Senior Programmer

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OrganizationVirginia Film Festival
TypeFull Time
Application DeadlineJanuary 31, 2022
College Degree Required?Yes
Salary Range$65,000 - $85,000 commensurate on education and experience.
Phone(434) 982-5560


The Virginia Film Festival (VAFF) is seeking candidates for a full-time Senior Programmer. The Virginia Film Festival is a program of the University of Virginia and hosts a five-day annual film festival and year-round programming that takes place in Charlottesville, VA. Now in its third decade, the VAFF is one of America’s leading regional film festivals, and one of the premier cultural events in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Senior Programmer will be responsible for curating film programs for the annual festival and year-round programming, overseeing the festival’s film submission and selection process, supervising guest services and programming staff, as well as producing editorial content for VAFF communications, marketing publications, and foundation applications.

The Senior Programmer reports to the VAFF’s Managing Director and works closely with the Festival Director and VAFF Advisory Board to conceive and develop the artistic and programmatic focus of the organization. The Senior Programmer also collaborates routinely with the VAFF team on community engagement and special events during the Festival and throughout the year.

The VAFF believes that a diverse workforce and management team are essential to its ability to provide inclusive, welcoming, and engaging programming to the University and Charlottesville communities. We strive to recruit an expansive candidate pool representing a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, personal experiences, and professional expertise.

Job Duties

The Senior Programmer’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work closely with Festival Director to develop the artistic and programmatic focus annually.

  • Manage the process of curating over 200+ films/events and 100+ industry guests including, but not limited to annual call for submissions review, distributor outreach, repertory films, and via new and established partnerships for the annual Festival as well as year-round events.

  • Align the annual Program with organizational goals, budget, and fundraising priorities.

  • Oversee guest and discussant invitation and selection process.

  • Negotiate agreements with filmmakers, distributors, and guests.

  • Develop and maintain relationship with filmmakers, talent, distributors, sales agents, advisory board members, UVA and local community leaders, etc.

  • Recruit and oversee assistant programmers, guest programming team, guest services seasonal staff, and student interns.

  • Prepare and present engaging film introductions and discussions for select events.

  • Represent the University + VAFF at film festivals, events, and programs via presentations, interviews, event attendance, etc.

  • Craft promotional content, including film and events blurbs, guest bios, and other communications.

  • Research and write grant and foundation proposals.

  • View a full and detailed job description here.

Skills Required

Ideal candidates will have at least 4 years of experience with curating and programming film; be collaborative and creative while also maintaining an attention to detail; and have a proven commitment to inclusive community engagement. Experience in the film and film festival industry is required; experience in higher education is valued. The Senior Programmer will travel periodically throughout the year and will often be required to work a flexible schedule, with events on evenings and weekends.

Required Experience and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and at least 4 years of curatorial and programming and/or related experience.

  • Prior experience in the film and/or film festival industry.

  • Comprehensive film knowledge (American, foreign, contemporary, classic, independent).

  • Excellent verbal and written communication, interpersonal, and documentation skills.

  • Works well independently and is also able to manage, train, and motivate others.

  • Ability to work with multiple organizations/groups/vendors professionally and proactively.

  • Good problem solving and critical thinking skills.

  • Working knowledge of Google Suite, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook.

Preferred Experience and Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree and at least 5 years of curatorial and programming experience in the film in a specialized film exhibition setting.

  • Experience in higher education.

Additional Info

The Senior Programmer position is based in Charlottesville, VA, and there is an expectation that the incumbent will live in and/or relocate to Charlottesville. This position will remain open until filled, and the review of applicants will begin December 9, 2021.  This is an Exempt level, benefited position. The position is also a restricted position and is dependent upon project need, availability of funding, and performance.  The University will perform background checks on all new hires prior to employment.  For questions about the position or the application process, please contact Ashley Cochran, Senior Recruiter at alc6dk@virginia.edu.

How to Apply:

Process for External Applicants: Please apply through Workday, and search for R0030864. Complete an application online as well as the following:

  • Cover Letter CV or Resume

  • At least one example of past film programming and/or curatorial work

  • A statement on your programming vision/approach (no more than 1 page)

  • Contact information for three references (name, email address, telephone number, and address)

Process for Internal UVA Applicants: Please apply through your Workday Home page, search “Find Jobs,” and search for R0030854. Complete an application online as well as the following:​

  • Cover Letter CV or Resume

  • At least one example of past film programming and/or curatorial work

  • A statement on your programming vision/approach (no more than 1 page)

  • Contact information for three references (name, email address, telephone number, and address)

Applications that do not contain all the required documents will not receive full consideration, please note that multiple documents can be uploaded in the box.