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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog posting by Kayla Reopelle, Documentary Studies and Production ' 14, FLEFF Blogger, Roy, WA
“If we lose antibiotics, we are so screwed,” Bentley said. “I mean, we’re back to like dying of toothaches.”
Dr. Mary Bentley, associate professor in the department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, is organizing “From Pharm. to Farm: Antibiotic Resistance in a Global Economy,” a minicourse and speaker series co-sponsored by the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
Over the last 85 years, antibiotics have aided in the near eradication of deadly diseases such as tuberculosis and polio. Antibiotics have been vital to medical treatment for humans, but have also expanded to agricultural use.
In the last 20 years, scientists have observed growing resistance to antibiotics. Due to the proliferation of antibiotics, the microbes these drugs target have evolved. Many diseases are becoming resistant to the cures doctors rely on.
“The [antibiotics] that are used are selling.” Bentley said. “[Doctors say], ‘Oh just give em more, or give them two different kinds of the same ones, or three,’ instead of developing new ones.”
By overusing antibiotics, the microbes they target are given opportunity to evolve, to become resistant to the drugs.
“[Antibiotic resistant microbes are] just getting more opportunity all the time,” Bentley said. “They’re getting smarter and smarter because they evolve for survival like everything. It definitely is getting to the point now where we’re [seeing] TB, we’re seeing polio again.”
Besides overuse in human treatment, antibiotic resistance is largely attributed to the overuse of antibiotics in the agricultural industry. Eighty percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to food-producing animals.
From Bentley’s research, it isn’t a matter of if we’ll lose antibiotics due to resistance, it’s when.
To tackle the multi-faceted nature of this issue, Bentley is planning these events based on three interconnected threads of the global antibiotic crisis:
The Clinical: How antibiotics interact in the guts of humans
The Agricultural: How antibiotics given to animals affect humans
The Research: Very little research in new antibiotics even though nearly eradicated diseases are starting to come back
Four speakers will present the complexities of antibiotic resistance, agricultural use of antibiotics, and the interference of global economic forces on these drugs.
First two speakers focus on informing visitors about the issue:
Health Policy Specialist discussing overuse of antibiotics in farm healthy animals
Microbiologist discussing the global spread of antibiotics
The third and fourth speakers are talking about what solutions to this problem may look like:
Panel of local, organic farmers, presenting a different paradigm for agriculture, an alternative to the agri-business model
Microbiologist working on new antibiotics, trying to discover how to address the medical resistance while knowing that the microbes will continue to evolve
“Instead of just offering nothing but analysis, we’re trying to offer some ... great alternatives that are happening and no reason why they can’t continue.” Bentley said. “That’s why we put in the title ‘global economy,’ because that really is what’s driving a lot of the issues unfortunately.”
Bentley decided to team up with the festival for this series and mini-course because this discussions surrounding antibiotic resistance are deeply rooted in dissonance.
“The thing that cures you is the nemesis.”
According to Bentley, clashes between scientific findings and the health of the global economy prevent public health from making progress on this issue.
“When you do you use antibiotics and when do you let yourself be sick?
“When do you actually pay $10 a pound for chicken instead of $2?
Bentley has observed that logic and good science are not enough to outweigh the value of high antibiotic use to the global economy.
“The whole thing is nothing but dissonance.”
Change, for Bentley, will need to come from the fork.
“I think if it doesn’t start with food, then I don’t know what,” Bentley said. “...Food is so basic, [it effects everyone] from an infant to an elder, so I think that between obesity and this, if we don’t get it now, I don’t really know, good luck.”
What do you want to learn about global antibiotic resistance?
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog post written by Elma Gonzalez '14, FLEFF Blogger, Journalism, San Diego, CA.
When Mara Alper, professor of media arts, sciences and studies at Ithaca College, was about 9 years old, she and her dad built a radio.
"We did it together, and I remember getting all the pieces together and turning it on and it worked," she said. "Suddenly this little fabrication of objects was a radio. That was an amazing moment for me."
She remembers this as a turning point in her life, one which, more than introducing her to the magic of mass communication, encouraged her to pursue her passions.
"I always appreciated that for my dad, it didn't matter that I was a girl, he was still doing this technical stuff with me, and I think that made a big impression on me," she said.
Last November, the New York Film Academy published telling statistics of film industry inequality. The numbers showed women constitute only 9 percent of film directors and 2 percent cinematographers. The highest percentage fell in the producer category with 25 percent. Additionally, in Academy Award history, there has only been one female filmmaker awarded for Best Director in 2010.
Alper has been a professor at the college for about 16 years, and throughout her life, she has directed about a dozen documentaries and video installations with subjects ranging from environmental issues such as water to psychological narratives discussing subjects like forgiveness. Yet, despite her success, Alper, like many other women in the film industry, has faced obstacles.
"There are certainly obstacles, there are certainly mindsets that are not that encouraging and supportive of women, but basically if what you're doing is something that you really love doing and believe in doing, that focus will generally get you through a lot of the obstacles," she said.
Alper was a featured filmmaker in FLEFF a few years ago. One of her works Sacred Waters of Bali, which she describes as a 'very poetic' work in progress, was screened in 2012.
