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    Categories: FilmIn the MagazineSundance

5 Ways to Sundance 2017: The Giver

“The nice thing is you get to know people – the same people who volunteer year to year at the same place.”

– Amanda Pratt –

Amanda Pratt warns volunteering is hard work. A minimum of 24 hours is required and volunteers are just as likely to be standing in frozen mud directing traffic at a bus stop as guiding celebrities to a red carpet. Still, the long-time volunteer says the benefits are hard to beat.

Pratt, who first volunteered seven years ago with a friend, says they did it to see movies.  “You get a certain number of volunteer tickets and at each screening they save seats just for volunteers. You stand in a volunteer line and everything. One year we saw 14 movies.”

They  made The Egyptian Theatre their basecamp. “We picked that venue because it’s the hub, in the middle of everything,” she says. “We took tickets, we passed out ballots, we’d usher, wrangle people around to make sure seats were filled.”

Though she began volunteering for movie tickets, Pratt says she eventually stopped seeing as many films, but went back year after year for the camaraderie. “The nice thing is you get to know people—the same people who volunteer year to year at the same place,” she says. “We’re friends with them and we go out to dinner with them. We have a Facebook group. I feel so connected to all of them.”

Most anticipated movie:
The Hero

Giving your time has its Perks: see some films, get merch and join the party

Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from volunteering, says Pratt. “Volunteer with a friend. At first you might have to take the harder jobs, but when you come back the next year you can have one that is more fun. Either way, you’ll still get the perks like movie tickets and the end-of-festival volunteer party,” she says. “I’d suggest getting into the experience. Go early, see a movie. Stay late. Go to a party or two and see as many movies you can.”

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Andrea Peterson :