The Associate Film Programmer is a full-time position within the Curatorial Department that reports to the Pick-Laudati Curator of Media Arts. In collaboration with the Curator of Media Arts, the Associate Film Programmer takes a role in articulating the vision and mission of the Block Museum’s film program, in addition to short- and long-range planning. This position also provides administrative support to the Curator of Media Arts to develop and oversee the Block Cinema screening series. The Associate Film Programmer is responsible for curating approximately 20 percent of the Block Cinema calendar, which presents 70-80 screenings per year. These programs may be presented as a series organized around a particular theme, region, or filmmaker, or may take the form of special events or events coordinated with particular courses at Northwestern. In the course of organizing these programs, the Associate Film Programmer will research films, distributors, and rights holders; write promotional texts; coordinate with students, faculty, and potential co-sponsors; and promote screenings as necessary. The Associate Film Programmer will also be responsible for maintaining interest in and communication with film programs locally and internationally, and for identifying potentially relevant touring film programs and retrospectives.
Under the supervision of the Curator of Media Arts, the Associate Film Programmer provides research assistance, administrative coordination, and operational oversight of the museum's film program. This includes, but is not limited to: researching the sources and distributors of films; researching copyright holders and licensing agreements; processing invoices and all financial paperwork; image sourcing for print and web publications; copyediting of all print, web, press and PR materials; and logistical support for all programs (this includes evening screenings). The Associate Film Programmer works on promoting film screenings, independently and in conjunction with the museum’s Communication Manager and Engagement Department. This position also liaises with student and faculty collaborators on film and media programs, identifies opportunities for co-sponsorships and promotional support, and manages proposals for future programs from campus and community partners.
Film Program Responsibilities
Manages and organizes quarterly film screening program.
Conducts in-depth research in order to create thought-provoking programs that lead to meaningful and relevant discussions with an emphasis on campus and local interests.
Corresponds with distributors, archives, cinematheques, and collectors to find sources for screening materials.
Collaborates with the Media Arts Curator to write, edit, and oversee the preparation of calendar text for print and web listings.
Writes approximately 25% of calendar including short descriptions for films and film series.
Sources photos from distributors and other resources.
Oversees poster and flyer design.
Works with the Media Arts Curator and the Grants Manager and Special Projects Associate to research and pursue grant opportunities.
Edits, publishes, and maintains event listings on Facebook, the Block’s website, and Northwestern University event pages.
Responds to press inquiries including image crediting and screener requests.
Researches and contacts filmmakers, faculty, scholars, artists, and other experts for introductions and discussions.
Coordinates with Media Arts Curator to identify and cultivate partnerships with faculty and students.
Sets up meetings with faculty members and departments to discuss ideas for future projects, including student- and faculty-curated programs and exhibition-related screenings.
Schedules meetings with faculty to discuss where Block Cinema programs may overlap with classes or projects.
Works on developing and implementing screenings with campus organizations.
Solicits student proposals for film series and maintains student application portal.
Develops and implements student programs and provides regular, quarterly guidance through meetings and check-ins.
Identifies and pursues opportunities for on- and off- campus partnerships and co-sponsorships.
Programs at least 20% of the quarterly calendar and presents ideas to the Media Arts Curator for consideration on a quarterly basis.
Regularly generates creative programs with an interdisciplinary focus.
Recommends new films, restorations, and touring programs for consideration.
Maintain quality, diversity, and relevance of programs.
Keeps up-to-date- on films and trends especially in areas pertaining to the museum and cinema’s through-lines.
Elevates the Block Museum’s reputation in the field.
Makes connections with important future collaborators and partners.
Attends local film screenings and occasionally attends film festivals as a representative of the museum
Introduces films and participates in post-screening discussions as assigned.
Is an active and engaged member of the museum staff, participating in staff meetings and supporting museum initiatives as appropriate.
Generates and maintains quarterly spreadsheets tracking screening dates, series, film titles, sources, costs, formats, event partners, and other requirements.
Coordinates payment for all guest honoraria, film materials, technical servicing, receptions, and printing costs for department.
