Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

Volunteer Committees

Did you know that PAAFF is entirely volunteer run?

Top 6 Reasons to Volunteer:

Thanks to our friends at Cinema76 for writing this list!

1. Size & Scale: PAAFF is the largest film festival focusing on AAPI content on the East Coast (bigger than NYC!), and the third largest AAPI Film Festival in the country!

2. More Than Just Films: Over the course of 11 days, PAAFF showcases over 80 films (features & shorts) of the Asian Diaspora, hosts musical and theatrical acts (such as Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists works-in-progress), and hosts a conference in partnership with UPenn to open conversations around AAPI experiences that are not often discussed. Link to 2018’s program.

3. Arts & Activism: PAAFF works towards building community around arts and activism, choosing films and devising programs that can bring community together (not only the AAPI community, but the film community, and other diaspora communities as well), raising awareness of shared/intersectional issues and experiences.

4. Partnership & Access: PAAFF partners with many different community organizations (i.e. VietLead, Cambodian American Girls Empowering, PCDC, and SEAMAAC) every year to ensure that the AAPI community is aware and has access to all of the programs that we have.

5. Meeting Creators: Every year, filmmakers and artists from all over the country attend PAAFF to conduct audience Q&As and to interact with the local Philly community. It’s a great opportunity to aspiring artists to connect with other creators from around the world to inspire and be inspired by one another!

6. PAAFF Perks: PAAFF feeds you food (like, really good food). For each shift you work, you receive: a sweet volunteer shirt, and one complimentary ticket to any paid event (except for tentpole films).


Festival volunteers help with the day of programming and screenings during the festival. It is NOT REQUIRED for you to have any film background—just a positive attitude and interest in helping organize a film festival focused on supporting AAPI creative content.


Staff volunteers are an integral part of our year-round planning team. We rely on the skills and commitment of talented people like yourself! Here’s a list of committees we staff:

Executive Committee (Board Members)

  • The public face of the film festival
  • Responsible for making high level organizational, financial, and program decisions as they relate to the PAAFF brand.

Finance Committee

  • Prepare and maintain financial records for tax purposes and fiscal sponsor or grant organizations upon request.
  • Give financial advice based on current and future budget projections.

Sponsorship & Fundraising

  • Identify and develop strategies to approach sponsorship prospects and act as point of contact throughout sponsorship engagements.
  • Manage deliverables to and from sponsors.
  • Identify grant prospects and manage application process.

Marketing & Communications

  • Implement year round branding and marketing strategies.
  • Manage monthly e-newsletter and weekly social media engagements.
  • Update website and social media content regularly.
  • Build collaborative partnerships through co-hosted screenings when possible.
  • Develop and manage press outreach strategies.
  • Advise Executive committee on advertising placement for main festival.
  • Strategize and design the festival campaign for each year
  • Create additional marketing materials and print collateral

Programming Committee

  • Identify strongest candidates for main festival program in each section (Sub-committees for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Shorts)
  • Help select films and/or partner organizations for the year-round screening series
  • Brainstorm peripheral programming ideas during the main festival
  • Year-round programming and peripheral programming aspects
  • Join the screener committee (submit application here)

Guest Services/ Event Planning

  • Coordinate travel and hotel for festival guests including filmmakers, talent and conference/panel speakers
  • Oversee and coordinate all arrivals and departures of special guests
  • Manage and maximize travel, hotel and financial resources to stay within budget and service the greatest number of festival guests

Volunteer Coordination

  • Recruit and manage volunteer database
  • Work with staff volunteers to provide volunteers throughout the calendar year (i.e. annual film festival, fundraisers, screenings and tabling events)
  • Hold orientation sessions prior to the film festival season for new volunteers