About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Being a FLEFF blogger has absolutely been one thing above all else: challenging. I have read and reread critical film festival theory books, such as Film Festivals and Activism, as I have become immersed in this historical and forward moving industry. I have written and rewritten blogs while attempting to refine my blogging skills. As someone with little skill in theater, I have stepped out of my comfort zone practicing and performing flash mobs – dancing, posing and all.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. To challenge a student is to insight engagement, critical participation and progressive thought. As an upcoming Ithaca College graduate, FLEFF has pushed my abilities in blogging and media industries, preparing me to step out into the new media world as a skilled and capable individual.
My favorite aspect of being a FLEFF blogger is the genuine feeling of being part of a team. From interviewing filmmaker like Mara Alper to attending Cloud Chamber Orchestra’s accompaniment of Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1925), my team has had amazing opportunities and stimulating experiences.
As FLEFF rapidly approaches I continue to look forward to a plethora of upcoming films, projects and events – especially the world premiere of the film Cotton Road, a continuation of the new media project that traces the cotton industry.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production '16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ
The blogging team has been busy interviewing and writing for the past couple of weeks, but we've also been doing quite a bit of learning. In order to more fully understand our position in the festival world, we've been reading a number of books about the history of film festivals, the process behind programming films for a festival, social media tactics, and more!
Here are 5 things that I've learned about film festivals so far:
1. Film festivals are places where the global meets the local
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival may be based in Ithaca, New York, but that doesn't mean that the festival starts and ends here. FLEFF will be showing a number of international works and bringing in guests from all around the world to share their experiences and interpretations of Dissonance. It's a great opportunity for students and community members to experience the excitement of a global film festival right in their backyard.
2. Film festivals are about meaningful, intellectual dialogue
As mentioned by Dr. Thomas Shevory, film festivals create a space where intellectual conversations are frequently occurring. The films, music performances, guest speakers, and labs at FLEFF are all opportunities in which to engage with another person in a meaningful dialogue about anything! Very few people have the opportunity to immerse themselves in such an environment, so it's important that festival guests take advantage of the festival by talking to as many people as possible. You'll be surprised at how many ideas will be exchanged during FLEFF week.
3. Festivals are about diversity
Especially in the modern age of the film industry, which seems to be over-saturated with Hollywood cinema, festivals seek to bring in a wide range of media and programming choices. But festivals aren't only about diversity in the works being shown, but diversity on a larger scale. For a film festival, FLEFF programs a lot of guest speakers, music performances, new media works, and more in addition to films.
4. Audience participation is a huge factor in the success of film festivals
This is where you come in! The audience is, arguably, the most important part of a film festival because they are the people who will be initiating the ever-important conversations that are so essential to a film festival. Whether you attend a film or a lecture on campus or downtown at Cinemapolis, it's important to respond to what you are seeing and to share your ideas with others.
5. Film festivals are flexible
It's important to have an open mind when getting involved with a film festival because they are constantly changing and adapting. A discussion with a director may run longer than expected and push the screening of the next film back a little or a different guest may be attending an event or a screening than previously scheduled or any number of things that weren't expected might happen. Film festivals need to be flexible in order to manage all of these changes and it's important that spectators share this flexibility.
What assumptions do you have about film festivals?
Friday, May 10, 2013
Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '13, FLEFF Intern, Elkridge, MD
It's been a good three years since I started college and I haven't missed a single Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. I was a blogger my freshman year, a willing participant under Dr. Zimmermann's tutelage my sophomore year and yet again a blogger this year, my junior/senior year at Ithaca College.
Each experience was different but equally amazing.
This year was especially great. With a revamped meeting structure and more diverse projects to work on I really got involved with the festival. And, since I'm a senior I didn't have any of those nerves popping up when I was talking to festival guests.
And, if there was one point to take away from all this it is this: "We need to do something together."
During each presentation, film or chat in the hallway where a couple people of differing skills were together it always seemed to lead to that conclusion. Transmedia especially seemed to be at the forefront of this.
Great projects require collaboration. Different people from different environments coming together to make something. Because if I have learned anything during my college experience it is that your good friend and editor that leans over your shoulder to tell you that your fade out doesn't work is in it for your best interest.
You have to listen to one another and evolve and move through various mediums to tell your story. Hopefully, after a few years in the field I'll be able to tell mine.
Thank you to everyone involved with FLEFF this year for the great time and learning experience.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Blog posting written by Shea Lynch, Documentary Studies ’13, FLEFF Intern, Glens Falls, New York
I would like to thank everyone that was apart of FLEFF 2013!
It was one of the best years yet and we had one of the most engaged intern teams, both bloggers and interns. It’s time to say goodbye as I finish up my last semester here at Ithaca College. It has been a great three semesters for me and I’m glad that I got the opportunity to work alongside festival guests, fellow classmates and Dr. Zimmermann.
When I first started FLEFF, I was nervous. I didn’t really know what to expect. I was suddenly thrown into this world of independent media, complex foreign films and of course tabling! This was such a unique experience to my other classes that it became a breath of fresh air. I was forced to think differently and I was challenged to explore areas of film I was otherwise hesitant to touch.
I became a blogger my first year because I had never immersed myself in this style of writing; I didn’t even know it was a style of writing. Tags? Search Engine Optimization? I was still trying to figure out where to sit in the dining halls.
But with this leap of faith, I gained something valuable. I was able to focus my studies and really understand what I wanted to do after college. I understood the world of social interaction online and learned it takes much more than just posting on Facebook. Much like the films we were writing about, the process of pushing out new information was a complex, multi-layered process.
When I first started school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. After interning for FLEFF for two semesters, I got a craving to learn more about social media. I took a class this semester about social media and then got hands on experience this semester with street teaming, Derive, and the collaboration with Engage Media.
