About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, February 28, 2014
Blog post written by Haley Stearns, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts ’15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York
Bryan Roberts is the Associate Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. I had the privilege of asking him a few questions about his thoughts on FLEFF this past week.
Q: How long have you worked at Ithaca College?
A: I’ve been here for about three years and a month.
Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies?
A: Well I’m the parent of a soon-to-be three-year-old, so not screwing her up is one of my hobbies. I work for the Michael J. Fox foundation, so that’s another hobby of mine, curing Parkinson’s. And then the Mets, unfortunately.
Q: How many years have you attended FLEFF?
A: This will be my second year because when I first got hired, you know, it just wasn’t on my radar. But I was super impressed. The caliber of students, faculty, artists, filmmakers involved, we’re so lucky to have it, so that’s great.
Q: How do you think FLEFF enriches student’s perceptions and college experience?
A: Well that’s the promise and the challenge of FLEFF, right? We have to integrate it into everything we do. And I think Patty is really good about that. I think it helps introduce new ideas from different people, from different countries, from different perspectives, it shows that you can be hands on in the field without every building something or editing something. And I think that’s what the advantage is. It forces us to think about – not what’s going to be a hit – but what is challenging what we believe? And I think FLEFF does that.
Q: Do you have a favorite aspect of FLEFF?
A: You know since it was my first year last year, I don’t know enough. But I like the disparate ideas that come of it. For someone like me who is a media researcher, I’m not exposed to this type of art or movie making, so it’s eye opening. Because I value new ideas but I’m too lazy to find them on my own.
Q: Do you have any advice that you would give to a first time festival goer?
A: Just try to experience everything. Part of the real value, too, is hearing from the filmmaker or artist or writer and really listening instead of talking, which I think is probably good practice for anyone in academia.
Q: If you had to give someone three reasons to attend FLEFF, what would they be?
A: It’s unique to Ithaca, and we’re lucky to have it at IC. I mean, what college has this? The second reason, I would say, is that it’s local. It’s right around the corner. We don’t have to go down to NYC or Greenwich, but the quality of work is that of an international film festival in Ithaca, New York. And the third reason is that you get to see your faculty in jeans.
Q: What do you think about this years theme of dissonance?
A: Well I think consonance is boring, and that’s what you strive for as a student, you don’t like cognitive dissonance, you like things making sense. I guess I relate it to politics – I don’t know what I really believe until you challenge me on it. If you agree with everything I say then I don’t fully form arguments. So dissonance is at the heart, in many ways, of academic and intellectual thought.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Blog post written by Amber Thibault, Cinema and Photography ’15, FLEFF Intern, Lewiston, Maine.
This past week, I had the privilege of interviewing Becky Lane. Becky Lane is a part time TVR professor at the Roy H. Park School of Communications. She has submitted two works to next week's March 3rd kick-off event happening THIS SUNDAY at Cinemapolis! The event starts at 4pm and tickets are $8.
Now a little bit from Becky Lane...
Amber Thibault: How did you hear about FLEFF?
Becky Lane: Ithaca is my home so I've followed FLEFF from it's inception. When Karen Rodriguez, the curator of the Upstate Filmmakers Showcase, program invited me to present my work, I was honored. Ithaca College has been an instrumental part of my education as a filmmaker, and I was so excited to become a part of FLEFF and screen alongside the other fantastic pieces.
AT: What is your project that you are presenting at the March 3rd kick-off event?
BL: Well I'm actually presenting two works "Hens and Chicks" and "Happy Hour."
AT: Can you tell me a little bit about those films?
BL: "Hens and Chicks" is a family film about a young girl who is a sperm donor offspring who begins to question who her father is. "Happy Hour" is teaser for a dramatic series I'm working on entitled "The Chanticleer." It's set in 1955 and one of the storylines involves underground gay and lesbian culture.
AT: I know there is going to be a whole collection of different types of works at the event this on March 3rd. Can you tell me about the kind of work you are presenting?
BL: Well, "Hens and Chicks" is a short film while "Happy Hour" is a more of a performance piece with dance and music. It tells a story about how two women make a connection that only they can see, reflecting the invisibility that was required at that time period. The series that follows will have a broader scope, reflecting the cultural and political shifts occurring at that time period, which were significant. The goal is to have distribution with some episodes exclusively made for the web.
AT: What made you interested in doing films like these?
