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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ
Friday, April 4th at Cinemapolis kicked off with even more energy that the previous day.
Guests were, once again, lined up out the door of Ithaca's local, independent theater in the Commons. FLEFF interns eagerly handed out handbills for the upcoming festival events and screenings and chatted with guests in the line.
Tonight's selections included The Red Kimono, a silent film with live music by local jazz group Fe Nunn and Friends, Brasco, with filmmaker Ernesto Livon-Grosman, Mothers, with distributor Kevin Lee of dGenerate films, Though I Am Gone, Fire in the Blood, and Who is Dayani Cristal? with distributor Rodrigo Brandao of Kino Lorber films.
I started off the night with The Red Kimono. Guests crowded into theater 5, Cinemapolis' largest theater, at 7:00 PM in anticipation of the film and its complementary performance. The screening started with a wonderfully charismatic, dramatic recitation by Cynthia Henderson, accompanied by soft jazz tunes on the piano, courtesy of Fe Nunn, himself. The film, a silent classic from 1925, was written and produced by women, and follows the story of a woman, seduced into a prostitution, who murders her pimp and then starts her new life in search of redemption. The film and performance lasted for about 90 minutes; Fe Nunn and Friends received numerous rounds of applause from the audience.
After a short intermission between The Red Kimono and the 9:00 screenings, I made my way into theater 3 to see Who is Dayani Cristal?. The film was a hybrid documentary which investigated the phenomenon of immigrant deaths in the Arizona desert, while focusing on identifying the body of one immigrant that was tattooed with the words "Dayani" and "Cristal." Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal follows the route that this unidentified man had taken from Honduras up through Mexico and ultimately to his death, just 20 minutes outside of Tucson. An incredibly sobering and thought-provoking film, distributor Rodrigo Brandao commented on the tension in the theater when he stood up to initiate the post-screening discussion. The intimate discussion lasted about 20 minutes, with Brandao sharing his personal connection to the film and experience with distributing it.
Saturday and Sunday will feature plenty more once in a lifetime opportunities to see a number of the FLEFF films in theaters. Screenings on Saturday start at 12:00; don't be late!