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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Blog post written by Haley Stearns, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York
This week I had the opportunity to interview one of our FLEFF Team Leaders, Rachel Weinberg. Rachel, a sophomore Documentary Studies and Production major, shared some of her passions, thoughts, and opinions about this years Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
Q: What are some of your passions and hobbies?
A: I have a passion for film. I love watching all kinds of film no matter the genre or year. My hobby is crew. I am a second year varsity coxswain.
Q: What originally inspired you to get involved with FLEFF?
A: What originally inspired me to get involved with FLEFF was the fact that I could easily immerse myself in various types of film from countries all over the world. Also, it gives students the opportunity to talk to professional filmmakers and get an inside look at their stories and how they created their films.
Q: Can you elaborate on your role as a Team Leader?
A: As a team leader I was giving a group of four interns, three of whom are freshman, which is really exciting to see. I guide them through the FLEFF process based on my prior knowledge as an intern. That knowledge includes: proper film/festival etiquette, the jobs and responsibilities they will have during FLEFF week, and how to research films and guests that will be showing and speaking at the festival.
Q: How do you think FLEFF has helped to develop your professional and leadership skills?
A: FLEFF has helped to develop my professional career in many ways. It has taught me how to converse with professionals in the industry and how to present myself in a professional way. It has helped me develop leadership skills by teaching me how to organize and run a large group. As a team leader, I realized everyone is different and it is important to uses everyone's strengths to create a unified and holistic work environment.
Q: How has it been working with fellow students and interns?
A: It's always a blast working with fellow students and interns. Everyone is so talent and those talents really come through during the FLEFF experience.
Q: Would you recommend being a team leader to aspiring FLEFF students?
A: I would definitely recommend becoming a team leader. It's a good way to meet people with similar interests and passions as you. Also, the rest of the FLEFF staff is awesome. Tiffani and Dr. Zimmermann are really creative, smart, and easy to work with.
Q: Why would you recommend other students/people to attend FLEFF?
A: I would recommend students and people to attend FLEFF because its a global perspective in our backyard. FLEFF brings international and award winning films from all over the world to the small town of Ithaca. FLEFF gives everyone the chance to step out of our own culture and into another.
Q: What are you most looking forward to during FLEFF week?
A: I am looking forward to all the films this year. There is an excellent line up so far and more films are being added constantly. It's so exciting to see international film, and be able to get an inside look from the director who is sitting right right in front of you.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Blog posting written by Kayla Reopelle, Documentary Studies and Production '14, FLEFF Blogger, Roy, WA
Kaley Belval has held almost every position a student could hold with the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. She spoke with me over the phone about her experience and what she is looking forward to for the 17th Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
When did you first hear about FLEFF?
I first heard about FLEFF when I visited Ithaca College when I was in my senior year of high school because I visited when the festival was taking place. The tour guide that I had told me about the festival but unfortunately I couldn’t go to any of the events that year, but I was really interested in the festival and its mission. When I came to Ithaca College, I obviously wanted to intern with the festival and took Film Aesthetics and Analysis with Dr. Zimmermann my first semester and she talked about the internship and I applied and got it, the second semester of my freshman year.
Why did you decide to get involved?
I decided to get involved with FLEFF because I’ve always cared a lot about environmental issues, social justice issues, human rights issues, things like that. I’m a Documentary Studies and Production major so I am very interested in different documentaries coming out as well as new media projects. I thought that FLEFF would be a really cool way to start to see the film festival side of the industry and it’s been a really great experience so far.
What positions have you held in FLEFF?
My freshman year I was an intern and a blogger because at that point, they were separate things. And then my sophomore year I was a team leader and this year I am also going to be a team leader again.
What is one of your favorite memories of working with FLEFF?
Oh boy. Okay. I have to think about this a little bit... My favorite memories with FLEFF probably came from my blogging experience my freshman year because I got to talk to a lot of directors and I actually got to help one of the directors and take pictures when she spoke at a couple different things. That was a really great experience and I got to know her pretty well during festival week. And then, there were two directors that I interviewed and they had foreign exchange students with them from Germany so at the festival I got to talk to them about their experience at film festivals and about being film students in a different country and we talked about feminist film, things like that. And then last year I thought it was really cool that I got to meet more filmmakers and new media designers who I didn’t really know that much about and just got to see projects that I had no idea even existed and things that I wanted to get involved with in the future.
What is one project, be it a film, performance, new media project, lecture, etc.; featured at FLEFF that challenged you intellectually?
Huh, tough questions! Okay, one project that challenged me intellectually was probably last year there was a filmmaker (Elizabeth Miller) who came in who had screened one of her films in one of my classes at Ithaca College before. And I got to meet her which was really cool. But she was working on a project in, I believe it was Nicaragua... but she was working on a project where they use popular television shows to show women resources if they were being assaulted or if there was domestic violence or those types of situations. It was really cool to see how popular media could be used to give people resources in a way that wasn’t too invasive. So that was definitely a project that I was challenged by intellectually because I had never really thought about how to use popular television shows in that way, especially for an issue that is really hard to tell people about, especially if they’re in the middle of a domestic violence situation.
What do you think about FLEFF’s 2014 theme, Dissonance?
I think that dissonance is a really great theme for the festival. I think it’s something really different than the themes that we’ve seen in the past and I think that it’s a very timely theme, especially with all of the surveillance stuff that’s been happening in the United States. I think that it’s going to be a really exciting week for everyone that’s working with the festival as well as everyone that attends.
What are you looking forward to for the 17th FLEFF?
I think I’m most looking forward to seeing all the different projects that are featured this year and seeing how the people that attend are challenged by the projects that they see as well as the different ways that the theme is implemented in each project.
FLEFF has been a really great experience. I’ve met some of my best friends through interning with the festival and it’s given me a new perspective on my major and the industry that I’m going into and it’s been very helpful for that.