About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Blog posting by Kayla Reopelle, Documentary Studies and Production ’14, FLEFF Blogger, Roy, WA
Leslie Thompson, senior Film, Photography and Visual arts major from Annapolis, Maryland, leaned against the black leather couch in the Ithaca College Photo Gallery. She just finished testing some new techniques in the lab for her darkroom photography class.
“[I like] trying out new things, testing and manipulating material, just playing with things, and being okay with failure.”
Thompson transferred to Ithaca last year after studying at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design her freshman year and at a community college near her home her sophomore year.
Photography has been Thompson’s passion for a long time, but during her sophomore she became interested in film. When she found Ithaca College’s BFA program, she saw it as a perfect fit between the two.
“[Film is] an escape... it’s nice to be able to immerse yourself in something that isn’t necessarily your reality. Opposite of that, pretty much 90 percent of my photography is self portraits.
“Both [are] honestly a nice way to express yourself without having to be loud about it. You can hide behind it a little bit, but you can still get your thoughts out there.”
When she came to Ithaca, she saw FLEFF T-shirts and stickers everywhere. Once she learned what the acronym stood for, she wanted to get involved.
“I’ve been interested in film festivals from afar. I had never really worked on them. I had some experience working with Bonnaroo, music festivals, so it seemed like a really good opportunity to do something...with my peers and experience what a film festival is.”
Thompson took the Festivals mini-course last year and works as an intern for the festival this year.
She’s looking forward to interacting with filmmakers. Thompson expects it will be challenging, yet beneficial: challenging because she isn’t comfortable with “casual schmoozing,” beneficial for the different perspectives these filmmakers acquired through their work in the field.
Her advice for students is to immerse themselves in the festival.
“Go to as many films as you can. I didn’t go to quite as many as I could have last [year] and I think it was definitely a missed opportunity. If you can swing it or afford it definitely go as much as you can.”
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Blog post by Blaize Hall, Television-Radio Communications, '15, Georgia, VT
We meet in “the Pub” or IC Square, which is noisy and crowded with students having lunch, working on projects and studying. She rushes over to the table, carrying a large school bag. Leah Galant is a busy girl.
The first few minutes of our conversation consist of swapping stories of our jam-packed weeks, with assignments due before Spring Break, and our multitude of other extracurricular commitments outside of FLEFF.
The FLEFF student positions have undergone much restructuring for the 2014 festival. More clearly defined responsibilities for bloggers and interns has translated into a more concrete hierarchy of communication within the FLEFF staff. Leah works as the Assistant to the Internship Coordinator for FLEFF this year.
Leah serves as a liaison to the Internship Coordinator, and also works to aid the two Assistants to the Co-directors, Tiffani-Amber Muller, and Chenruo Zhang in their communications with the interns. Leah fields questions from her peers, and is taking a role in planning the intern retreat, a training event for the intern team.
Leah has a history with FLEFF, having served as an intern and a team leader in past years. She also works for the All American High School Film Festival as a volunteer coordinator. “It’s been a really exciting experience to work for festivals, to help plan, to recruit volunteers, to promote them, and it’s so rewarding when it all comes together. It’s really rewarding,” she said.
Future career goals for Leah involve combining her knowledge of film festivals with her passion for documentary work. Last semester she worked on a student documentary called “Beyond the Wall” about a man recently released from the Auburn Correctional Facility after about twenty years . The film examined what reintegration into society is like post-prison. She and her team already sold the viewing rights to Cornell University and are currently submitting the film to festivals and waiting to hear back.
Documentary studies majors at Ithaca College have to acquire a minor to round out their education. Leah studies sociology for her minor. She explained, “I think it’s a great combination with documentary film making. In order to make something that you’re going to show the public, it’s important to have a sociological background so you’re not doing more injustice to the film. If you are trying to make a film for social change, this understanding will help it actually be effective.”
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Blog post written by Haley Stearns, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York
This week I had the opportunity to interview one of our FLEFF Team Leaders, Rachel Weinberg. Rachel, a sophomore Documentary Studies and Production major, shared some of her passions, thoughts, and opinions about this years Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
Q: What are some of your passions and hobbies?
A: I have a passion for film. I love watching all kinds of film no matter the genre or year. My hobby is crew. I am a second year varsity coxswain.
Q: What originally inspired you to get involved with FLEFF?
A: What originally inspired me to get involved with FLEFF was the fact that I could easily immerse myself in various types of film from countries all over the world. Also, it gives students the opportunity to talk to professional filmmakers and get an inside look at their stories and how they created their films.
Q: Can you elaborate on your role as a Team Leader?
A: As a team leader I was giving a group of four interns, three of whom are freshman, which is really exciting to see. I guide them through the FLEFF process based on my prior knowledge as an intern. That knowledge includes: proper film/festival etiquette, the jobs and responsibilities they will have during FLEFF week, and how to research films and guests that will be showing and speaking at the festival.
Q: How do you think FLEFF has helped to develop your professional and leadership skills?
A: FLEFF has helped to develop my professional career in many ways. It has taught me how to converse with professionals in the industry and how to present myself in a professional way. It has helped me develop leadership skills by teaching me how to organize and run a large group. As a team leader, I realized everyone is different and it is important to uses everyone's strengths to create a unified and holistic work environment.
Q: How has it been working with fellow students and interns?
