Sydney Film Festival/Full-time/$100,000 to $120,000


Posted 20 Nov 2023

Closes 20 Dec 2023

Position Title: Partnerships Manager
Reporting to: CEO
Reports: Partnerships and Philanthropy Coordinator (seasonal contract, job-share with Philanthropy team)
Role type: Parental leave cover, full-time
Term: 9 months (ideally to start Nov 2023)
Hours of Work: 5 days per week, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm with an
understanding that Festival work will require some out of hours work which is considered for in the renumeration. 
This role is based in The Rocks, Sydney.
Renumeration: $100K annual salary, based on experience + superannuation contribution

The Sydney Film Festival (SFF) is one of the longest running events of its kind in the world.
The annual June Festival brings the best new films from Australia and around the world to audiences in Sydney. As well as 250+ features, shorts, retros, and documentaries from over 50 countries across  350+ sessions at around eight Sydney-wide venues across 12 days. The Festival celebrated its 70th Festival in 2023 and will return 5-16 June 2024.
The Festival hosts several awards to recognise excellence in filmmaking, including the Official 
Competition, Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, and Dendy 
Awards for Australian Short Films (which are Academy Award eligible) incorporating fiction, animation, and screenplay categories.
SFF also presents the Travelling Film Festival (TFF), taking mini festivals to 19 venues across regional NSW, the Northern Territory and regional Queensland. SFF receives funding from federal, state, and local government, corporate sponsorship, and philanthropic donations.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Festival relies on its government and corporate partners and growing donor community to deliver its program annually. 

Partnerships are particularly important to SFF, providing both cash and significant contra support which the Festival relies on enormously for production, venue hire, media, hospitality and other services.
The Partnerships Manager is responsible for and manages all partner acquisition and growth, defining objectives and timelines, establishing and utilising data-driven practices and overseeing a partnership program that drives meaningful revenue and retention.

The Partnerships Manager, in conjunction with any third-party contractors, will identify and develop new partnership opportunities for the procurement of new partners; build and strengthen relationships with existing partners and oversee delivery of all partner benefits and accurate and timely reporting.
The Partnerships Manager will report directly to the CEO and work closely with SFF Heads of Department within the organisation to devise and deliver exceptional proposals; to maximise opportunities for partners; and to deliver memorable service and events that reflect the high standard of the Festival. The Partnerships Manager will not only ensure the Festival meets all contracted deliverables, but that it exceeds partner expectations to build long-term, fruitful relationships.


Strategy and Planning

  • Work with CEO and Senior Management to develop, implement and evolve a business 
    development strategy to ensure a pipeline of partnerships and revenue stream/s that 
    supports and sustains the organisation’s wider long-term ambitions on impact and income
  • Develop and prepare the partnership strategy in alignment with SFF’s overarching strategic 
  • Develop and devise with the CEO and Head of Finance a growth strategy and forecast targets 
    for the Partnerships team each year

External Relationship Management – Existing Partners

  • Negotiate and oversee all corporate partnerships that support the mission, values and 
    objectives of the organisation
  • Draft all partnership agreements and manage cash and contra partnerships across all 
    supporting tiers
  • Maintain annual relationships with existing partners, and where appropriate, identify 
    opportunities for growth each year through strong values alignment
  • Oversee the timely delivery of all contracted partnership benefits including ticketing, 
    hospitality, entertainment and advertising with support from the Partnerships and 
    Philanthropy Coordinator and ensure all sponsor acknowledgement is accurately met
  • Develop and maintain restaurant partnerships with support from Partnerships & Philanthropy 
    Coordinator during the Festival period, and prospect for new restaurant partners in the off-season

