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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Haley Stearns at 1:53PM   |  Add a comment
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Blog post written by Haley Stearns, Still Photography '15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York

1. How to think on my feet

Being in interviews with various festival guests and participants, the most important skill I have developed over the course of this experience is learning how to absorb and respond in an efficient manner.

2. How to think of films, topics, and conversations in an analytical way

Sometimes I find that I budget my thoughts on a certain event, topic, or idea based on whether or not I personally enjoyed it. I focus on the surface of the content that I have been exposed to and think of it in a very generalized way. As a blogger, I learned how to analyze my surroundings in an intellectual way. In doing so, I have been able to learn so much more and understand new concepts and ideas in a more complete manner.

3. How to put myself outside of my comfort zone and spark conversations with festival guests

It can be incredibly daunting to walk up to someone and initiate a conversation with them – especially if you’ve just watched the screening of their film in the middle of an international film festival! As a blogger, I was highly encouraged to spark conversation with other festivalgoers and guests throughout FLEFF week. I was originally intimidated at the thought of having spur-of-the-moment conversations with near strangers. However, after having a few conversations, I realized that it’s an incredibly fun and truly rewarding activity. 

4. How to budget my time throughout FLEFF week

I remember looking at my schedule for FLEFF week the night before the festival began and experiencing a moment of sheer panic. Nearly every second of my days were budgeted to timely increments: making time for all of my classes, events, panels, lectures, music performances, and, of course, the numerous films that I absolutely had to see. While FLEFF week was one of the most exhausting weeks of my spring semester, it was also the most rewarding. No matter how exhausted I was, the powerful energy and excited vibe that spreads from festivalgoer to festivalgoer was enough to energize and refresh me for every event, lecture, and film that I attended.

5. How to savor every moment and interaction

There’s no denying that FLEFF week can be overwhelming. You find yourself surrounded by many people, ideas, films, and conversations that you want to remember as well as you can. I carried my red FLEFF notebook around with me for the whole week. Every time I experienced or heard something that I wanted to remember, I would jot down a few phrases in my notebook. Needless to say, I was scribbling away most of the time. By the end of FLEFF week my notebook was nearly full of many memories!


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