A: It's always a blast working with fellow students and interns. Everyone is so talent and those talents really come through during the FLEFF experience.
Q: Would you recommend being a team leader to aspiring FLEFF students?
A: I would definitely recommend becoming a team leader. It's a good way to meet people with similar interests and passions as you. Also, the rest of the FLEFF staff is awesome. Tiffani and Dr. Zimmermann are really creative, smart, and easy to work with.
Q: Why would you recommend other students/people to attend FLEFF?
A: I would recommend students and people to attend FLEFF because its a global perspective in our backyard. FLEFF brings international and award winning films from all over the world to the small town of Ithaca. FLEFF gives everyone the chance to step out of our own culture and into another.
Q: What are you most looking forward to during FLEFF week?
A: I am looking forward to all the films this year. There is an excellent line up so far and more films are being added constantly. It's so exciting to see international film, and be able to get an inside look from the director who is sitting right right in front of you.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Blogging post by Alexis Lanza, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Enfield, CT
Tiffani- Amber Muller, Assistant to the Co-Directors, shared a little bit about her FLEFF experience via e-mail.
Q: How did you first become involved with FLEEF?
A: As a graduate student, you can be assigned Assistantships. This just happens to be mine! Since I went to Ithaca College as an undergraduate, I have heard of FLEFF, but I was not involved. I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to be part of this organization and unique opportunity.
Q: For how long have you been involved?
A: I started talking to last year's graduate student, Jonathan, in the summer when I was assigned this position. So, that is when I technically started my training. I met with Dr. Zimmermann in August and it has been nonstop since.
Q: Can you elaborate on your role in FLEFF?
A: My official position title is "Assistant to the Co-Directors". This means I assist Dr. Zimmermann. The great thing about this position is that I was able to tailor it to my future career goals. Since I am interested in recruitment, my job was to recruit the interns. I also have a passion for leadership and teaching, making this position a perfect fit.
Q: What do you feel you offer as someone who holds a leadership position in FLEFF?
A: I feel I offer a new perspective to FLEFF. Coming from a communications background rather than a film background allows me to see situations in a different perspective. I was the captain of the cheerleading team last year, and I am coaching this year and this gives me the confidence to guide my interns.
Q: Can you share something(s) you've learned from FLEFF?
A: I have a new appreciation for film. In the past, I rarely would attend a film that didn't have my 100% interest. FLEFF has broadened my horizons. I have attended film screenings I assumed I wouldn't have interests in and ended up loving them. I am grateful for this new experience because I'm not only learning an extensive amount about the film industry, but I am learning about myself.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best experience a student can get out of FLEFF?
A: Students need to realize how many different types of opportunities FLEFF offers. It's not just about getting to meet these great filmmakers and seeing these unique films. It's about the conversation. Go out of your comfort zone, ask questions, maybe even challenge a question. The point is to learn and grow.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Blog post written by Haley Stearns, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts ’15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York
Bryan Roberts is the Associate Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. I had the privilege of asking him a few questions about his thoughts on FLEFF this past week.
Q: How long have you worked at Ithaca College?
A: I’ve been here for about three years and a month.
Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies?
A: Well I’m the parent of a soon-to-be three-year-old, so not screwing her up is one of my hobbies. I work for the Michael J. Fox foundation, so that’s another hobby of mine, curing Parkinson’s. And then the Mets, unfortunately.
Q: How many years have you attended FLEFF?
A: This will be my second year because when I first got hired, you know, it just wasn’t on my radar. But I was super impressed. The caliber of students, faculty, artists, filmmakers involved, we’re so lucky to have it, so that’s great.
Q: How do you think FLEFF enriches student’s perceptions and college experience?
A: Well that’s the promise and the challenge of FLEFF, right? We have to integrate it into everything we do. And I think Patty is really good about that. I think it helps introduce new ideas from different people, from different countries, from different perspectives, it shows that you can be hands on in the field without every building something or editing something. And I think that’s what the advantage is. It forces us to think about – not what’s going to be a hit – but what is challenging what we believe? And I think FLEFF does that.
Q: Do you have a favorite aspect of FLEFF?
A: You know since it was my first year last year, I don’t know enough. But I like the disparate ideas that come of it. For someone like me who is a media researcher, I’m not exposed to this type of art or movie making, so it’s eye opening. Because I value new ideas but I’m too lazy to find them on my own.
Q: Do you have any advice that you would give to a first time festival goer?
A: Just try to experience everything. Part of the real value, too, is hearing from the filmmaker or artist or writer and really listening instead of talking, which I think is probably good practice for anyone in academia.
Q: If you had to give someone three reasons to attend FLEFF, what would they be?
A: It’s unique to Ithaca, and we’re lucky to have it at IC. I mean, what college has this? The second reason, I would say, is that it’s local. It’s right around the corner. We don’t have to go down to NYC or Greenwich, but the quality of work is that of an international film festival in Ithaca, New York. And the third reason is that you get to see your faculty in jeans.
Q: What do you think about this years theme of dissonance?
A: Well I think consonance is boring, and that’s what you strive for as a student, you don’t like cognitive dissonance, you like things making sense. I guess I relate it to politics – I don’t know what I really believe until you challenge me on it. If you agree with everything I say then I don’t fully form arguments. So dissonance is at the heart, in many ways, of academic and intellectual thought.