About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, February 21, 2014
Blog post written by Blaize Hall, '15, Television-Radio Communications, Georgia, Vermont.
Edited excerpts from a personal interview with Mead Loop, Associate Professor and Documentary Studies Program Coordinator, Department of Journalism, Ithaca College
Q: I’d like to hear about your experience as an adjudicator for The Dissonance Project that FLEFF ran this spring for high school students. Will you tell me about it?
A: The dissonance contest was an attempt to push our outreach with FLEFF to the high school audience. That’s generally the audience that doesn’t attend FLEFF, so we’re broadening that focus. We had submissions from as far away as Texas. The responses ranged in topics from personal dissonances in their lives, to one person who wrote about dissonance surrounding conflict in the Middle East.
Q: Do you think this will prompt students to travel to FLEFF and bring their families, or was the purpose more to get students involved in film festival culture at a younger age?
A: Well, we chose five submissions as grand prize winners, and we are inviting them to Ithaca for FLEFF. Whether someone from Texas chooses to come is up to them. It’s not our real focus whether they are twelfth grade, headed to college, or somewhere in high school and eventually headed to college. But, I suppose for some it will be an introduction to Ithaca College.
Q: It seems a common theme in a lot of the conversations I’ve had that youth, even up through college, tend to be a lesser part of the population at festivals. Why do you think that is?
A: It’s just the nature of giving up a couple weeks from school. There will be classes in session at the end of March, beginning of April, so I think it’s just a factor. There are after-school activities and homework.
Q: Can we go back and talk more about the dissonance writing contest? I’d like to hear more about the winning essay.
A: Sure, the winner actually was the girl who wrote about conflict in the Middle East. Of course, it’s a 2,000-year-old conflict, but it was her evaluation of right and wrong, and both sides having claims.
Q: Did she say why this topic was important to her?
A: She didn’t. I could hazard a guess that it may be something she learned about in high school and wanted to explore. The title is “Approaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict With an Open Mind”. She talked about the political, nationalistic, and religious dispute over Jerusalem. It’s such a contentious issue. The tendency is for people to come down hard on one side or the other, but she evaluated both.
Q: Thank you. My other question for you is this: You are a journalism professor, and, of course, the writing contest could be considered journalism related. How did you originally become involved with FLEFF? I think a lot of people have the concept that it’s a strictly film focused experience, and clearly it does cross departments.
A: Well, FLEFF is sort of the physical representation of our documentary studies degree. We emphasize non-fiction. Within that broader realm, there are lots of ways you can go, including experimental journalism. If you look at how we structured that degree, we have the journalism component, we have the television production component, we have the cinema verite or view as well. It’s defined pretty broadly in the degree, and if you’ve attended FLEFF, it’s all over there. There’s a general theme, and a lot of things fit under that.
Q: Speaking of the theme, how do you think dissonance fits into the environmental theme?
A: The only constant is the change in our Earth. We are evolving and devolving. It’s not as if our environment is static. It’s always changing, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad.
Q: Thank you. Any closing words?
A: Come and enjoy!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Intern, Mahopac, NY
It has been really exciting for us FLEFF interns to get to know each other, and as a blogger, I took the liberty in getting to know my fellow colleagues I will be working with at the festival. I would like to introduce all you FLEFF activists to the spunky and ambitious Karly Placek, a freshman at Ithaca College majoring in Documentary Studies and Production. Karly is from Monroe, Wisconsin, and if you ever happen to be in the area, she highly recommends Brennan's Market, the cheese store where she works, or just a good field to go cow tipping in.
ANDREW RONALD - What made you interested in becoming a FLEFF intern?
KARLY PLACEK - I was interested in the international aspects of it. I wanted to meet new people from different cultures and share ideas about art and media
AR - On that note, what have your experiences been like so far and have they upheld what made you originally interested in joining FLEFF?
KP - I like getting the chance to meet other kids at different schools [on campus] that I normally wouldn’t collaborate with. It has been interesting to brainstorm different ideas for the festival with them. These students come from such different backgrounds and I think it’s really great that we all get the chance to work together.
AR - Because FLEFF explores the theme of microtopias this year, how would you define this term in your own words?
KP - To me, microtopias are places that are created when people understand that ideas aren’t necessarily accepted in society as a whole. They are, in fact, created on a smaller scale to unite people with comment interests.
AR - How effectively do you think the interns this year are promoting FLEFF through social media and other forms of communication?
KP - I think FLEFF interns this year are doing a good job about getting the word out about FLEFF. Not only are they utilizing Facebook and Twitter, but they are working on promoting public relations via word of mouth, posters and stickers.
AR - The screening of Oka! kickstarted the FLEFF experience unofficially last Sunday. What did you think of the film and the director?
KP - I absolutely loved it, and I think that has to do a lot with my global interests. Anything about Africa sparks my interest and I am personally an active member of Invisible Children, a club that aims to resolve conflicts in Africa. Having the director there brought me so much insight that I had never experienced in a film before. She really served as an example that I could emulate in the future with my own personal filmmaking career and anthropological exploration.
AR - What are you most looking forward to?
KP - I am most interested in meeting the directors and brainchildren behind international films and new media projects. I want to get advice from them and see what my career could actually be like in the real world. They have a lot to offer and I have a lot to learn.