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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Blog posting written by Shea Lynch, Documentary Studies ’13, FLEFF Intern, Glens Falls, New York
The Bernie Upson Quartet will be playing FLEFF After Party, Friday, April 5 at 8:30 p.m. at the Chanticleer in the Commons.
My first time hearing The Bernie Upson Quartet was on the syndicated radio station Crossing Borders LIVE here in Ithaca. I was never really a fan of jazz until coming to Ithaca for college, now realizing there is a huge jazz following. The Bernie Upson Quartet is rhythmic jazz that is almost poetic, shifting emotions throughout, with sax, drums, bass and piano.
The Bernie Upson Quartet is an Ithaca staple, consisting of: Bernie Upson on bass, Dino Losito on piano, Chuck Leo on sax, and Al Harland on drums.
Excerpt from FLEFF Intern Voices 2012 Interview:
Q: What is your background?
Bernie Upson: I grew up in Harlem surrounded by music. I worked at the Apollo for a few years. I played with Diana Ross & the Supremes when they first came in from Detroit. I played bass for the shows at the Apollo, including Patty Labelle.
Deb Clover: He’s been doing this since he was 18. Ithaca’s lucky he decided to settle here. He lived around the corner from Count Basie when he was a kid. Growing up in Harlem he was around a lot of great musicians.
When he was an older teenager, he moved to Queens where he was also surrounded by a lot of jazz musicians. If you wanted to be a jazz musician it was the right time and the right place. When he was playing in the Catskills at the Concord, he was playing in a lounge and Frank Sinatra was performing on the other stage. Then Frank came and sat down with them.
He made friends with Joe Henderson in service and they formed an army jazz band. They traveled all over the South where they were stationed. It was still so segregated. They would play in a club where they couldn’t walk in the front door.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Blog posting written by Dorothea Hinman, Cinema and Photography '15, FLEFF Intern, Rochester, NY.
Just as one of the busiest weeks of my life draws to a close, another busy, exciting week is just getting started.
Of course, I am talking about FLEFF.
It's an exciting, fun filled week packed with various lectures, films, musical performances, multimedia presentations and guests. How am I going to make it to everything while still keeping up with the essentials like eating and sleeping? Sleep isn't essential, that can hold off for a bit.
But not in vain! No, of all the events I plan on attending, these three are keeping my excitement levels to a maximum. Make sure to check them out!
#1 GRRR: Love and Revolution- Riot Girl NYC and I Dream of Mummers (Monday, April 1, 4:00-5:15, Park 285). I can't help but agree with what fellow intern Kim wrote in her previous post. I too consider myself to be an up and coming feminist. Whether is is coming to college and constantly being exposed to different view points, being involved in FLEFF and witnessing art and media from around the world, or taking classes from FLEFF co-director Patricia Zimmermann, discrepancies between male and female privileges has been increasingly brought to my attention. Seeing this film which discusses issues such as rape, domestic abuse, sexuality, racism and female empowerment via rare, archival footage will only increase my knowledge and give me more perspective.
#2 White Scripts and Black Supermen (Wednesday, April 3, 4:00-6:30, Park 285). Along the same vein, this film intrigues me because it promises to ignite conversation about a social injustice that most people don't think twice about: this being racism and how it is portrayed in the media. I love comic books and superhero movies as much as the next person. But when I think about the last superhero film I watched, (I'm going to say The Avengers,) only Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury comes to mind. I am intrigued to learn about this topic that I have never given much thought to and to engage in conversation about what I learned.
#3 Carmina Burana (Tuesday, April 2, 8:15pm, Hockett Recital Hall, Whalen Center for Music). It may have not been in The Avengers, but the cantata's opening piece O Fortuna has been featured in countless other action films as well as football games! After a month or so of listening to the piece, I can assure you that there will be nothing like watching it performed live before your eyes. Music has a way of bringing people from all different backgrounds together. Sitting it a room with, experiencing this epic, dynamic, and sometimes downright hauntingly beautiful piece of music is guaranteed to bring people together. Either that or we'll all be pitching in on ear plugs to somewhat dull the mighty blast that will come from the 16 piece trombone troupe. (!!!)
Are you excited about FLEFF yet? What a silly question, of course you are! See you there. Which event are you most looking forward to?
