Volunteer of the Month: Fae Giffen

When she's not volunteering for Filmworks, our January 2014 volunteer of the month Fae Giffen is a grad student in library science.
When she’s not volunteering for Filmworks, our January 2014 volunteer of the month Fae Giffen is a grad student in library science.
January 2014 Volunteer of the Month: Fae Giffen

Occupation: Fae studies at San Jose State in the School of Library and Information Science graduate program.

When you’re not busy with school, what are some of your hobbies? “Well, I started playing tennis a little while ago. I’m very enthusiastic, but very bad at it. I like reading a lot. I’ve always been a movie buff, so a lot of my free time is spent with Netflix.”

What are the most interesting films you’ve recently seen on Netflix? “I’d say ‘Best Worst Movie’ or ‘The Panic in Needle Park.’ The first is a documentary about people who love the cult classic ‘Troll 2’ and the story about how it was made. Strange, hilarious, amazing! The second is an early Al Pacino movie. It’s a love story about two junkies in New York. Great example of 1970s neo-realism and the charismatic force of nature that was a young Pacino.”

How long have you been volunteering for Filmworks? “Since this past September. I recently relocated back to Fresno, and I was looking for ways to kind of reconnect, meet some people, and get involved [in the community] again. I’ve known board president Jefferson Beavers for a few years, and so I sent him an email asking if he needed any help with Filmworks. He got back to me right away and I started volunteering.”

What are some of your usual volunteer duties? “I’ve done some handbilling for Filmworks at Fig Garden Village and elsewhere, and then I’ve volunteered at the shows. Taking tickets, selling tickets, and working the information table. Things like that.”

What has been your most memorable experience while volunteering? “I had a really good time as a volunteer [in December 2013] for ‘Haute Cuisine,’ but that was mostly because I was working at the pastry table. That one was just a really fun event with the pastries, and everyone was really excited about a fun film about food and culture.”

What has been your favorite Filmworks movie? “Right before I started volunteering, I actually went to see the screening of ‘We Steal Secrets’ with a friend, and that was really an amazing film. I love documentaries but almost never see them in a theater.”

What do you enjoy most about Filmworks screenings? “At this point, there are so few small pictures that come to Fresno. Pretty much every theater in town plays about the same four or five pictures, so Fresno Filmworks is really one of the few places where you can see something different if you’re not interested in whatever the top-grossing films of that month are. Also, it’s wonderful how the same people come to the screenings. I’ve gotten to reconnect with some people in town just from volunteering and then meet new people who show up at the screening. So I think it creates a community of people that are interested in different types of stories and interested in sharing those stories with their friends and family. And having those people come together once a month to see a really different film, often a film that you don’t have a lot of preconceived notions about and that you haven’t been hit in the head with over and over and over again, allows you to discover it on your own and talk to other people and get a lot of perspectives on what that film meant.”

Filmworks thanks all of our January 2014 volunteers: John Alden, Claudia Arguelles-Miller, Cleo Bauer, Dominic Bedrossian, Lorna Bonyhadi, Nené Casares, Antonio Garcia, Fae Giffen, Carl Johnsen, Kathryn Johnsen, Sasha Khokha, Joan Levie, Julie Linxwiler, Monica Marks-Rhea, Sarah Nixon, Dominic Papagni, Shlomo Pleban, Andre Provencio, Paula Singer, Richard Stone, Andrew Veihmeyer, Olga Verkhotina, Analise Villalobos (intern).

Past volunteers of the month:
• December 2013 – Cleo Bauer and Dominic Papagni
• November 2013 – Kathryn and Carl Johnsen
• October 2013 – Linda Hernandez
• September 2013 – Susan Rogers
• August 2013 – Joan and Brijesh Sharma
• July 2013 – Jon Veinberg
• June 2013 – Richard Stone
• May 2013 – Sarah Nixon
• April 2013 – Alyssa Rendon
• March 2013 – Nené Casares

Contact our volunteer director, Gloria Burrola, to volunteer at a future screening.