the course of six months with San Francisco Dance Film Festival has been extremely enlightening. Getting to learn how a nonprofit organization is run by having a hands-on experience, truly is the best way to learn.  My role with the SFDFF right now is Social Media Coordinator–I research new dance films or interesting articles to post, as well as manage the content and posting schedule of other volunteers.

2014 San Francisco Dance Film Festival Enemy Within

2014 San Francisco Dance Film Festival Enemy Within

I also play an important role in the marketing of our current programming through social media networks and interact with our co-presenting partners, including many local arts organizations such as SF Ballet, ODC, San Francisco Performances, AXIS Dance Company, Fountain 3 Films, San Francisco Cinematheque, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, SF IndieFest, Museum of Performance and Design, World Arts West/San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Cultural Services of the French Consulate in San Francisco, Dancers’ Group, and The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. I looked into all areas of a nonprofit organization and found that social media and marketing are the areas that I’m most interested in.

So what is it like to volunteer for a nonprofit like SFDFF? It’s wonderful and difficult at the same time.  The first reason why I got involved with the organization was because of SFDFF Executive Director Judy Flannery and Saint Mary’s College Program Manager Megan Low. This internship provides me with college credit for Saint Mary’s. Once I had my internship in place, I was also invited by Artistic Director/Founder Greta Schoenberg to join the 2014 selection committee based on my extensive experience in the field of dance. My life and passion is ballet, but seeing the dance films that were submitted this year and discussing all 270 of them with the selection committee really got me hooked into the organization. After graduating from Saint Mary’s College this year, I’m still working for the festival and I believe that dance film is the next step to reach ballet/dance audiences all over the world.

I’m really looking forward to the festival this year and its diverse programming. Greta has done an excellent job in putting together a great program for this year’s festival. Her expertise really shows when you see all the movies that are coming up this year. Now that I have had the chance to work alongside Greta, I know better what makes a decent dance film, but of course it’s very subjective.

Like most nonprofit organizations, the staff always works very hard and in our case, we all put in the extra hours to make sure that everything gets done in a timely manner. All of us in the organization have families and we steal time from our loved ones, for the benefit of the organization, which is hard for me to do. Sometimes there are deadlines for the festival that have to be met. Because of my profession and my performance schedule I already see my family so little, especially on the weekends, and that creates extra strain in my personal life.  Striking the balance between my personal life and work has been very hard for me. To avoid that, I’m overseeing  SFDFF’s social media efforts and I’ve reduced face-to-face time with the staff by getting work done via text or the phone. It’s been pretty successful so far, but often things are said in a face-to-face meeting that may not be communicated later to the rest of the organization. So there is a downside for not seeing people involved in the organization on the regular basis, but on the upside, I get to be with my family.

This year, SFDFF brings many wonderful films to the Bay Area and I would like to mention couple of them to the readers. So here are my favorites:

Alone? In The Theatre (Germany), Director & Choreographer: Max Zachrisson

Ballet Spiral  (USA), Director: Sam Asaert

Globe Trot (USA), Director: Mitchell Rose, Choreographer: Bebe Miller

Glove Story (Israel), Director: Oren Shkedy, Choreographer: Dana Ruttenberg

Intrinsic Moral Evil (Netherlands), Director: Harm Weistra, Choreographer: Fernando Dominguez  Rincón

Off Ground (Netherlands), Director: Boudewijn Koole, Choreographer: Jakop Ahlbom 

Rules of the Game (USA), Director & Choreographer: Jeff & Rick Kuperman

Samba (USA), Directors: Andrea Lerner, Rosane Chamecki, Choreographer: chameckilerner

Silent Places (Romania), Director: Simona Deaconescu, Choreographer: Simona Deaconescu

Still (Netherlands), Director & Choreographer: William Lü

The Art of Defining Me (UK), Director & Choreographer: Kamala Devam & Seeta Patel

Vanishing Points (Canada), Director: Marites Carino. Choreographer: Tentacle Tribe

 

All the films that are selected for 2014 festival are brilliant in their own way. I am buzzing with excitement and cannot wait to hear what you think. See you all at the festival this year, November 6-9, at the Brava Theater Center. Please visit us any time at www.sfdancefilmfest.org.

 

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