The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is seeking a highly skilled and experienced Program Director. He/she will work alongside the Festival Founders who
serve as Executive & Artistic Director and Co-Director respectively. The Program Director will work with the rest of the festival team taking the
organization through a blowout fifth annual celebration this coming Fall and into a very bright future. NVFF has already established a reputation as a
major player for showcasing the best new films of the year and likely awards-season contenders, as well as for delivering world-class hospitality to
filmmakers, film industry players and audience members from all walks of life.
As NVFF’s new Program Director, he/she is a critical part of NVFF’s Senior Management Team. He/she will be expected not only to manage the Programming
Department, but also to help design and deliver plans that will poise NVFF for success for years and years to come. The Program Director must share a
passion for film and the vision behind this ambitious organization. It is an expectation that he/she brings a wealth of connections and experience to the
position; and that he/she also wants to personally grow with the organization as the business and festival flourish.
Areas of Responsibility:
A) Film Programming
1) Call for Entries … running this process soup to nuts; managing the relationship with submission engines (using both Without A Box and Film Freeway
this season); promoting the Call for Entries and encouraging submissions through every available means in collaboration with Marketing; overseeing the
screening of films (including personally previewing much of what comes in); making recommendations to the Executive & Artistic Director on the ultimate
selection of films for inclusion in the Program; sending invitations and decline notices; managing year-round relationships with the growing community of
NVFF-related/interested filmmakers and sources of films.
2) Film Acquisitions Research … planning other Festival attendance (e.g., Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, etc); following up on desired films; researching other
top festivals to find audience-award winning films; building relationships with program directors from other peer festivals; researching
acquisition/distribution outcomes for films we are interested in; making recommendations to the Executive & Artistic Director on the ultimate selection
of films for inclusion in the Program; inviting films to participate where timing makes sense for all parties, etc.
3) Studio & Production Company Relationships
Building relationships with specialty arms of studios, newer studios, established production companies and new platforms/sources of great film … to raise
awareness of NVFF so that everyone is more interested when we reach out to them. Work collaboratively with the Executive & Artistic Director, as well
as the Festival’s Co-Director, on identifying and securing awards-season showcase films.
4) Festival Schedule … work collaboratively with the Executive & Artistic Director on pulling together a sensible and creatively compelling schedule,
taking into consideration filmmaker availability, the multiple village layout of NVFF. Also factoring in scheduling of Panels & Discussions, Tribute
Programs, etc … see below.
B) Special Program Elements
1) Awards Program … Driving the plans for Audience and Juried Awards … including researching and helping to put together compelling prize packages
(involves potential sponsors and patrons); planning and coordinating the Awards Ceremony.
2) Juries … Driving the plans for who should be on which Jury; issuing invitations and overseeing hospitality (see below); managing the Jury Brunch and
presentation by the Jurors at the Awards Ceremony
3) Panels & Discussions … Driving the plans for Panels & Discussions at each year’s festival; handling invitations and hospitality for panelists.
Overseeing execution of panel programs.
4) Tribute Programs … Collaborating with the Executive & Artistic Director and Co-Director on research and ideas for Tribute Candidates each year,
including helping to identify outstanding interviewers and masters of ceremonies; assisting with invitations and hospitality.
5) Artists-in-Residence Program … Driving the further development of this outstanding filmmaker education and networking program, including identifying and
securing Industry Mentors, coordinating schedules between Meadowood (host venue) staff, filmmakers, mentors/faculty and NVFF personnel (including
documentary video/photo crew).
C) Filmmaker Hospitality (this will be overseen and executed by a seasonal Hospitality Manager but with prep-work from the Programming Department)
1) Invitations and “booking” … sending out official invitation and welcome letters; developing general filmmaker FAQ documents; developing personalized
schedules; matching filmmakers to lodging; coordinating travel logistics, including parceling out air vouchers, etc; recruiting and overseeing seasonal
2) Industry Mixer … coordinating with Operations on the designs and planning for the Industry Mixer and any other filmmaker gatherings during the
3) Official Appearances … assuring that filmmakers and industry guests appear for their film introductions and Q&As, panels, workshops, and other
4) Special Event Invitations … assuring that filmmakers and industry guests receive their invitations to special NVFF events and get to where they are
supposed to be.
D) Exhibition of the Film Program
1) Venues/Formats … coordinating with Operations on Venues and projection/format requirements.
2) Print Traffic … working with print sources to assure timely delivery of prints in the proper format; coordinating with seasonal Technical Director and
projectionists and print traffic assistants for the testing and venue-shuttling of prints; assuring smooth return of all prints.
3) Ringmasters … assisting with the recruiting and taking a lead role in the training of a corps of outstanding Ringmasters who “own” and present the
film programs at the various festival venues; developing FAQs for Ringmasters at all Venues, plus detailed notes on each film program.
4) Balloting … overseeing each year’s balloting for audience award voting. Developing systems and training seasonal personnel and volunteers on execution.
E) Festival Publications … working with Marketing to assure best presentation (via all channels) of Program Information each year; includes write-ups on
each film (to be reviewed and approved by the Executive & Artistic Director), assembling the needed elements, working with graphic designers, managing
timelines through to completion; includes both print and digital formats.
F) Year-Round Special Film Presentations … Identifying opportunities for presenting films “off-season” when films we especially admire are being released
outside of the NVFF sweet-spot. Assisting with outreach to studios and talent. Coordinating all hospitality and scheduling elements. Coordinating print
traffic and exhibition issues with the local venues.
G) NVFF Infrastructure Development … involvement along with the rest of the team in researching, designing and implementing information technology tools
(such as a customized database) that enhance individual and team productivity; identifying potential for new programs and opportunities to allow NVFF to
expand its good work.
Skills and Experience required:
A minimum of 10 years as a Festival Programming professional.
Specific areas of expertise:
- Film Program Curation (fitting great films to our audience)
- Print Traffic
- Balloting Systems
- Film Exhibition/Formats
- Program Guide and Website Content Preparation
- Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent Presentation Skills
· Familiarity and Comfort with Digital/Social Media Marketing Tools and Channels
· Familiarity and Comfort with organizational and productivity-collaboration software and tools
- Community Relations
- Team Management
- Positive upbeat attitude
- Collaborative leadership style
- Unflappable in the face of adversity or sudden change
- Creative problem solver and solution finder
- Willingness to do whatever it takes
- Integrity, loyalty, discretion, honesty
- Mission-driven, not money-driven
If interested, please send CV to Carrie Markham at Carrie@nvff.org. Or call 707-226-7500 for more information.