BL: I like to portray strong women characters, families and gender and sexualties that are usually unrepresented, misunderstood, and/or not favorable. In the first film, Hens and Chicks, I wanted to show that there are different types of well-adjusted families. For "Happy Hour" I wanted to highlight the oppression many people faced then [during the mid-twenty century in regard to their sexuality]. in regard to their sexuality]. People are resilient, though, and will find ways to live their lives the way they want. I wanted to honor that. I see these women as courageous and subversive.
Having already been aware of the suppression of women during this time period, I am anxious to see Becky Lane's physical representation of these circumstances. Also, having been involved in theater before coming to college, I can't help but loving the melding of dance and music to create an emotionally charged scene. I hope you all found this interview as intriguing as I did. Please come out and support Becky Lane and all the other filmmakers as we raise money to help Cinemapolis with it's conversion from film to digital.
One final question: What interests YOU most about Becky Lane's projects?
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Blog post written by Amber Thibault, Cinema and Photography ’15, FLEFF Intern, Lewiston, Maine.
Let me take you on a blast into my past for a minute. Last year, I was a freshman and very new to the cinema world. It was spring semester and I had heard about FLEFF but I wasn't really sure what it was. When I thought about the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival I thought it was going to be a bunch of films about conservation and being environmentally friendly. Plus the theme that year, Microtopias, unsettled me because I didn't know what it meant. I now find it an intriguing concept but last year I had no idea what it was or what it had to do with the environment.
Then, the week of FLEFF, my Architecture of Health class screened a FLEFF film. It was definitely nothing like I expected and made me feel vulnerable. I was confused, for reasons I couldn't explain, and was curious as to why it fell under the category of microtopias and how my professor had managed to get it screened in our class.
I now know that in class screenings are common with FLEFF. They create a smaller environment that allows for more engaging with the films and discussion with others.
Towards the end of that week in April 2012, I was told by my friend (who was an intern at the time) that there was a FLEFF workshop in the Park School and I could meet filmmakers from around the world. However, I was intimidated and thought I would have nothing to say so I did not go.
I regret that, knowing what I know now. Filmmakers are just people who want to share their films and ideas with someone. They would've have been happy if I had just shown up, but I didn't, and I'll never know the magnitude those once-in-a-lifetime discussions would have had on my life. Please don't make the same mistake I did. Come to the festival, even if you have no idea what you are talking about. Just listen. One of my favorite quotes is by Woody Allen, and most of you are probably familiar with it. He said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up." How true is that?
This year, I was determined not to let fear get in my way again. So I threw myself completely into the festival by becoming a FLEFF blogger and I'm so glad I did. In just four weeks I've learned more about FLEFF and the world around me than I ever could have imagined.
So come one, come all and talk to me! Who are you and what do you know about FLEFF? Better yet, what do you want to know?
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Class of 2014, Journalism
Minors in politics and environmental studies
Fun Facts About Me:
1. I am a Boston girl.
2. I have a twin sister, who also goes to Ithaca College.
3. I am addicted to caffeine.
4. My favorite color is yellow.
5. I have Bieber fever, and I am not afraid to show it!
Don’t laugh. I am 100 percent serious when I say that Leonardo DiCaprio helped me discover my passion for environmental activism. My ridiculous love for DiCaprio began with the release of the movie Titanic. While casually stalking him/scrolling through his website, I stumbled upon his eco-link. I was enlightened. I was shocked. I was hooked.
Since then, I have become dedicated to environmental advocacy and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles through my love of journalism (check out my blog from the Ithacan!). I am President of Ithaca College’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. I am also Co-Editor for the upfront section of Buzzsaw Magazine. I love to talk and meet new people, but even more so I love to write. Sometimes, I have a hard time articulating exactly what I am feeling, but through my writing I am able to take the time to say exactly what I want to say, how I want to say it. And trust me, I have a lot to say. Words are beautiful. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and now it is time for me to look for beauty elsewhere.
I am so pleased to be working with FLEFF so I can explore a medium of journalism outside of my comfort zone, while still advocating for something I love: the planet. I am captivated by this art form that uses visuals to stir action, and I can’t wait to learn more. But even more so, I am thrilled to be a part of the community created around this festival. Which is what the theme of microtopias is all about: building an ideal community on a local level to explore the world without constraints. We create boundaries and limits for ourselves all of the time. My resolution at the beginning of this New Year was to live my life by the words of Neale Donald Walsch who said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I believe this statement is true for the environmental movement as well. By breaking through these zones we create for ourselves, only then can we challenge existing systems, mindsets, boundaries and limits.
So here is what I want to know from you: other than participating in FLEFF 2012, what will you be doing to advocate for the environment in your own daily life? What will you do to break out of your comfort zone? How will you work to make your own utopia a reality rather than an ideal?