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Blog post written by Amber Thibault, Cinema and Photography ’15, FLEFF Intern, Lewiston, Maine.
With FLEFF just around the corner, it's time to take a look at some of the events I'm looking forward to. I hope you find some that interest you.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Blog posting written by: Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Intern, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
The first day of FLEFF is just a few days away!
The schedule of on-campus events was recently posted on the FLEFF website, which means it’s time to start getting your official game plan together for the 16th Annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival!
Being the hyper-organized person that I am, I’ve already planned out my course of action. I’ll gladly share my top 3 events so YOU can get YOUR schedule together!
#1. Grrrl Love and Revolution – Riot Grrrl NYC and I Dream of Mummers: (4:00 pm – 6:30 pm, Mondat, April 1st, Park 285) I’ve recently found myself starting to become more involved in feminist groups in and around campus. And, as a female who is interested in punk music, I’ve also been very fascinated with the whole Riot Grrrl movement of the 1980’s. In addition, as a female who is interested in punk music who is also a Documentary Studies and Production major: the first film being shown in this session incorporates everything I could ask for. This session will end with a film called “I Dream of Mummers,” another documentary. This film shows an ancient tradition of dancing on the last day of winter – a practice that is popular in many places around the world. Philadelphia has their own annual Mummers celebration on New Years Day, so I have seen modern, American Mummers many times. I’m excited to see what traditional Mummers look like.
#2: Crafting the Bamasaba: Beyond the Physical Cut with filmmaker Dominica Dipio: (4:00 pm – 5:15 pm, Tuesday, April 2nd, Williams 323) This film is about imbalu - a ritual male circumcision performed on teenage boys in Uganda and Kenya. I watched a narrative film last semester, called “Moolaadé,” which portrayed female circumcision and genital mutilation in Burkina Faso. I though the film was brilliant, and I’m excited to see a documentary on the same relative subject. I’m most excited to speak with the filmmaker, herself, Dominica Dipio!
#3: Cup of Coffee with Kakfa with filmmaker Mansoor Behnam: (5:25 pm -6:40 pm, Thursday, April 4th, Williams 202) Don’t worry, I’m not only going to documentary films during the festival. “Cup of Coffee with Kafka” is an experimental film about… MOBILITIES! The film discusses mobilities in the literal sense (forms of transit, etc.) through interviews with scholars and the filmmakers. And while the filmmaker, Mansoor Mehnam, will be sharing his ideas on-screen, he’ll also be present to discuss his ideas with you in person! While the film may not actually be about coffee, feel free to bring your own! This promises to be an intimate and engaging setting for discussion.
Well there you have it, my top 3 on-campus picks for FLEFF. If you’re interested in seeing my top 3 picks for the films showing downtown at Cinemapolis, you can read about them here.
What are you looking forward to on campus?
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Blog post by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio '14, FLEFF Blogger, Ashland, Massachusetts
I got the chance to speak with Ulises Mejias, a new media scholar who will be hosting a workshop at this year's FLEFF! He gave me the scoop on his work and what to expect this year. Read on for more!
Chloe Wilson: How are you involved with this year's FLEFF?
UM: I am part of the group of scholars and writers invited to participate in the festival. I'm going to be giving a talk on Monday about my book, Off the Network. On Friday, I will be giving a lab on alternate reality games, which are simulations that I have been conducting at SUNY Oswego (where I teach) for 4 years.
CW:What are your previous experiences with FLEFF?
UM: I have been involved in the festival before, and I always enjoy the opportunity to share my work and ideas with IC students. I am a Park graduate (BFA '94 and MS '99), so coming back is always a treat. FLEFF wasn't around when I was here, and I think it's a great forum for all of us to come together and learn from each other. It's quite a unique and intellectually stimulating environment.
CW: For those who are unfamiliar, can you describe your new media work?
UM: I guess my work falls under the rubric of "critical internet studies," which means I look at the impact of the internet from the perspective of what is know as "critical theory." In essence, I am interested in the question of how digital networks include and exclude modes and meanings of sociality. In my work, I engage in an examination of the network as a technological template for organizing and determining society, a template that increases participation while simultaneously also increasing certain forms of inequality.
CW: What will your workshop (Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital) be about?
