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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, March 2, 2014
The last decade has seen an unprecedented spur of ideas and technology that has made the world smaller and brought global communities closer together. Along with these innovations, media has evolved to become more and more accessible to the public.
This is why Rachel Maus, a junior cinema and photography major at Ithaca College and intern for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, believes media is not only significant, but has incredible potential for social change in this day and age.
"There are different forms of media ... so it’s so easy for people to make it, which means that it’s so easy for so many people to get involved with it," she said. "That’s why I think it’s important, because it’s something that anybody can get involved in. You dont have to be a professional in order to experience creating media."
Maus was an intern for the festival two years ago, her freshman year at the college. At FLEFF, she was able to experience films and new media projects that sparked discourse on social issues. Films like Beijing is Besieged by Waste, which she saw at the festival, brought to light the garbage that contaminates the environment in Beijing and the lives of those who put themselves at risk to work in the wastelands.
"You just never think about some things that are going on in the rest of the world," she said. "FLEFF really draws attention not just to filmmakers that we wouldn’t normally be exposed to but also issues that we wouldn’t be exposed to."
She said participating as an intern so early in her college career also helped boost her confidence to be involved in social activism and achieve her goal of working in film production. The festival offered her a space to initiate intelligent discussions with people in the film industry and others who attend the festival and are interested in social issues.
"One of the great things about FLEFF, especially the internship program, is that it’s not just hanging around and passing out fliers and selling merchandise, but you actually learn how to interact with people at a festival," she said.
This year, Maus encourages students from all schools and departments at Ithaca College to become more involved with the festival. It's a "tremendous opportunity," she said, one students should not miss.