I now feel prepared and ready to start my path as a community manager for film festivals or museums.
My Top FLEFF 2013 Films:
Children of Srikandi
Dear Governor Cuomo
Five Broken Cameras
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Blog posting written by Erica Moriarty, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Intern, Houston, Texas
“Stories are at the core of understanding people.”
Liz Miller’s words during the Transmedia Workshop stuck with me during the entire week of FLEFF. Now more than a week later, I find myself still reflecting on her words. In fact, she defined my entire festival experience in such a simple sentence.
During the festival, I met more filmmakers and scholars than I ever could have met on my own. I spoke with people working on projects in China, Indonesia, Korea and more. I watched films from around the world. Most importantly, I learned so many people’s stories.
For something that I had no clue what to expect going into it, I’m certain that FLEFF and the stories I heard will soon define my first year of college. After Liz’s presentation and the sessions with other guests, I now know why I chose to do FLEFF. I know why I chose my major of Documentary Studies. I even know why I’m going into a career where so many people keep saying, “You won’t make any money.”
The reason why is bigger than just a pretty film on a big screen. It’s not about money or prestige. It’s about hearing people’s stories and sharing them for others to hear as well. It’s about understanding and creating change where it needs to be created.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, Mahopac NY, Social Media Manager
This 16th annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival has come and gone, and let me just say it was such a powerful experience.
Being a blogger has allowed me to develop my own voice, communicate my own thoughts, and fully immerse in the festival's program.
And what a program it was.
The events were transcending. The flash mobs were interactive and well-received. The festival was educational.
I explored different cultures, met high-profile artists and professionals, and collaborated with a refreshingly positive team of enthusiastic individuals.
To say the least, mobilities was the perfect theme for the festival, because the experience was truly moving.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Blog posting by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio '14, Ashland Massachusetts, Festival Blogger
It’s hard to believe that FLEFF was only a week ago. It’s such a jam-packed week so, for me, it takes a long time to process all of the things I learned and all of the environments I became of part of.
FLEFF’s theme of mobilities stuck out to me this year. It seemed that every event I attended transported me to a new culture, a new lifestyle, a new environment. During this year’s FLEFF, I was a globetrotter.
I travelled to the lands of South America with Dr. Phil McMichael’s talk about food sovereignty and the “global hunger games.” I wove through the stories of Ugandan folklore when I spoke with Dominica Dipio about her film “Crafting the Bamasaba.” I was transported back to the Middle Ages with the amazing Carmina Burana performance. At Cinemapolis, I flitted between South Korea, China, Pakstan, and even upstate New York.
This has been my third time participating in FLEFF – my second as a blogger. It seems that, no matter how many FLEFFs I attend, I will always keep learning. Which, if you think about it, makes complete sense, since one of FLEFF’s goals is to promote interdisciplinary learning.
I had a lot of favorite moments from FLEFF this year. What were some of yours?
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
As a freshman in college, lots of things in the past 7 months have seemed intimidating.
It was intimidating to start all over at the bottom of the social food chain in a brand new school. It was intimidating to make friends. And it was, and will continue to be, intimidating to start new classes and to meet new professors.
When I first heard of FLEFF, however, I didn’t feel intimidated. As a Documentary Studies and Production major pursuing a minor in Environmental Studies, I thought I had found the perfect opportunity.
In fact, I didn’t feel any sort of intimidation at all until I returned to Ithaca after winter break; that’s when I got really nervous. I was nervous about being the youngest person in the room. I was nervous about my complete and total lack of experience. And, above all, I was nervous to interview people.
Looking back to that time, only a month ago, and writing this now, I find all of these stressers to be comical. All of my intimidation and fear subsided as soon as I met with the blogging team for the first time. It turns out I’m not the only freshman. It turns out that I’m not the only one with zero experience. And above all, it turns out that talking to people really isn’t that scary.
It’s only been one month, but I’m proud to say that that intimidated freshman is now an enthusiastic member of the FLEFF blogging team who takes on things she never thought she would at only eighteen (her favorite of which is flash mobbing).
For anyone out there who might still be intimidated by FLEFF: don’t be! The theme of this year’s festival is Mobilities, which is all about the sharing of ideas and passions between people. And while the thought of sharing ideas may seem intimidating, it all starts and ends with conversation. If I could do, you can do it.
Who are you looking forward to meeting and sharing ideas with at the festival?
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Social Media Manager, Mahopac, NY
Although FLEFF is just a little over a month away, there is so much that has yet to happen. And there is so much to be excited for. At this point in my FLEFF-tastic journey, I have had a lot to reflect upon.
One of these upcoming events in particular is the Upstate Filmmaker's Showcase premiering at downtown Ithaca's independent art cinema, Cinemapolis. On March 3rd, the entire staff will come together and converge with fellow audience members consisting of local professors, other interns, and of course, the entire Ithaca community.
People will converge. Ideas will collide. And conversation will occur.
Because isn't that what festivals are all about anyway?
Of course there are other very exciting events that the interns have been preparing for, including our efforts to revamp urban exploration in a new was using the Derive app and our positive stories that we will be covering through an exciting partnership with EngageMedia. But we will save these for later. In the meantime, let us reflect.
My role as a Social Media Manager has truly allowed me to ascertain a newfound perspective towards the idea of film festivals, and FLEFF was the perfect vehicle to explore this attitude. Festivals are fast-paced, and the only way to respond to this celerity is through the ability to adapt. You have to be pliable. The fellow interns and bloggers have understood this, and they are all so willing and eager to contribute to the festival's success.
And what a successful festival it is going to be.
Working with their enthusiasm has given me the passion to work harder, strive to serve as a positive role model, and also have a lot of fun on this journey!
What can you take away from your own FLEFF-tastic experiences?