Station Highlight: Oneota Film Festival

Nancy Sojka, Oneota Film Festival director
Nancy Sojka, Oneota Film Festival Director, is working through Northeast Iowa RSVP to find additional volunteers for the 2020 film festival.”

RSVP and Oneota Film Festival seek volunteers to assist at OFF’s 12th annual film screening events Feb.14-16

Northeast Iowa RSVP and Oneota Film Festival (OFF) are seeking volunteers to help conduct the annual winter festival of screenings of independent films  February 14-16 at several locations in Decorah and Waukon, Iowa. There will be screenings in five rooms at Luther College, at T-Bock’s Upstairs, and at the Waukon Town Theatre. With assistance from RSVP, the festival is recruiting and scheduling volunteers from now until the festival’s opening day.

Volunteer service opportunities include set-up and take-down at screening sites, doorkeepers for each screening, festival greeters and runners, membership sign-up at festival site tables, merchandise sales, and other duties. More detailed job descriptions are available by contacting OFF Volunteer Coordinator Janet Snider at 419-351-4092.

Volunteers age 55 and older are encouraged to sign up through RSVP and check out other community service opportunities on the RSVP website: Oneota Film Festival is one of more than 60 local organizations and services that partner with Northeast Iowa RSVP. Contact RSVP Volunteer Coordinator Julie Ohde at 563-277-5180 with questions about becoming an RSVP volunteer.

Volunteers will then sign up for specific times through the OFF website at The online sign-up application will send you emails with information about your assignment. You can change assignments if needed, and you will receive email reminders before the day of your volunteer job.

Oneota Film Festival is northeast Iowa’s premier showcase for independent non-commercial film productions. Founded in 2009, the organization’s mission is to build and sustain a community of film lovers and filmmakers through screenings and discussion. OFF strives to inform, inspire and engage viewers and filmmakers in compelling issues of our time. OFF discovers and screens films that have been produced at locations around the world, that are created by independent filmmakers, and that are not readily available through commercial networks.

Each year OFF brings independent, non-commercial filmmakers to the Festival, either live or by Skype, to discuss their work with the audiences. OFF works with Oneota region residents, students, and first-time filmmakers to nominate films for inclusion in the Festival and to submit their own films. This year’s theme is “Beyond the Crater.” Several years ago, geologists realized that the City of Decorah lies within a crater formed by a giant asteroid that crashed into the earth eons ago. The OFF board looked for films that encourage us to look at life outside of The Crater.

Volunteers play a major role in the success of OFF’s annual winter Festival and other events conducted by the organization. More information about Oneota Film Festival is available at the organization’s website,, or by contacting OFF Director Nancy Sojka, telephone 563-265-1646 or email

Northeast Iowa RSVP volunteer Jerry Johnson writes articles about NEI RSVP stations and volunteer opportunities. A retired journalist and public relations officer, Jerry blogs at Dispatches from a Northern Town.