The Volunteer Spotlight series highlights FIN’s most valuable resource: its dedicated community of volunteers and their role in making FIN Atlantic International Film Festival the premier event it is today. Our volunteers are incredibly diverse and from all walks of life: young, old, bankers, medical professionals, bus drivers, actors, retired, or current students.



Caitlyn Horne

Caitlyn Horne

Nadine: What is your day job?

Caitlyn: I work at Admiral Insurance in the Renewals Department as a Customer Service Rep, doing policy renewals for car insurance. 


N: How did you get involved with FIN? How long have you been a volunteer?

C: I always was interested in volunteering for FIN. I went online in July about five years ago and applied and rolled with it. I was funny because, when they had their old building, I strolled into the festival office and just said, “I'm here to help, what have you got?”


N: What is your favourite FIN Atlantic International Film Festival memory?

C: My favourite Festival memory would have to be the closing night gala about two years ago; it had such an incredible energy. It was the first year we started using the FIN brand. Everyone was so excited. After being up in the Transport office, it was so incredible to be able to join the people I had been working with and speaking with over the phone.

Also, being able to do a tech review for the shorts program last year. I was just me in the theatre during the entire program, making sure all the audio and video were in sync.


N: What part of the film festival would you recommend to a first-time festival goer?

C: I would definitely recommend checking out the shorts programs to a first-time festival goer, because you're getting a straight shot of what the festival is all about.


N: What do you most look forward to every year at FIN?

C: I look forward to the Atlantic gala feature, the film from right here on our doorstep. One of our own, Mr. Craig Cameron, had the Atlantic feature a few years ago [as producer of Michael Melski’s THE CHILD REMAINS].


N: What is your favourite film?

C: One that I always kind of come back to, that I haven't been able to find since I saw it at the Calgary International Film Festival 10 years ago, called SOIS SAGE, a French film. One of those psychological films—like, it gets its hooks in you and kind of pulls you every which way until you get to the climax point and your mind is blown. It was the director’s first feature-length film and she just pulled it off so well. I’ve been looking for this movie for 10 years and still haven't been able to find it.  


N: What is your favourite movie snack?

I would have to say OMG’s, the chocolate gram clusters, otherwise known as Clodhoppers. It's such a fun alternative to popcorn. Of course popcorn is the iconic; everyone loves it!



N: What is your favourite FIN Atlantic International Film Festival memory?

A: I think Gord Downie’s brother Mike Downie’s movie, FINDING THE SECRET PATH.

When he was there previewing his movie and talking about it, it was just very heartfelt and emotional. I really like hearing from the people involved before the movie, just to get their insight and to know where they’re coming from. That one was like, “I’ve got to tell everybody to watch this!”

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N: What is your favourite FIN Atlantic International Film Festival memory?

L: There was a movie called THE TRIBE. It was a movie out of the Ukraine, I believe, that was done entirely in sign language. So there was no talking, no subtitles, just the movie. That in and of itself was a really profound movie experience; you’re able to follow along and realize we don’t actually need talking and dialogue as much as we think we do. But it was also a very, very powerful movie. I actually ended up fainting during it.

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N: Last question! What’s your favourite movie snack?

M:  Oh, it would have to be popcorn, obviously. I do get the popcorn with the fake butter and the fountain pop. The fountain pop is unhealthy, the fake butter is unhealthy, but it doesn’t matter, because when you’re at the theatre you do it anyway!

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N: How did you get involved with FIN? How long have you been a volunteer?

R: It was my idea! I remember that a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was interested in watching a movie because she knew the director, and she invited me to go. And then, I started learning about the festival. It was our first year here, so I was trying to get more involved in the community. And because I love movies, I thought, “I’ll try to volunteer with them.” And then, I invited Humberto!

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N: What is your favourite FIN Atlantic International Film Festival memory?

C: Well, to tell you the truth, there hasn’t been any one specific thing, but I have to say I really love working with people. I’ve been able to make connections with people, so, when I go somewhere to do something with FIN, I know everybody! So it’s not anything specific as much as it is just being with the people; I’m there for human connection.

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N: What is your favourite FIN Atlantic International Film Festival memory?

L: Well, it’s kind of a silly memory. I think it was my second year. I’d gone on a date with a guy and then, a few days later, I ended up accidentally running into him and his parents while I was scanning tickets into Theatre 8. And… that guy is now my fiancé!

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N: What do you most look forward to every year at FIN?

T: You know what, it’s reconnecting with the other volunteers, because it tends to be a lot of the same people from year to year and sometimes you only see them once or twice a year. You might see them on the bus or passing through, and you see them at the Festival. They’re people that I don’t get to see much but have great relationships with otherwise.

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C: Why do you volunteer, generally?

L: The chance to see things I might not be able to see if I had to buy a ticket is one reason, but there is so much more. You get to meet people you might not otherwise; you feel that you have made a difference, helped in some way. You feel appreciation and get to a side of things that you wouldn’t by buying a ticket. I also enjoy the camaraderie of working with other volunteers and staff. I am an empty nester and am often alone at my office, so being around so many other people is a good change.

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A: What part of FIN would you recommend to someone who’s never gone before?

M: Pretty much just come out to the movies! Funny thing is, since I’ve been doing this, I’ve never watched one movie! I never have time – I literally just volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. I never have time to watch any – not one movie! I gave away all the passes! My biggest thing for me, it’s meeting people and socializing.

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A: What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had while volunteering with FIN?

B: I had a moving experience. The moving experience was the appreciation film last year was [Gord] Downey, LONG TIME RUNNING. And, I looked around and people… [a man] was bawling, tears streaming down his face, so emotional! I think that’s what sticks out in my mind when you ask me, the emotional impact that film had on some of the volunteers.

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C: So how did you start volunteering with FIN?

A: A lady who lives across the street… she volunteers for quite a few things. She told me one day about it, so I applied and I’ve been here since! I think this is my sixth year, I believe. I believe, six or seven, I’ve lost count now, I should have kept count.

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C: Most vibrant memory from the film fest.

M: There’s just so many. I think what sticks out the most, because it’s the most challenging, was when we had the awards banquet…  [There were] …like 2 picnic tables together full of vegetables we had to wash, chop and … some volunteers to go at that and bring it to full presentation. [T]hat, to me, was always such a challenge, because there were mounds, I’m telling you MOUNDS of vegetables… To see that materialize, that was something we needed to [work together to achieve], to bring that to life.

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C: What would you recommendations would you make if you are speaking with a first-time FIN festival-goer?

J: If you can get to the Opening Night Gala, that is a pinnacle. The energy, the excitement, the enthusiasm, and the celebrity that comes with it, it’s just so much fun to be a part of. It’s a huge deal, it’s at a great venue, generally it’s easily accessible, and yeah, it just kind of sets the tone for the week. [I]t’s a must-see, a must-do.

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C: How long have you been volunteering with FIN Atlantic International Film Festival?

J: You know what, I don’t know. I would say maybe about 7 – I never really put a date or a time… I’ll say 7 [years]. I’m trying to think back to what made me start, which was the red carpet on Oxford Street. I said, “What’s going on there?” and they said, “A red carpet!” and I said, “A red carpet in Halifax?” And the next year I signed up!

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C: What’s your favourite film?

J: Hmmm, oh boy. I think one that’s always stuck with me over the years is IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER. It’s about the Irish Republican Army and the Guilford Five, who were wrongfully accused of this famous bombing in Guilford, England and their fight for basically understanding and freedom. It’s the kind of film that told a deep and meaningful story and really shows how politics and the need to blame someone often clouds fact… it was just a really powerfully-made film and a really great story.

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