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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Blog Post by Sarah Lockwood, Cinema & Photography '15, FLEFF Intern, Blairstown, NJ
I have chosen to continue the journey to FLEFF week with a 'virtual tour' of some of the hottest places in Ithaca, NY to be during the week of March 25th, 2012!
This is a photo-journey, with all original photography taken myself. Shall we begin?
Just down the hill from Ithaca College, where TCAT's and bicyclists and artists and shoppers can convene, lies the downtown area - "a wide variety of shops, restaurants, theaters, and historic architecture" that is not to be missed any day of the year, but especially not during FLEFF.
Cinemapolis is an independent, not-for-profit art theatre in operation since 1986. It is located at 120 East Green Street in the Commons of Ithaca, NY. It will host many of FLEFF's screenings, and is an active partner that has ensured the success of FLEFF for many years.
The Ithaca College campus is not only beautiful when not being dumped upon by Ithaca's often-nasty weather, but also is the site for two very important aspects of FLEFF: a host large portion of the festival's film screenings, home of Ford Hall (hosting the Concert for Microtopias), as well as the site of a three-dimensional, all-recyclable display of the letters "Microtopias" in front of the library.
The Wine Center is a gorgeous tasting bar, wine store, tourism, and event center which will be hosting FLEFF's after-parties, a location for intellectual debates and creative folk to mingle about, post-screenings.
No matter where you find yourself FLEFF week, the importance is that you are in your own Microtopia. Will you find it in in the dark community of a movie theatre, the lawns of a college campus, or perhaps the solace of your own mind? That is up to you.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Passion: it’s an uncontrollable desire, an inner fire. For me, passion is the most important emotion to incorporate in every aspect of my life, whether that is through my writing, my friendships, or my other interests.
What is even more exciting and invigorating than personal passion is finding people with a shared passion. And I’m not talking about shared love of trends like sports teams, Harry Potter, Twilight or Lady Gaga. I am talking about true, down and dirty, this-is-going-to-change-my-life and I-want-to-change-the-world passion. Trends are superficial. Passion goes deeper than that. It’s an emotion of the soul that touches down to the inner cores of our being. Passion builds relationships, friendships, and community.
At the screening of Oka, the first film to kick off FLEFF 2012, the sense of shared passion in the packed theater was overwhelming. The buzz of excitement, the gasps of shock, the silence of intrigue had everyone in a joint state of hypnosis. This can only happen with a connection on that deep level that passion evokes. We were all there and present in that theater because of a passion for environmental advocacy, music, film, etc. I felt connected to the strangers in that theater because of it. We all shared a few hours together, soaking our souls in FLEFF goodness.
I have found that the best friendships and strongest relationships in my life have not been formed because of a shared obsession for Urban Outfitters or the catchy television show Glee. They have grown from life loves and awe-inspiring aspiration. The best things in life come from passion.
What is your passion and how will you share it?
Friday, March 11, 2011
Blog was written by Kelsey Greene, Documentary Studies and Production, '13, FLEFF intern, Buffalo, New York
Today I was able to catch busy, co-director Thomas Shevory for an interview about his experience with FLEFF.
He has been highly involved throughout the festival’s history and became co-director in 2006.
When he’s not working out FLEFF details with co-director Patricia Zimmerman, he educates students on issues related to law, public policy, and popular culture as a professor of politics at Ithaca College. His academic work gives special attention to health and environment, which is one of the reasons he became involved with the festival.
What are some of the challenges you face?
Well, there’s a lot happening, so keeping everything straight is a challenge. There are so many things to juggle, so many elements. so many people involved. Just trying to keep track of everything and keeping events and people on target, I think that’s our biggest challenge.
Some things are more routine than others. Finalizing films and filmmakers for Cinemapolis seems to be the biggest challenge at the moment. Patty has been working the commercial film side of things with Lynne Cohen and Rich Szanyi, who manage Seventh Art. It’s a difficult world to break into, but they are doing a great job.
Is there anything specific you’re looking forward to with this year’s event?
I’m looking forward to, well everything.
The Rite of Spring event with Mahler lieder featuring vocalist Brad (Hougham) and pianists Jairo (Geronymo) and Debbie (Martin), and film projection, that’ll be fantastic. They’re just great musicians who we’ve worked with in the past, and that’ll be a big, spectacular event, always a highlight. Also, we have some fantastic guests, including venerable new media artist, Philip Mallory Jones and Laura Deutch...an IC alum...with her innovative project, Messages in Motion. Also Tom Swartwout will be on campus. He's a highly regarded film editor (who has worked with Sidney Lumet.)
I'm excited to host Tom and Laura in a class I'm teaching. My colleague Beth Harris is organizing an event on the Egyptian uprising, with two filmmaker/activists who have just returned from Cairo, Menna Kahlil and Michael Kennedy.
The downtown music events, live music silent film events you know, they are also very popular, and deservedly so. They’re in a sense unexpected, because live music performed with film always creates unforeseen resonances. Even if you've been to the rehearsal, the event itself always surprises, and often mesmerizes.
And then we’re bringing in several film directors this year, so I’m looking forward to that, including Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned), IC alums Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest (Good Fortune), David Brancaccio (public radio's Marketplace, and his film Fixing the Future), Jenny Stein and James Laveck (Peaceable Kingdom), Maple Raza (Bastards of Utopia), Danny Schecter (the "news dissector"), and Helen DeMichiel (Lunch Love Community). (Helen will also be on campus for much of the week.)
The downtown events are fun because everyone is together. It's a combination social event, big college seminar..media confab. Well it's a festival. And a chance to get together with people we haven't seen in a while.
And we'll be opening at Cinemapolis this year with the premier of Uncorked, a series of webisodes featuring wine and upstate New York. We've partnered with Park Media Lab (Carol Jennings) and the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention Center Visitors Bureau (Fred Bonn) and the Finger Lakes Wine Center. (Be there on the evening of Sunday April 10th!)
Also, it'll be great to be in the new theaters. The theaters are beautiful, plus excellent screens and good projection. It’s a very open, welcoming space. A great place to gather.
I'll tell you something else...a lot my colleagues have mentioned how great the mini-courses look. And, if I were a student, I'd definitely enroll in one.
What have you taken away from you involvement with FLEFF throughout the years?
I came into this through the door of environmental politics, and FLEFF is a different kind of space, but still a very political one on many levels. I find the political aspects of an environmental film festival (as we define it) to be very compelling, and there's a politics to the whole concept of a festival, that is convening people in public spaces to engage ideas.
In many ways, it has been an eye- opening experience. I've learned so much, almost like a second career, a different trajectory, a new path. I had never really organized events on that kind of scale that FLEFF involves. I was definitely not schooled as an events planner, believe me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I really appreciate all the people we work with, especially the interns.
What makes the festival, actually any festival, worthwhile are the people involved. The interns, the faculty, our web design and social media marketing team (Joanne Hindman and Steve Shoemaker), the guests, the musicians, Lynne and Rich at the theaters, Anne Michel and Phil Wilde (our producers and now intern directors), writing prof Barb Adams (who is organizing prose readings at Buffalo Street Books), Warren Schlesinger (who organizes the mini-courses and our FLEFF Fellows program), the filmmakers, the new media artists, the activists, the alums, the students... and the ideas....that's what keeps me coming back.
Also, Patty is a great person to work with.