UM: I'm going to be summarizing the argument I make in my book of that same title, which is coming out in June. In the book, I start by looking at how the science of networks informs the development of digital technologies. I then look at how the technologies inform the economics of participation in networks: what kinds of interactions are possible or impossible in terms of socialization, collaboration, activism, surveillance, and so on. I then propose a way to "unthink" the logic of the network, and explain why that might even be something we want to consider. Finally, I make a proposal for opening up spaces for imagining new identities and ways of relating to networking technologies.
CW: If you had to narrow it down to one reason, why should a FLEFFer attend the workshop?
UM: In order to have a healthy diet, you need to understand the basics of nutrition, not just eat what a corporation puts in front of you. Likewise, I am suggesting that in order to have a "healthy" relationship with the digital networks we use --from cell phones to social networking sites-- we need to understand the ingredients, and we need to understand how they interact to cause certain effects.
CW: What is your interpretation of this year's FLEFF theme of Mobilities?
UM: What I like about FLEFF is how the theme is always open-ended, and how it takes actually takes shape through the various events and the interactions they create. To me, mobilities and immobilities suggests the affordances of technology: what they make possible, but also the opportunities they foreclose. Every technology puts something in motion, but it also arrests certain kinds of movements.
Make sure to stop by Mejias' workshop, Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital, on Monday, April 1st!
BIO OF ULISES MEJIAS:
Ulises A. Mejias is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies department at SUNY Oswego. He holds a doctorate in Technology and Education from Columbia University. He has published in various journals in his field, and recently co-authored a chapter in the book Activist Art in Social Justice Pedagogy about the use of alternate reality games as platforms for learning and activism. His book, Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World is coming out in June 2013 from University of Minnesota Press. His research interests include critical Internet studies, network theory and science, philosophy and sociology of technology, and political economy of new media.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Blog posting written by Erica Moriarty, Documentary Studies ’16, FLEFF Intern, Houston, Texas
No color. No sound. No movie?
How about we add in a live orchestra… Sounding a little better?
And have the event at the home of silent films… You interested yet?
Did I mention the film is showing at one of the best festivals to hit this side of the Finger Lakes?
In the upcoming week, FLEFF is bringing back some of the Ithacan silent film culture of the 1920s with October. In the 1920s, the natural beauty of Ithaca inspired silent filmmakers to create works of art often in the form of the cliffhanger serial. Although October does not take place anywhere near Ithaca, the town’s history is easily seen in the form of the silent film.
The classic Russian film premiered in 1928 under the direction of Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov. October celebrates with dramatization the 1917 October Russian Revolution. To add to the drama, the Cloud Chamber Orchestra will accompany the film with live music.
Perhaps, there will be no color, but there will definitely be sound and a movie you do not want to miss. So what do you say? Put on your Sunday best and join FLEFF Sunday, April 7th at Cinemapolis for October featuring the Cloud Chamber Orchestra.
Which other films are you interested in seeing this year?
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Blog posting written by Karly Placek, Documentary Studies and Production '15, FLEFF Social Media Manager, Monroe, Wisconsin
Let the countdown begin!
We are finally less than a week away from FLEFF and the excitement among the interns is too much to handle! We’ve been awaiting countless films, guest speakers, and once-in-a-lifetime presentations. I’m particularly excited for Carmina Burana, which debuts on Tuesday, April 2nd at 8:15 p.m. in the Hockett performance hall. I recently had the chance to chat with Deborah Martin, professor and concert pianist for the performance. As a pianist myself, I found her insight especially inspiring. I can’t wait to see what surprises are in store for us next week!
Karly Placek: Can you tell me about your previous experience with FLEFF?
Deborah Martin: This is my fourth year working with FLEFF. I first got involved because of my colleague Jairo Geronymo. We wanted to perform in a different style, so we decided to utilize two pianos instead of one for our creative presentations with FLEFF. Our first performance with two pianos was a lot of fun and huge success, so we decided to do it again and again!
KP: What will be your role in this year’s performance?
DM: I’m playing one half of the piano part for Carmina Burana – and the piano parts are actually taking over the whole orchestral part in the piece. Sometimes, a composer will write music for two pianos because assembling an entire orchestra can be difficult. They’ll try out ideas using two pianos as to hear how certain pieces sound. Two pianos can almost cover what an entire orchestra can do.