Internal Relationship Management

  • Manage the Partnerships and Philanthropy coordinator’s workload and output and oversee 
    the roles and duties of all internship placements within the team
  • Oversee and track the annual partnership budget and expenses
  • Work alongside Senior Managers to develop partner proposals that are in line with the 
    Festival’s vision and values, and devise proposals that are mutually beneficial to both parties
  • Collaborate with all Heads of Department to ensure all partner deliverables and expectations 
    are delivered to a high standard
  • Work alongside Marketing and Production teams to ensure all negotiated terms with partners 
    and contractors are accurately captured
  • Work closely with relevant departments to complete Government Grant Applications and 

Business Development – New Business

  •  Lead prospecting endeavours for new partners and identify opportunities for new revenue 
  • Create and maintain a wide range of relationships within corporate organisations and industry
    in pursuit of new partner relationships
  • Produce creative, analytical and sophisticated partnership proposals that serve to meet the 
    objectives of each partner and the Festival, and ensure that any proposed deliverables are 
    able to support the Festival’s mission and values
  • Identify, research and pursue partnership opportunities for the Travelling Film Festival 
    including partnerships that provide budget relief for travel and accommodation

Event Management

  • Develop and manage partner hospitality event plans where a partner is attached, including 
    major events (i.e. Opening and Closing Nights) and work closely with all internal teams on 
    touch points to ensure smooth execution of these events during the Festival period
  • Work closely with the Festival Director, Programming and Guest Teams to deliver high-end 
    interactions with filmmakers during the Festival to increase sponsor engagement
  • Devise creative ways to keep engagement levels high with the production of events outside of the Festival period to ensure regular touch points within each calendar year
  • With support from the Partnerships and Philanthropy Coordinator during the Festival period, 
    oversee all aspects of an event including venue hire, contra stock, F&B, invitations, agenda, 
    Board and Senior Management briefs

Data, Reporting and Research

  • Fulfill reporting requirements to the Board as required
  • Collaborate closely with the Senior Management team on the successful implementation of 
    Salesforce CRM project
  • Oversee data entry systems and processes and contribute to SFF business rules and CRM 
    implementation process once internal Salesforce system has been established 

Conduct thorough background checks and research on all prospective partners to ensure compliance and adherence to SFF’s Partnership Framework Policy.



  • Initiative and self-drive, with strong management and leadership skills to manage a small team during the Festival period
  • 5 – 8 years’ experience in sales, marketing, strategy and/or partnership roles, preferably within 
    the arts or entertainment industry
  • Proven ability in managing relationships with external and high level stakeholders
  • Experience in leading sponsorship prospecting, servicing and complex strategic partnerships
  • Strong negotiation skills and experience in drafting contractual agreements, with high 
    attention to detail
  • Comfortable with public speaking and able to present and pitch to multiple different 
    stakeholders as well as outstanding written communication skills
  • Excellent organisational and multi-tasking skills, with the ability to plan, prioritise and meet 
  • A flexible attitude to working hours (March – June)
  • Ability to work under pressure and manage competing priorities during the Festival period
  • Adept at using Microsoft Office suite programs and advanced skills in creating complex design briefs to prospective partners
  • Collaborative team player, with ability to create and contribute to a harmonious working environment


  • Large scale (300 – 2,000 people) event/partnership management skills
  • An interest in film and the film industry
  • Excellent understanding and capacity to utilise CRM databases like Salesforce
  • Familiarity in using the following systems: Eventival, Ferve, Mailchimp, Notion


  • Team Focus: Is committed and skilled at working with and assisting others to achieve positive 
  • Flexible: Demonstrates a willingness to take on new challenges roles and responsibilities and 
    adapt positively to changing working conditions and priorities
  • Self Starting: Highly motivated to achieve, shows initiative and acts proactively to deliver 
    excellent results without directive supervision
  • Interpersonal: Skilled at building rapport, understanding others needs and developing effective working relationships

To apply
Please send your CV and cover letter addressing the selection criteria and your suitability for the role to Frances Wallace, CEO via email

Applications close Thursday November 30.
Interviews to commence shortly after application closing date.
SFF is an inclusive workplace and encourages applicants of all abilities and backgrounds