About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Dissonance has surrounded my relationship with FLEFF.
My freshman year, I wanted to be an intern, filled out the application, and struggled with the decision to submit it. Ultimately my fear got the best of me and I decided to attend the festival as a spectator. Dissonance held me back.
I watched. I chatted with friends and filmmakers. I left.
I enjoyed FLEFF from a distance, always wondering what would have happened if I sent in my application.
This year, dissonance pushed me into the festival. The theme was enough to persuade me to face my fear and jump in with both feet. To silence my internal naysayers and see what working for FLEFF was really like. I vowed to learn about festivals, blogging, and film in a whole new way.
I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.
Festivals are so much more than the screenings and the parties. They are entrenched in politics, reliant on governments, universities and nonprofits, swarming with hot-button debates, and dependent on not films, but people.
Festivals are 50 percent events and 50 percent engagement.
I’m starting to understand what this means.
Working for festivals is not about moving equipment, it’s about talking to people, learning about things that make you feel uncomfortable, and experiencing life in the moment.
From being open to the intervention of frozen equipment into a performance of Grass, to learning about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, to jumping head first into live-blogging the class's Skype with Laila Nadir, my blogging experience inspired me to take intellectual risks. I anticipate the festival will only create more opportunities to engage with guests and community members who I would not normally pursue.
To continue challenging the dissonance in my mind, my goal is to attend three events at this festival that I am not initially drawn to.
What event will you challenge yourself to attend?
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ
As I’m sitting in the Philadelphia International Airport awaiting a connecting flight to Chicago, in the midst of my intense people–watching in the sunny airport on this sleepy Saturday morning, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past 7 weeks.
I’m watching tense businesspeople shuffle by: chatting into their cell phones, a large number of Greek-character clad young women strolling around, anxious parents trying to keep up with their excited young children and thinking to myself about how this airport setting is not unlike that of a film festival.
Airports, much like festivals, bring a number of different people together from different walks of life for the same purpose. While airports may assemble all of these different people for travel purposes, film festivals assemble people for the purpose of meaningful, intellectual conversation about various ideas.
As a blogger for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, I’ve already so many meaningful conversations with so many unique people in the past 7 weeks. But with only 3 weeks until the festival kicks off, I’m eagerly anticipating all of the conversations and idea sharing to come.
Festivals are about community; about meeting people you never would have met on your own, and about engaging in intellectual conversations with those people in a different environment.
While I’m looking back on the past few weeks, I’m also looking forward. It’s time for you to start thinking about the 17th annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival!
What are you most looking forward to at FLEFF?
Sunday, March 9, 2014
A red carpet swarmed with famous actors, celebrities, glamorous gowns, tuxedos, photographers, Ryan Seacrest, cameras, lights, Paris, Toronto, Sundance. When people think of film festivals, these are some of the images that come to mind. Before working behind the scenes for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, I – as many others – imagined film festivals were about one thing above all, the razzle-dazzle.
Yet, as I delved deeper into the planning and production aspects of festivals through interviews with experts and research in class, I learned ‘glamour’ is merely a tip-of-the-iceberg factor in any film festival. Scholars, critics, and festival programmers agree the purpose of film festivals is above all to provide a platform for intelligent dialogue about important issues.
More than for entertainment purposes, films screened at festivals convey important and/or controversial messages that spark discourse. The difference between watching a film at home versus watching one at a festival is that at home there is no interaction with the film. The message ends with the credits and no other points of view are explored. At a festival, the audience and guests allow for necessary conversation.
George Stoney, a social justice filmmaker, once said, “I’m not happy until my media lead to face to face interaction.” This is the sort of engagement film festivals offer. It is a perfect place for the birth of new ideas, solutions, and activism.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Blog post by Blaize Hall, Television-Radio, '15, Georgia, VT
I am brand new. I am a sponge. I am a first-time festival worker, first-time paraprofessional blogger, and first-time FLEFF worker. I jumped into the FLEFF blogging team this semester with few concrete expectations. I expected to write a lot. I expected to absorb a mountain of new information. I expected to engage in dialogue through interviews, reading discussions, and Q&A after films. And I expected that it all would leave me with a lot to think about.
I’ve listed a few fast facts I’ve picked up along the way.
The experience of blogging for FLEFF thus far has whet my appetite for festivals. It has made me realize the possibilities for personal growth through festival engagement. I have invested in material I otherwise would not have, such as viewing Cloud Chamber Orchestra perform during a silent film. I have read personal testimonies I never would have sought out, such as Gerald Peary’s “Memories of a Film Festival Addict” in the book Coming Soon To A Film Festival Near You. I have had conversations I would not have had the opportunity for, such as the opportunity to pick John D. Scott’s brain in an interview for a profile.
All of these experiences, with the addition of a wealth of constructive criticism, have pushed me to improve not only practical skills of writing, but also to form connections across facets of my life between material in different jobs and coursework, and to form conclusions for myself. This is invaluable.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Blogging Post by Alexis Lanza, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Enfield, CT
I joined the FLEFF blogging team not knowing what to expect. All I knew was I wanted to learn and I wanted to write about it. My job is a blogger. I am a number; part of a group that is part of a larger group. We are the festival team.
The theme is dissonance. It's all we've been talking about for weeks. Every time I interview someone, I ask, “What does dissonance mean to you?” because every person has a different answer.
I have learned that festivals are a place for thought, discussion, and ideas to mass together in the same pot. I am excited for this. I think FLEFF is fascinating and every person who I have talked to has been completely different. It's a giant pot of soup with ingredients and flavors that somehow meld together to create an unexpectedly pleasant, bold, and unforgettable flavor. By result of some happy circumstance, I have been able to talk with people who offered an insight on something that directly correlated with my life: a concept I learned in class the day before that made me question my opinions, an idea I was on the fence about, or perhaps something that has been floating in the gray matter of my brain for awhile now.
I was given the privilege to speak with Karen Rodriguez, Upstate Filmmakers Showcase Curator, who talked with me about her experiences in the Pacific Northwest and experimental film. Hearing her story was the encouragement I needed to solidify my desire to move to Seattle and pursue what life has to offer me there. My blogging team also had the pleasure of Skyping with Leila Nadir, co-founder of ecoarttech (and her dogs!). Leila talked with us about the environment, nature, and her work. For that whole week, I had been subject to discussion along similar veins, focusing mainly on the National Parks, in my Environmental Anthropology class. I had been visibly struggling as these ideas threatened to irrevocably destroy everything that was important to me in my life before I questioned these topics. Without even realizing it, Leila put my mind at ease and helped me to see, as she put it, that nature “exists, but it's constructed.”
Dissonance. Throwing a wrench into the mix. I experience this every day. Although a contributor to opening my mind, thus far FLEFF has also been a way for me to calm the dissonances in my life and in that way fully grasp the lessons the world is trying to teach me. These two examples embody the feelings I have been experiencing as a blogger for FLEFF the past couple months. I am a little tentative— but mostly excited— for the festival week, when every day will be these experiences one after another. I am open and ready to question the world.