Film Festival Alliance – Regional Roundtable!


Regional Roundtable: Cucalorus

FFA’s third roundtable of 2018 takes place November 8-11 at the 24th annual Cucalorus Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina, sponsored by Eventive and FilmFreeway.

Open to all festival professionals, this 3-day workshop/festival experience will focus on the Human Capital it takes to run a film festival, with discussion topics including HR, seasonal staff, volunteer management and board partnerships, as well as specific sessions on data management, print traffic & DCP logistics. Additionally, the gathering will include networking events, group activities, FFA’s signature Meet the Festivals session, and a host of unexpected artistic collisions as we dive deep into the 24th annual Cucalorus Festival. Full agenda coming soon!

A number of complimentary Cucalorus Festival industry passes will be available by lottery for FFA members who register by October 11. Additional, deeply discounted passes will be available for members as well. Register now!


SESSION AGENDA (November 9-10)

Full Schedule Coming Soon (including times, and other non-roundtable session events)

Session 1: STAFF

Our first session delves right into staffing, and the many issues that arise with this topic, including interviewing, hiring (seasonal staff, interns), onboarding and parity within your hires. Who is managing the various groups of staff – from full time to seasonal and what is the best organizational structure to handle large groups, of often underpaid, people? What happens when you are the founder of your organization and carry years upon years of institutional knowledge? How do you transition to ensure the longevity of your festival or association to a new regime?


We all know festivals wouldn’t happen without volunteers. How do you reward your volunteers, beyond the basics? How do you handle the blurred lines between volunteers who work as hard as staff, are volunteer staff or provide professional services? What does your volunteer handbook look like? What volunteer management system do you use and how can volunteer tracking, retention and recruitment be improved?


The elephant in the room…Boards. How do you attract and retain effective board members, manage them and set realistic expectations? How do you handle the blurred lines between governance and operations? How do you motivate your board to fundraise and become strong ambassadors for your brand?


Most film organizations don’t have the means to run their own HR department. What are the codes o of conduct that you set forth and what kind of messaging do you create around those? What is the “unwritten understand” vs. the “policy?” How do you navigate the blurred lines of professionalism vs. the film festival “family” environment, and what happens when an extreme situation comes up?


The final session has no agenda, and is a time for festival organizers to highlight and continue the most important conversations from the weekend.


More info at