"I was very pleased that so many people, including a lot of students were taken with it, because you don't know when you're doing something that is poetic and evocative whether people will just say 'huh?' Or they'll like it."
This year, Alper is participating in the festival by screening FLEFF films in her Ithaca College mini-course, Media & The Environment: Water Issues. The festival, she said, is an opportunity for people in the community to be exposed to extraordinary material.
“It’s very important for Ithaca College students, and the Ithaca community to be exposed to this just to see what is happening beyond what we're used to seeing.
For more information about her mini course visit Media & The Environment: Water Issues. The course is about water issues and it is one credit.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog post by Blaize Hall, Television-Radio Communications, '15, Georgia, VT
2. Film festivals can bridge a gap between commercial distribution and independent distribution.
3. Activist film festivals focus on films with a balance between information dissemination, rallying causes, and entertainment value.
4. FLEFF screens a spectrum of local and international films that all somehow connect to the environmental theme. FLEFF also includes musical artists in it's display.
5. The highest purpose of film festivals is not the screening of the films, but the valuable discourse that happens between the audience members afterwards.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog post by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ
Ms. Jenny Stockdale is a long way from home in Ithaca, New York. But that doesn’t stop her from feeling right at home with the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
Hailing from Southern California, Stockdale made the move to Ithaca last January, where she assumed the title of Marketing Communications Manager in the Ithaca College Office of Marketing Communications. Her clients primarily include the James J. Whalen School of Music and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
“I help with everything from music admissions, promotional material, communication strategies, to printing posters and other items for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, and for [the Handwerker Gallery],” says Stockdale of her multifaceted position, “It’s been a very different world, but a very enveloping and wonderful one.”
Though she spends most of her time marketing the 350+ events that occur every year in the Music School, Stockdale also manages to juggle the responsibilities of marketing and promotion for FLEFF.
“It’s a whirlwind,” she says.
Stockdale notes that her role as Marketing Communications Manager in the festival begins shortly after Dr. Thomas Shevory and Dr. Patricia Zimmermann decide on a theme for the festival.
“Typically, they deliver the theme towards the end of the [academic] year: right around the end of the previous year’s festival,” says Stockdale. “They always come up with a long list of what that theme represents and then a further description about what the theme doesn’t represent and maybe a few ideas abut how they would like to arrive at a design. I transfer that information to the freelance designer [who is responsible for the design and scheme] and she comes up with a couple of ideas.”
Though the festival isn’t until the end of March, Stockdale says that she and the freelance designer had decided on a concrete design by the end of August. From there, she uses the design to start marketing the festival.
“The first marketing push is more of a logo and theme awareness campaign and it starts right in the beginning of the academic year,” she adds. “And then before Christmas, we try to get most of the collateral materials done: so the posters, the postcards, the festival passes, etc.”
By this time of year, Stockdale says that her primary focus is pushing handbill production and making sure that individual events are getting the publicity that they require and deserve.
“The production really never stops; it’s kind of a yearlong planning process,” she notes.
Stockdale’s affinity to the Music School is also evident in her interpretation of the theme that she has worked so hard to market thus far.
“In music, Dissonance is a clashing of notes within a chord. When you have a harmony there are certain notes within a chord that line up and resonate within the wave that’s making that sound, and you hear it. It’s almost mellifluent – it’s an appealing noise when you hear people harmonizing or music in harmony. But when you hear music in disharmony, in dissonance, it’s enough to almost make your spine hurt. It’s a very abrasive and almost violent audible disagreement, but it can sometimes be very powerful,” she says.
Though she claims that her interpretation is “rather biased,” she emphasizes that “anyone can really take something of value from the theme every year.”
“It’s art, at the end of the day. If you go to a gallery and you’re viewing a painting you will take something away from that painting that maybe the person next to you won’t. Maybe they’ll interpret it differently, but it doesn’t make it any more or less valuable: it’s still a very powerful thing that pushes us all forward,” she concludes metaphorically.
Keep your eyes peeled on campus and downtown in the Commons for posters and handbills that Ms. Stockdale worked on for this year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
What is your favorite FLEFF event?
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog post by Haley Stearns, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, Buffalo, New York
There’s no doubt that FLEFF has a lot to offer students. One of the main things that I have learned about the importance and impact that FLEFF has is its ability to stimulate conversation among festivalgoers and guests. This film festival opens up dialogues about different topics from all over the world.
What better way to get involved in a festival than to engage in meaningful conversations with the people around you? There are endless possibilities rooted in the prospect of dialogue. FLEFF explores topics of sustainability, health, war, technologies, culture, diversity, and much more. Some of these topics will be familiar or foreign to the audiences experiencing them. By engaging in conversation with the people around you, you grant yourself the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. The ability to spark a conversation allows you to meet new people, experience different viewpoints, and ultimately learn about your surroundings. FLEFF provides the perfect environment to grow intellectually and socially. One of the most rewarding experiences one can take from FLEFF is to engage in meaningful conversation and see where these topics take you.
Will you make a point to engage in conversation during FLEFF week?