KP: Do you think Carmina Burana was a good selection for the performance this year?
DM: Definitely. We look for pieces that will be enjoyed by a broad audience, so it’s not just for people who are knowledgeable about music. Carmina is popular - it’s sung at football games! The texts were also written by college students hundreds of years ago. We thought that the connection between students today and in Medieval times was something good for the community to hear. Also, Carmina is a great piece to add visual media to. Not all music immediately makes you think visually, but Carmina does.
KP: What’s your favorite part about the piece?
DM: It’s really fun to play! Not all pieces are enjoyable for a musician to practice and perform, but Carmina is. It’s extremely energetic at times but can also be extraordinarily beautiful.
KP: What’s something new about this year that you are excited for?
DM: Well you’ve probably heard about the Trombone Troupe! We aren’t aware that this has ever been done before. There’s no reason trombones can’t cover the choral parts, so we’re substituting our Trombone Troupe for the role of a large chorus. I’m eager to see how the audience responds to this unusual substitution.
Much thanks to Deborah for her time and perspectives! Will you be attending Carmina Burana?
Monday, March 25, 2013
Blog posting written by: Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Intern, Cherry Hill, NJ
I’ve never been to a film festival.
This news might be surprising to some, especially since I’m currently interning for a film festival, but I am a complete newbie in the festival scene.
But, if there’s one thing I know about film festivals, it’s that they’re about films. Duh, right?
In addition to showing films I’ve learned that festivals, specifically the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, feature a lot of other things. This year’s festival will be bringing in an amazing array of films, guests (like directors, producers, distributors, scholars, etc.), new media artists, and music.
Wait a minute, music at a film festival?
On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Whalen Center for Music will be hosting FLEFF’s Mobilities concert: Carl Orff’s legendary Carmina Burana, performed by musicians from Ithaca and around the world.
Don’t be fooled by the name of the cantata; Carmina Burana is a widely recognized piece of music, and you’ve probably heard it before. The piece’s opening movement, O Fortuna, has been used in hundreds of soundscapes, including scenes in action movies and between plays on Monday Night Football.
The movement can be found on YouTube here, and for Ithaca College students, the cantata can be listened to in its entirety on the Naxos Music Library. I recommend that everyone listen to it at least once before the live performance,
I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to Carmina Burana while I do my homework and, let me tell you, I’ve never felt so empowered while sitting alone in a room.
Each of the movements in Carmina Burana is incredibly varied: not only within the piece, but also in and of itself. Loud, powerful choruses layered with drums and pianos (you read that right, multiple pianos!) follow haunting solos, which, in turn, follow soft instrumentals.
The piece is truly unpredictable and incredibly exciting to listen to – and that’s just through my cheap headphones. I can’t imagine how the piece will sound live.
The free performance will fill up quickly so make sure you get down to the Hockett Recital Hall at the Whalen Center for Music early on April 2nd. Don't miss out on your opportunity to see a very unique performance of this legendary piece. The concert starts at 8:15 pm.
Until then, take a listen to Carmina Burana! How does it make you feel?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Blog posting written by Shea Lynch, Documentary Studies ’13, FLEFF Intern, Glens Falls, New York
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The closer we get to FLEFF, the more excited I get! It also helps that more and more events are being announced everyday. It's exciting to guess what new films and guests will be at FLEFF, and what new experiences this year's FLEFF will offer.
I already posted about the Cinemapolis FLEFF films I can't wait to see, but the FLEFF on-campus schedule was released earlier this week and I am totally stoked about the slate of events! They all are going to be amazing, but here are three that I'm incredibly excited to partake in:
1. Lecture: Food Sovereignty and the Global Hunger Games
Okay, so it's not the story with Katniss Everdeen, but this lecture by Dr. Phil McMichael is centered on an interesting topic that everyone can relate to. "Food sovereignty" refers to the right of peoples to create, define, and reform their own food systems, but with our culture's method of food production, it is difficult to share that power with the whole of the populace. Personally, I'm really excited to learn more about this topic - as well as my place within the global system - so I'm definitely not missing this one.
This lecture will be held on Monday, April 1st at 7 PM. Location TBD.
