DokuFest, one of the major Balkan film festivals, has launched an appeal for volunteers. They are needed to run this year’s festival from August 5 to August 18 in Prizren, Kosovo. Participating also offers a great chance to look behind the scenes of a festival dedicated to documentaries and short movies and to experience contemporary Balkan culture.

If you ever wanted to experience a film festival from up close or are interested in documentaries and short movies, volunteering at Prizren’s DokuFest might just be the thing to do for this summer.

The renown festival, celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer, has put out a call for volunteers: „The DokuFest volunteer program mobilizes a team of enthusiastic, dedicated and creative volunteers who become the face of our festival – they are present at all the DokuFest facilities and official venues, they are often the first to greet our guests, have the best overview of events and receive great perks while following the festival from start to end“
it says on the festival’s homepage.

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DokuFest volunteers. Photo: Tobias Strahl/Dokufest

„We have at least 140 volunteers each year“, Una Hajdari, head of communications for Dokufest, tells Balkan Stories. „They’re from all over the region, and we also have some from countries such as Germany and Spain“.

What’s to be expected is to gain hands on experience in one of the Balkan’s major festivals for documentaries and short movies. Last year alone it drew more than 15.000 visitors and featured around 200 films.

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Photo: Haris Alija/Dokufest

This makes it a fine example of what keeps the chronically and notoriously underfunded Balkan cultural scene alive: Commitment and dedication bordering enthusiasm with a very pragmatic approach how to overcome the often gaping holes government policies have left open or at least seem to be unable to fill.

An additional plus for particularly foreign volunteers is that they get to experience a region yet untouched by Western tourism. Prizren, the city hosting DokuFest, has a reputation for being a multiethnic place and a long and colorful history that has left its traces in the city’s architecture.

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Photo: Samir Karahoda/Dokufest

Applications must be handed in by July 15th.

DokuFest starts on August 9th.

Title photograph: Vigan Nimani/Dokufest
All photos in this piece were obtained under CC license CC BY-SA 4.0