Works within the annual departmental budget.
Maintains and updates expense spreadsheets.
Prepares quarter-end and year-end expense reports.
Keeps track of co-sponsorships and grants.
Makes all logistical arrangements for visiting filmmakers, artists, and scholars.
Plans and books flights, ground transportation, and accommodations for visitors.
Sends visitors detailed itineraries.
Manages paperwork for expense reports (for visitors and within department).
Assists (or coordinates with student workers) promotion of screenings, including posting of events to Facebook and Plan it Purple, distributing flyers via email, printing, and distributing posters and/or flyers.
Communicates essential internal information and logistics to student workers, Visitor Services staff, projectionists, and campus partners.
Supervises and schedules student workers.
Coordinates with exhibition prep team during install to anticipate and manage sound disruptions.
Keeps Events Manager updated with dates and times.
In consultation with Media Arts Curator, and in line with the budget, orders equipment for projection booth and other Block Cinema-related needs.
Responds to queries from general public.
Requires flexible work schedule; must be available to work some evenings and occasional weekend days
Performs other duties as assigned.
Broad knowledge of moving image history across time, culture, and medium.
Demonstrated experience in film programming, exhibition and/or archiving, with at least two years of experience in public programming at a theater, festival, museum, film society, or comparable organization.
Demonstrated skills in cinema-related research, including sourcing, rights history, and format availability, as well as production, exhibition, and/or reception histories.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, demonstrating an awareness of diverse critical, historical, and cultural contexts, and an ability to relate those concerns to both general and academic audiences.
Strong organizational skills in maintaining deadlines, budgets, and spreadsheets.
Strong interest in the social role of cinema across cultures and historical periods, curiosity in seeking out new and underseen works, and enthusiasm for reaching out to diverse and underserved audiences.
Technical knowledge, including understanding of a variety of analog and digital formats throughout the history of the moving image.
Able to work collaboratively and communicatively on group projects with partners from across a spectrum of professional backgrounds.
Ability to work in a shared office environment.
Knowledge of Mac OS and MS Office; Google Drive; Adobe Acrobat Creative Suite; Content Management System (CMS) software.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Adaptability – Works effectively in an environment in which the parameters may change daily; adjusts behavior to meet the needs of different people and situations.
Collaboration – Facilitates open and effective communication, cooperation and teamwork within and outside of one’s own team; respects the needs and contributions of others.
Communication – Communicates effectively one-to-one, in small groups and in public speaking contexts; writes precise, well-organized emails, letters and proposals while using appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
Customer Focus – Regularly monitors customer satisfaction; provides suggestions to improve quality and value to the customer.
Development of Self/Others – Stays current on technical/professional information; identifies methods for improving work procedures or systems; solicits feedback from customers, peers and superiors.
Diversity – Creates an environment of understanding and acceptance; solicits input from a wide variety of people and functions; challenges organizational policies and practices that may be exclusionary.
Efficiency/Dependability – Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly.
Ethics and Integrity – Follows through on commitments; incorporates honesty, respect and fairness in daily actions; demands trustworthiness from others; demonstrates courage and objectivity.
Initiative – Exhibits energy and desire to achieve; sets ambitious goals and acts decisively; takes action that no one has requested to improve or enhance job results and avoid problems.
Judgment – Demonstrates logic, rationality and objectivity; shows common sense; uses all available information to make educated decisions.
Organization – Plans, organizes and schedules in an efficient, productive manner; anticipates contingencies and pays attention to detail; targets projects or initiatives that require special attention and focuses on key tasks when faced with limited time and/or resources.
Problem Solving – Formulates realistic plans and contingencies and establishes appropriate measurements of anticipated results.
Master's Degree in Film Studies or equivalent field.
Demonstrated experience with event promotion, including online and print publicity.
Graphic design skills and knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Innovation/Creativity – Explores alternatives to existing products and services; identifies opportunities to improve procedures and practices; shows imagination.
Accounting / Account Reconciliation – Understands and interprets financial statements and reports; reconciles financial records.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 36707
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.