2. Workshop: Transmedia
FLEFF is a front-runner in regards to new media, so what better place to learn about the importance of transmedia and how this affects the future of the industry? This workshop will be facilitated by Ann Michel and Phil Wilde, the principals of the award-winning production firm Insights International, and led by artist Elizabeth Miller and researcher/professor Evan Meany. Based on Miller and Meany's work in the new media field, I'm sure they both will have fantastic insight into this new and rising field.
This workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 3 at 6:50 PM in Room 111 of the Park Business School.
3. Film: The Other Side of the Water
This film follows a group of immigrants as they reinvent traditional Haitian music (known as "rara")for the streets of Brooklyn, their new home. It's a powerful mix of narrative of music that is unique to this documentary - it's definitely a film to see if you're interested in either artform. "The Other Side of the Water" also does a fantastic job portraying the Diaspora community in the New York area, making it both educational and entertaining.
This film will be screened on Tuesday, April 2nd at 1:10 PM in Room 281 of the Park School of Communications.
Be sure to check out the schedule on the homepage of the FLEFF website! What events are you excited for?
Monday, March 18, 2013
Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Social Media Manager, Mahopac, New York
You might have heard it while watching the climax to an action-packed movie. You might have heard it in an elegant concert hall. You might have even heard it on The X Factor.
It's intense. It's powerful. And it will move you.
This is the music of Carmina Burana.
Seamless integration between sporadic bursts of energy, rhythm, and triumph, strung together by a haunting echo in the background define this style of music. And despite how startlingly demonic the music may sound, underneath it all, there is something still enchantingly reassuring about it.
Looking up to the lyrics to one of the more popular, well-known songs "O Fortuna," reassured me of this feeling. "…hateful life first oppresses, and then soothes as fancy takes it poverty and power, it melts them like ice." The music isn't meant to be malicious or intimidating...it's meant to be didactic. There's an enlightening truth behind the cyclical nature that defines fate. Carmina Burana's music is meant to serve as a vehicle for this message.
You can hear the music for yourself on Tuesday, April 2 at FLEFF's Concert featuring these particular pieces performed live at the Whalen Center for Music.
What do you interpret after hearing this music?
Monday, March 18, 2013
Blog post written by Kristen Tomkowid, Journalism '15, FLEFF Intern, Poughkeepsie, New York
Nicholas DiEugenio is an assistant professor in the IC School of Music with specialties in violin and chamber music. At this year's festival, Carmina Burana will be performed by local musicians. DiEugenio talked about his involvement with this performance.
Kristen Tomkowid: How did you become a part of FLEFF?
Nicholas DiEugenio: I'm extremely privileged to live in Ithaca and to teach violin at the IC School of Music. One of my colleagues, Deborah Martin, is organizing this year's FLEFF performance of Carmina Burana, and she asked if I would be interested in participating. Of course I was glad to accept the offer!
KT: Have you ever performed Carmina Burana before? If yes, where/when?
ND: I have never been a part of a performance of this work before. However, even if I had, I would not have done anything like what I am doing in this particular performance. Since we will be using many instruments to cover vocal parts (both solo parts and choral parts), I will actually be playing my violin in an attempt to evoke a soprano soloist in two specific moments in the cantata. This is kind of like the reverse of a "pants" role, which might seem rare, though I do get to do this quite often as a violinist! I wonder if it is the first time that this type of musical impersonation has ever been done with Carmina Burana.
KT: What is your favorite part of the piece and why?
ND: I'm not sure that I have a "favorite part" of the piece, but I think my favorite aspect of this piece is its original conception. It was designed to be a piece of music to go with visual movement. It's often performed as a concert cantata, but its birth as a piece of multimedia art gives it a tremendous adaptability, and creative directors can take it in many different directions. It's no wonder that this quality has been exploited over the years in commercial advertising--my brain always associates the opening of Carmina Burana with a desire to join the Marines, and I wonder why! So, the music has this "empty vessel" quality which is actually quite potent when combined with strong visual imagery, and I think that is what I appreciate most about this piece.
KT: What do you want people to take away from the performance?
ND: Hopefully this performance will be memorable for all of its musical innovation (down-scaling to two pianos, using instrumentalists to cover vocal parts, using the Trombone Troupe to cover chorus parts!), and for its powerful visual imagery in conjunction with the music. These aspects will make the performance unique, and hopefully any person in attendance will enjoy and remember a unique artistic experience which crosses boundaries and blends many senses.
