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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival concluded last Sunday. It brought nearly 60 international guests, drew thousands of attendees, and presented about 100 events and screenings.
If you weren’t there, here is a list of the three most memorable moments you missed ... and therefore, the three reasons you should save the date for the 18th annual FLEFF, April 6-12 in 2015.
1. The cutting of the caution tape at the “American Dissonances” concert
Upon entering Hockett Recital Hall, the first thing anyone noticed was the orange caution tape. It draped from the walls onto the stage — as if part of the hall had collapsed, and the tape was there to warn us. However, the tape merely played an aesthetic role in FLEFF’s inaugural concert, “American Dissonances.”
The orange tape clashed with the grandiose black pianos on stage. An American flag with black and orange stripes sprinkled color on the black and white silent film screened in the background. The caution tape also contrasted the elegant gown on performer Dawn Pierce, who held a pair of scissors to the tape and with swift movements, cut the “ribbon” to officially inaugurate the festival.
If you weren’t there, you missed the Star-Spangled Banner play on a cello, mezzo-soprano Pierce sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and Ithaca College President Rochon commence FLEFF for the first time in the festival’s history — to name a few.
2. The words of wisdom from filmmakers, new media producers, journalists, and many more people in the media business
Many people mistake a film festival as an event that serves only to screen movies. However, as FLEFF attendees may have found out, what actually makes a film festival is the discourse triggered by events and the intellectual conversations sparked between the public and the media producers.
This year, the festival brought about 60 scholars, filmmakers, new media producers, film distributors, and journalists who were ready to describe their journey into the media industry and answer questions about the complex topics examined in their films and even how they financed their movies. Screenings of films like A Will for the Woods, Cotton Road, and The Throwaways included a discussion with the filmmaker following the film. Conversations continued outside the theater at parties hosted by the festival, where guests mingled with attendees.
Blogger Blaize Hall produced a list of memorable quotes from the festival (you missed if you stayed at home) that illustrates the energy, honesty, and intimacy of some of the discussions that sparked during the festival.
If you are interested in entering the media industry, why not get some tips from those already in the industry? Those who attended and engaged in discussion are a step ahead. Don’t miss your chance to ask questions next year.
3. The films
This one is obvious. The festival brought fiction films and documentaries you would never have access to otherwise. How many foreign films are showing at your local movie theater? The festival brought more than a dozen foreign language films this year and many that have not had a theatrical release in the U.S.
FLEFF screened A Touch of Sin, a Chinese film that was banned in China; Who is Dayani Cristal?, which had only been screened once before the festival; Cotton Road, which celebrated its world premier at the festival. It’s unlikely these films will be screened at your local AMC Theater or Regal Cinemas, and if you were not at FLEFF, you missed them.
For those of us interested in watching something other than the typical American action film, FLEFF offered unique exposure to foreign language and international cinema.
If you are regretting having missed the festival, don’t forget to attend next year!