Eric Vollweiler Discusses Sundance and Recommends Volunteering to Find Networking Opportunities
Eric Vollweiler, producer and marketing consultant, has over 25 years experience in theater, casting, and producing and marketing film festivals, music festivals and entertainment events
What was one of your earliest experiences in this field?
While finishing college in Boston, I was asked to be the head of the student volunteers for a fundraiser for the Nantucket Film Festival. This was in 2001, and it taught me about the importance of organization. This was my first experience of being around the major donors and supporters of independent films. It helped with my communication skills, which was useful since I was getting my bachelor's degree in that field.
I left Boston to finish my college experience in Los Angeles and intern with the casting department of a movie studio. Once my internship was over, a friend introduced me to the Sundance Film Festival and said I should volunteer. I applied and was accepted to the position of crowd liaison at the Egyptian Theater on Main Street. What I learned from this volunteer work was the difference between the independent film industry and movie lovers. Also, I learned to use communication and networking to find new opportunities.
What was volunteering for the Sundance Film Festival like?
Sundance really took care of all the volunteers. They let us go to educational filmmaker panels and watch movies. Some of the amazing films I saw that year included Love Liza by Gordy Hoffman and Real Women Have Curves by Patricia Cardosa. Sundance was my greatest teacher in the film festival world. The education and networking opportunities I received from volunteering led me to work in the film festival industry, something I have done from 2005 to the present.
In 2006 I went back to Sundance and produced the Indieslate Magazines Sundance Film Festival Event, which took place at the Spotted Frog Book Store. Then, in 2019, I produced the Artists Untied Sundance Film Festival event at the O P Rockwell on Main Street. In 2020, I produced the 1st Annual Independent Filmmaker Day, and am presently producing the 2nd Annual Independent Filmmaker Day and the 8th Annual Latino Filmmaker Network events to be held during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
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What message would you like to give our Heart Of Hollywood readers?
I highly recommend volunteering or attending the Sundance Film Festival. You will watch some of the top diverse films from around the world. You will meet all types of people who love cinema and the arts. Also you might land a new film project or a new job from attending. It's all about how you look at it!
If you are planning to attend the Sundance Film Festival in 2022, you are invited to my two events. On Sunday, January 23, we have www.ifilmday.com, and on Monday, January 24, we have www.latinofilmmaker.org.
Visit www.sundance.org for more information on festival passes, film tickets, educational panels, merchandising and Park City, Utah.
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