KT: Are you going to see anything else FLEFF is doing? If yes, what are you most excited for?
ND: There are a few films programmed at the Ithaca Cinemapolis that are of particular interest to me; since I've recently traveled to both Russia and China to perform, I am interested to see China Concerto, Lost Boys, and No Problem. I'm also really interested in October, a silent movie for which the Cloud Chamber Orchestra will provide live music.
Will we see you at Carmina Burana?
Monday, March 18, 2013
Blog posting by Karly Placek, Documentary Studies and Production '15, FLEFF Social Media Manager, Monroe, Wisconsin
Gruonet der walt allenthalben! The woods are turning green all over!
Or hopefully they will soon, anyway. As the snow melts and spring here in Ithaca dances towards us, I can't help but get excited for the warm weather and the great events that come with it. For me, spring means that FLEFF is nearly here! During the long winter months, I've had time to reflect upon a musical masterpiece that will be featured in FLEFF this year: Carmina Burana. On Tuesday, April 2, a selection of virtuosos (including not one, but two pianists as well as a 16-piece trombone troop) will perform the cantata live at the Whalen Center for Music. Being a nature enthusiast who loves spring, I am particularly looking forward to the live performance of the seventh movement of the piece: Floret Silva, or The Forest Flowers.
The movement opens in grandiose form, saluting the burgeoning 'noble woods' with a thick array of voices. A musical landscape is painted where the woods are green and welcoming. However, the movement includes frequent decrescendos that hint at something unsettling - a changed, missing lover. Soft, high voices such as flutes and strings make one ponder "uni est antiquus meus amicus?" or "where is the lover I knew?" The slow reverence snaps into a quick tempo that reminds us again of the nature around us. Short staccato string voices almost seem like little bounding deer in our lively woods. Our lover may be missing, but we have enough nature for company!
I can't wait to hear how this movement will be represented in the live performance. What are you looking forward to this spring?
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Blog post written by Amber Thibault, Cinema and Photography ’15, FLEFF Intern, Lewiston, Maine.
My apologizes for such a late response to this week's event. The week before break was crazy busy with work and getting myself ready to leave. I miss Ithaca but I'm happy to be home for the week with my family and to wrestle up some much need relaxation.
The kick-off event had a beautiful turn out! The line to get into the theater ran almost all the way down the hall! People stood, talked and munched on popcorn, all anxiously awaiting the opening of the doors to Cinema 5 and the start of our kick-off event. I talked to one guest who's daughter was interning. He said he was very proud of her and that he was looking forward to seeing the films.
It was heart-warming to see parents there supporting their interns. I'm from Maine so it's a little more difficult for my parents to be physically present at everything I do but I know they always are thinking of me and wishing me the best.
Seeing all of my fellow interns moving around Cinemapolis in our FLEFF shirts was a lot of fun. We seemed to swarm the theater with black and white. Every where I turned there was black and white, like a sea of penguins.
After I had found my seat, my friend and I were talking about Becky Lane's film "Hens and Chick" and a woman in front of us, Alicia, said "That was shot at my bed and breakfast! Are you film students? If you ever need somewhere that looks like a house, let me know. It's called Amazing Grace Bed and Breakfast. And spread the word!" She proceeded to give me her contact information. I thought it was very cool that at my first film festival event I was already making connections.
When the films started to roll and I experienced a sort of Wizard of Oz moment: beautiful colors after all that black and white! (If you're not familiar with the movie, there is a point when the movie goes from black and white to technicolor and was quite a spectacle for the film world at the time.) The most important part of the night was finally here. As the films played on the screen, I thought about how lucky I was to be see the work of Ithaca professors and other community filmmakers who's films can have rather exclusive showings.
Featured filmmakers (in order of appearance on the program):
Jason Harrington showing "My Mind" and "Tree With Lights In It"
Vincent Grenier showing "Armoire"
John D. Scott showing "One Art" and "Notes On Liberty"
Arturo Sinclair showing "The Half-Century Song"
Becky Lane showing "Hens and Chicks" and "Happy Hour: The Chanticleer"
The works were an interesting collection. Some danced on the screen and others made you laugh while still others took you for a wild ride. Like any good film, all of them made you think in such a way that trying to explain them here would not do them justice.
