About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Monday, March 26, 2012
Blog posting written by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio ’14, FLEFF Intern, Ashland, Massachusetts.
On Friday, March 30th in Room 220 in the Park School of Communications, a “day of dialogue,” FLEFF Lab Friday, will occur. Multiple conversations are scheduled throughout the day, but one you don’t want to miss is the How to Get Your Break panel.
I spoke with Steve Gordon, the facilitator of the panel. He is a current Ithaca College professor in the Department of Television-Radio and was previously the Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs for Viacom Productions.
We covered a range of topics in our discussion, but one major point that stuck out to me was how relevant FLEFF was. Gordon talked about his experiences at multiple festivals, including Cannes and Sundance, but said that FLEFF was one of the most unique and intellectual.
Regarding the theme of microtopias, Gordon discussed the idea that it was about expanding already existing environments. It was a different view that made complete sense to me, and I recommend going to visit Gordon during FLEFF Lab Friday and asking him about it!
Regarding the How to Get Your Break panel, Gordon said that the members of this panel are “the best the panel has ever had.” With filmmakers Laura Kissel, Jim Miller, and Shelly Niro, along with industry pros Kevin Lee, Carlos Guttierrez, and Rodrigo Brandao, I have to say I agree.
You can see a more extensive schedule of FLEFF events here, FLEFFers. Happy FLEFF to all!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Carlos Gutiérrez met his business partner Monika Wagenberg back in 1997 when they were both students in the Cinema Studies program at NYU. At the time, Latin American cinema was not very prevalent in the United States. Carlos and Monika wanted to find a way to "promote cinema from the region, locally," and thus, Cinema Tropical was born. Now, Cinema Tropical (CT) is the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the U.S.
I got the chance to talk to Carlos about Cinema Tropical, Latin American cinema and how it all ties in to FLEFF.
Q. How would you say that Cinema Tropical has impacted the distribution and awareness of Latin American films in the US?
A. It’s hard to assess, but I think one of the key aspects of Cinema Tropical has been creating a community of film professionals and an audience. We’ve been here for almost 11 years, really pushing hard. We can now see it’s a very different world from when we first started. There are more films getting released and more attention is paid to Latin American cinema, with many more Latin American films in the film festival circuits.
Q. What are some advantages and disadvantages of promoting “Latin American cinema” as a genre, rather than promoting by nation of origin ('Argentinian films' or ‘Mexican films’)?
A. I frankly think, as a more personal opinion, that the national cinema approach is outdated; cinema is such a trans-national endeavor. I think national cinema theory is very limited in understanding what is happening in the world.
Film is going through an amazing time right now. Cinema has enabled a lot of different art forms and social activities, like journalism, to thrive. But film theory is still shortsighted. We’re still discussing film in terms of who made it and where it was made, which is limiting.
Cinema Tropical has a more flexible way to go about it, without just focusing on the distinction between art house and commercial, but showing the potential beyond categorization. We’ve been experimenting a lot to present film in a more general way, for people to enjoy film and get closer to the film offerings from Latin America.
Q. How do you think the mission of FLEFF ties into what Cinema Tropical is trying to do?
A. FLEFF has become such an important platform locally. We are both on the same wavelength of trying to redefine and to understand cinema. The festival has opened up a more scholarly way of looking at cinema. Sometimes, academia is kept separate from practical film, but FLEFF combines the two.
Q. What aspect of FLEFF are you looking most forward to?
A. First of all, I'm thrilled to visit Ithaca, as it'll be my first time there. In regards to the festival, I particularly look forward to seeing some great film programs- it looks like a terrific lineup. I also look forward to meeting some of the special guests in person.
***Interested in Latin American cinema? Make sure to check out Marimbas from Hell (Las Marimbas del Infierno) at Cinemapolis. It's a "narrative film about marimbas, gangs, heavy metal and rock bands in Guatemala." Here's the trailer too.