Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

November 29, 2016

Public service opportunity: Festival Programming Manager

Position title:

Festival Programming Manager


Name of organization:





Position description:

SIFF’s mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. It is through the art of cinema that we foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive.



Reporting to the Artistic Director, the Festival Programming Manager collaborates with the programming team to exemplify the mission of SIFF through diverse, high quality, and unique programming, embracing all genres, cultures, and viewpoints. This position supervises the independent and staff programmers to assure that films screened at SIFF 2017 adhere to the artistic vision of SIFF and its internationally recognized program – artistically and culturally.



Festival Programming

  • Manage the annual process of programming 400+ official selections for SIFF to include, but not limited to, call for entries, screening (5000 submissions) process, programming, notification process, negotiations & agreements, budgeting, communications & publications, print traffic & projection, juried awards, panels & workshops, special guests & presentations, wrap-up & evaluation, and associated events
  • Oversee all aspects of programming functions, both creative and administrative. Supervise cinema specialists (French, Italian, Latin, African, Asian, LGBT, etc.) Develop and sustain significant and positive relationships with the international community of filmmakers, distributors, and others who represent both established and emerging talent in the film industry.
  • Negotiate film agreements and rental agreements with domestic and international suppliers. Oversee creation and maintenance of the master film screening schedule and film database each year.
  • Prepare engaging film introductions, and professionally moderate film Q&A sessions. Work closely with Guest Relations to assure that the guest experience is outstanding. Collaborate with the Director of Marketing and Communication to support the Publications Manager, and act as a liaison for the Programming team.
  • Assure that the Festival timeline and schedule reflects the workflow and resources required, and is set up to achieve the best outcomes for the organization. Work with Operations and IT on a timely delivery of the schedule and operational needs for the Festival.
  • Participate actively in the development, marketing, and promotional activities of SIFF, and serve as a spokesperson for the organization; including writing articles for SIFF publications as needed.
  • Work with Marketing and Communications to assure that promotional aspects of the Festival as strong, reach the audience, and reflect the Artistic Vision of SIFF.


Staff Management

  • Lead and supervise a seasonal staff that includes a year-round Programming Coordinator, Programming Interns, and additional contract Programmers and Programming Partners
  • Work closely with the Artistic Director to recruit, build, and support a comprehensive and effective Programming Department.


Organizational Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with SIFF Departmental Leadership to ensure complete information is available as applies to sponsorship, grant-writing, and fundraising; participate in organizational development of policies & procedures; and exercise sound management of resources.
  • Work with the Leadership to continue to develop & engage diverse audiences, expand income sources, and build national recognition for SIFF.


Other duties as assigned


Skill requirements:

  • Five+ years film programming leadership and administration
  • History of significant artistic achievement and inspiring creative vision
  • Demonstrated dynamic public presence that will inspire the board, staff, members and audience to support the artistic vision
  • Ability to form a collaborative partnership with the Executive Director and Artistic Director to provide the organization with clear direction and strong leadership
  • Management experience, supervising professional contract programming staff
  • Experience and desire to build, mentor, and lead a strong programming team and artistic staff through a collaborative and open management style
  • Commitment to balance artistic initiatives and risks with responsible fiscal management
  • Desire and demonstrated ability to participate in fund raising activities and engage as a civic leader on behalf of SIFF
  • Ability to provide innovative responses to organizational challenges
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proficient knowledge of MS Office Suite, FileMaker; knowledge of Shiftboard a plus
  • Ability to exhibit consistent follow-through and to work under time constraints
  • Ease with public speaking
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications skills essential
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality with information
  • Must be able to work some nights and weekends, and be on call 24/7 during the Festival


Preferred Experience and Background

             Three+ years Film Festival leadership strongly preferred

             Additional language skills a plus


Start date:



End date:

June 30, 2017





How to apply:

Email letter of interest and resume to indicating Festival Programming Manager in the subject line.


SIFF is an equal opportunity employer.  We seek to hire candidates that reflect the cultural diversity of our community.  We believe every employee has the right to work in an environment free from unlawful discrimination as is consistent with our commitment to diversity, respect, and inclusion. Consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws, SIFF provides all employees and applicants with equal opportunity in all aspects of the employment relationship.


Supervisor contact info:

HR Manager