The talk back after spent a lot of time focused on the filmmakers opinions on the film and digital and their thoughts on the digital conversion. However, this was to be expect as the focus of the night was a fundraiser for the Cinemapolis digital conversion.
I really enjoyed hearing what the filmmakers had to say about this conversion. I first heard about the conversion from a friend of mine who is not a film major but works at a cinema and is definitely what you would call a film junkie. Now, since the transition is so close, it's interesting to see how the dialog as begun to penetrate my conversations at Ithaca.
Now that you've heard what my favorite part of the night was, I'm interested to know what your favorite part of the evening was?
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Wake up. Get ready for the day. Walk down 4 flights of stairs. Walk past the library. Cut through Campus Center. Walk through the parking lot outside of Phillips Hall. Stop and get coffee at the Park cart. Go to class.
This is my daily routine just to get to class. In just 7 months, I’ve walked this route hundreds of times, and it’s safe to say that I could probably walk it with my eyes closed at this point (okay, maybe not with all the stairs).
How often do we get stuck in routines? How often do we neglect to let ourselves explore the environment we live in simply because we don’t need to?
In a world reduced to cell phones and computer screens, it’s more important now, than it has ever been, to break out of our shell of convenience and “comfortability” and actually explore the world that we live in. This is where Dérive app comes in.
The brainchild of Babak Fakhamzadeh, a web guru who is currently situated in Uganda, and Eduardo Cachucho, an architect living in Johannesburg, Dérive app is a web-based application that allows users to “get lost in [their] own city,” states Fakhamzadeh.
The application presents users with a series of cards that dictate a certain action. These digital cards, which are accompanied by drawings, collages, and/or pictures generated by contributors, lead the user on an unpredictable, and purely random route throughout the city, or area, of his or her choosing.
“Follow something yellow”
“Find a fancy sports car”
“Stop for three minutes.”
The cards are simple to follow, yet interesting enough to allow for a full day exploration of a city.
“By using Dérive app, you are specifically avoiding places that everyone else is going to,” says Fakhamzadeh. It allows users to “explore the city merely for being there,” adds Cachucho, “it gets them out of their everyday experience of the city.”
In addition to tracking their dérives (the unofficial name for users’ explorations, which comes from the French verb “deriver” which means “to drift”) users also have the ability to add pictures and notes from their journey. It’s also “a tool to record that experience and share that experience with others,” notes Fakhamzadeh.
So get out there and dedicate a day to exploration. Break out of your routine and explore your surroundings! Find a new favorite place to eat, venture down some back streets, and get lost in your own city.
I’ll be doing a dérive in Philadelphia next week; where will you explore?
Monday, March 4, 2013
Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, Social Media Manager, Mahopac, New York
Follow a couple. Find silence. Move east.
These are certainly not the traditional instructions you would find in a tourism guide. And this is exactly what makes Dérive so innovative.
Eduardo Cachuco and Babak Fakhamzadeh, the Design and Technical Lead of Dérive, respectively, both have backgrounds outside of the communications/new media world. It is in this sense, therefore, that it may come as a surprise how they were able to conceptualize such an original, engaging, and interactive way of exploring an urban space without ever having studied the communication world in such a light.
Nonetheless, they developed the app, and all it took was a simple intention. How do you get people out of their everyday routine to eschew their "consumption of the city" and take a more exploratory approach?
Cities have so much to offer. Understanding it should be collaborative and accessible. Urban spaces are ephemeral, made to be traveled and then later remembered with nostalgia. So why not enjoy the ride while it lasts?
The FLEFF staff will be creating their own Derive in the quaint town of Ithaca. Compared to larger scale locations like Abu Dhabi and New York City, Ithaca may seem a bit too small to explore, but the mere size of the town shouldn't serve as a problem. In fact, it's rewarding in its own way. It's important to realize that the city is an open idea, no matter the size of the town.
Try the application out for yourself here, and leave some feedback about your experience with Dérive below!
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Blog posting written by Shea Lynch, Documentary Production '13, FLEFF Blogger, Glens Falls, New York
Started dérives: 881
Public dérives: 740
Cards drawn: 7863
Distance recorded: 429.415 km