Over the past couple of months, Molly Kreuzman, the new AIFF Volunteer Coordinator, has been meeting with dozens of long-term volunteers--the heartbeat of our yearly film festival--to learn more about what they do for the festival. “Along the way,” she shared, “I realized how absolutely amazing these folks are! It’s not unusual to meet volunteers who have been with AIFF ten, fifteen, even nineteen years. They have wonderful stories of festivals past, including meeting filmmakers who have gone on to illustrious careers, and they take pride in showing off Southern Oregon. To a person, their real satisfaction in volunteering is knowing they helped a filmgoer have an extraordinaire experience at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.”
Thinking about volunteering? We’d love to have you join our team.
In this issue, we turn our spotlight on Bill Heimann, whose infectious smile, thoughtful reflections, and pride in being an AIFF volunteer inspire all of us at the festival to do our best!
What is your favorite part of volunteering for AIFF?
I enjoy sharing the fun of the festival with the moviegoers.
How long have you been volunteering for AIFF and what motivated you to get involved?
I have been volunteering since the second year of the festival. My wife, Annette, volunteered the first year and said you needed help. At that tim e, it was “just show up and take whatever job you thought you could fill in a useful way.” I saw that the festival needed help directing people to the right lines and into the correct theater. It looked like a chance to put a smile on people’s faces. How could I resist? I did not know that because I was the only person doing that job I had to be there there whenever we were showing movies! I put in long hours, but so did many others.
What are some of the roles you’ve had as a volunteer?
I have helped with many aspects of the festival, from my long-time role of “street god” to running errands, purchasing, and putting together the popcorn machine used in other events, to acquiring the tee shirts, serving wine at events, and just generally trying to help.
Do you have any advice to offer to prospective volunteers coming aboard with AIFF?
Remember that the festival is a fun event. Volunteer to enjoy that fun while helping the moviegoers do the same.
What do you love to do when you’re not volunteering for AIFF?
I am a long-distance adventure traveler. I have solo walked the entire Appalachian Trail, canoed the Missouri River from source to mouth, and bicycled around the world, cycling in over 60 countries. This year, I plan to return to the festival after spending two to three months cycling the spectacular Andes of Columbia.