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Overview: The Programmer will work closely with the Artistic Director, the other Film programmer and wider curation team as well as other team members. Primary responsibilities include: programming the T/F film lineup in collaboration with the team, conceiving and coordinating adjacent programming, and cultivating film and art world relationships. We strongly encourage emerging programmers to apply, and we strongly encourage people from historically underrepresented communities to apply, particularly: people of color; immigrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer people; and genderqueer, trans, and gender nonconforming people.

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and experience:

  • Ardent curiosity and an enthusiasm for research and a critical perspective on the art of nonfiction filmmaking;
  • A track record of nonfiction film curation and/or scholarship is preferred, with an understanding of how to program for both documentary-focused cinephiles as well as for viewers who haven’t yet engaged with nonfiction cinema;
  • Strong interpersonal skills including excellent writing and timely communication;
  • Self-driven, with a high attention to detail and persistent follow-through;
  • Emotional intelligence, the ability to work with a variety of team members;
  • At least one year working for True/False or another festival.

Specific duties include but are not limited to:

  • Research and solicit new nonfiction films for consideration by the True/False programming team working with our tracking database;
  • Watch and file reviews of films, both submitted and solicited;
  • Work with the programming team to select the True/False film lineup (approximately 36 features and 3-4 shorts programs). Contribute ideas for other repertory programs as part of the film program;
  • Correspond with sales agents, distributors, and filmmakers to secure invited films and confirm guest attendance;
  • Guide canaries (screening committee) from a programming perspective, reading reviews and moving submitted films through the programming pipeline;
  • Lead canary meetings on a rotating basis with other members, selecting films, leading discussions and providing mentorship and guidance to committee members;
  • Write film submission notification letters;
  • Write and edit film- and Synapses-related program content (copy for website, program book, etc.);
  • Contribute ideas and secure speakers for Synapses events (including Field Sessions, Campfire Stories, and Gimme Truth);
  • Work with programming team to determine industry guests (e.g. post-screening conversation facilitators, mentors for first-time directors);
  • Work with programming team to envision social events and parties for attending filmmakers, artists, and industry;
  • Collaborate with the hospitality and print traffic teams on guest/film logistics;
  • Be an ambassador for the Fest during the festival weekend, ensuring attending filmmakers and artists have the best possible experience;
  • Ringleader duties: Introduce screenings and facilitate post-screening discussions with the general public during the festival;
  • Take part in regular meetings with wider Fest Curation team (Music Curator, Art Curator, etc.) to share program information and discuss potential cross-program collaborations;
  • Collaboration with sponsorship, development, and CPE directors to support and elevate their areas of the festival with regard to applicable curatorial content;
  • Collaboration with communications department on promotion of the film program, being available for press interviews as required and fact-checking press releases related to program;
  • In collaboration with the rest of the programming team, work with RFS Tech Director, RFS Operations Director, and RFS Production Manager to ensure quality presentation standards are set and met;
  • Other duties as needed and directed by the Artistic Director.

Compensation & Commitment: This is an 8 to 9 month position classified as temporary, seasonal employee with a stipend in the range of $24,000-$27,000. We offer a results-oriented work environment; our collaborative culture supports innovation and time spent on other passion projects. If not already based in Columbia, the True/False Film Programmer should plan to relocate to Columbia for ideally 3 months leading up to and through the festival; exact timing to be discussed. We anticipate the role beginning by the latest at the start of August 2022 and running until the end of March 2023. Applicants should be authorized to work in the US.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter telling us why you should be our new programmer, along with a resume and three references. Additionally, we require at least one writing sample that spotlights your critical perspective on nonfiction film, at least 500 words. Send all materials to Arin Liberman: [email protected]. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the application deadline is Friday 24 June at 5PM CST.