About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Blog posting written by Lucy Yang, Journalism and Politics, ’14, FLEFF Blogger, Puyang, Henan, China
Professor Sonali Samarasinghe is an award winning journalist and human rights activist. A native of Sri Lanka, she is the 2012-2014 Ithaca City of Asylum’s writer-in-residence, and Ithaca College has appointed her International Visiting Scholar in Honors for academic year 2012/13 and 2013/14. This year, Professor Samarasinghe serves as one of the jurors for FLEFF’s "The Dissonance Project," a writing contest for high school students.
Lucy Yang: As someone who is behind the scenes, what exactly is your involvement with FLEFF?
Professor Sonali Samarasinghe: I was a guest of FLEFF last year in my capacity as an international writer, an exiled journalist, and the writer in residence of the Ithaca city of Asylum. I was a featured speaker and protagonist in one of the FLEFF films of 2013 shown at Cinemapolis. The film Silenced Voices… explores the bitter ethnic and political conflict in Sri Lanka, through the eyes of three journalists [of whom I am one] forced into exile, and who have each suffered immense personal loss due to their journalism. This year I am delighted to have the opportunity to be a juror in one of FLEFF’s many intellectually stimulating projects. In keeping with the broad theme of dissonance and as part of the FLEFF umbrella, I am also teaching a mini course titled “Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?”
LY: Do you have to see all the films?
SS: As I am a FLEFF course instructor and juror in the Writing Project, this question may not relate to me in every sense. However, let me say that I will not want to miss any of the films that have been so deliberately and thoughtfully selected, based on the vision and mission of FLEFF. I have found the films to have an intellectual, social and creative value and relevance; they have never failed to provoke, challenge and inspire me. Therefore, I plan to be present at as many of the screenings and events as possible. FLEFF is an embarrassment of riches, full of wonderful things, and it would be to one’s detriment not to take full advantage of what it has to offer.
LY: What do you think of this year’s theme “dissonance” and how do you relate it to your personal background?
SS: Dissonance is a theme of extreme complexity, and I applaud FLEFF for its boldness in exploring it. We live with discord everyday. For some, every day is a battleground where they are confronted with physical, ideological, psychological, cultural and emotional incongruity. Each of these and more I have grappled with, as a persecuted writer and as a journalist forced into exile. I have come from a toxic political culture that has celebrated brutality and crushed the free spirit. To lose my home, my culture, my work and my family is shocking. The visceral pain can be hard to bear. Yet dissonance in all its forms is to be celebrated, because through conflict comes new beginnings, fresh ideas, evolved thinking and change. Disorder will eventually beget order and without friction the bow cannot make sweet harmony. It is [the] evil that forces you towards the good, death that brings life, and the ugly that draws you to the beautiful.
The mini course Professor Samarasinghe will be teaching, "Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do?" will run from March 17 through May 12 on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 4:50 p.m. It will explore the nature of justice by taking advantage of the wonderful films and other events sponsored by FLEFF. Students will be required to attend screenings as part of the course.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Blog post written by Elma Gonzalez '14, FLEFF Blogger, Journalism, San Diego, CA.
Hello fellow FLEFF enthusiasts!
This year is FLEFF's 17th anniversary. The theme is Dissonance, and beginning March 31 through April 6, the festival will feature “different environments” across artistic platforms like music, film and technology. Although I am excited for the festival every spring, this year is special for me because I will not only attend, but I will also be backstage part of the staff as a blogger!
I am a senior journalism major with a minor in deaf studies at Ithaca College, which presents the festival since 2005. I currently write for The Ithacan, a daily online newspaper with a weekly print edition at the college, and I have also worked in online and video platforms at international institutions and companies in Brazil and Japan. I tend to cover hard news and rarely step out of that box, so working as a blogger for the festival and incorporating a voice to my reporting is thrilling.
I was born in San Diego, CA, but grew up in Tijuana, Baja California, a Mexican city by the U.S.-Mexico border saturated with Japanese manufacturing companies. In fact, my house is located one block from the Samsung and Toshiba factories.
Because of my Latin background, I often gravitate toward films that uncover issues relevant to the region. Every year, FLEFF offers screenings of Latin American films through collaborations with organizations like the Chiapas Media Project, in Mexico, and those are usually the films and discussions I make sure to attend.
What has made FLEFF so special for me as an audience member, are not only the wonderful unique films they screen, but the meaningful dialogue sparked by such films. The festival also gives audience members the opportunity to meet and converse with filmmakers and producers, who are invited to attend. In short, unlike other festivals, in FLEFF, I am able to casually go up to successful figures in film, shake their hand, share my opinion with them, and ask them to share theirs. Ultimately, this kind of experience is what motivated me to become part of the festival’s staff. I just hope I can also intoxicate you with the excitement I have for the festival.
FLEFF is only a few months away, so be sure to keep reading the Intern Voices Blog for the latest news on the festival, check out the Dissonance Project, which is a writing competition open to high school students, and follow me on Twitter @elmayedda for quick updates.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this question: what do you think of this year’s theme, dissonance?
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Welcome back, FLEFFers!
The 17th annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival is approaching quickly: kicking off on March 31st and running until April 6th here in Ithaca, New York.
My name is Kimberly Capehart and I am incredibly excited to be back blogging for FLEFF for my second year!
I’m a sophomore Documentary Studies and Production major with an Honors and Politics double minor. My degree program gives me a lot of flexibility in the courses I’m able to take, so I’ve been taking a healthy mix of film, photography, and journalism classes (along with countless others for my minors).
I come from a large town in southern New Jersey called Cherry Hill, which is just about 10 minutes outside of Philadelphia and about 45 minutes away from the infamous “Jersey Shore.” In addition to the obvious benefits of living so close to Philadelphia, growing up in a football-loving family in Cherry Hill has turned me into a huge Eagles fan.
But since the Eagles season came to a very unfortunate end against the New Orleans Saints a few weeks ago, I’m looking forward to putting all of my energy and excitement into this year’s FLEFF.
The theme of this year’s festival is DISSONANCE, which, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as “a lack of agreement.” You can read about my interpretation of the theme in just a few weeks.
This year’s festival promises to be full of great films, performances, guests, and so much more. I’m personally very excited to start interviewing festival guests about their work. Additionally, I’m excited to improve my blogging skills with the fabulous team of bloggers with whom I’ll be working.
The festival may be a few months away, but there are FLEFF events that you can get involved with right away!
TONIGHT, January 23, 2014, FLEFF will be hosting a screening of Ladies of the Gridiron in Emerson Suites B at 7:00 PM. The film takes a look at The Quake – an all women’s football team as they face various challenges both on and off the field. Dr. Steven Auyash, professor of Health Promotion and Physical Education, and Traevena Byrd, Associate General Counsel of Ithaca College, will be speaking after the film. Find me in the front row!
The DISSONANCE Project is a nonfiction-writing contest for high schoolers that is accepting submissions until February 1, 2014. Students must submit an original work exploring the 2014 festival theme of DISSONANCE. A panel of professors in the Roy H. Park School of Communications will judge entries and winners will receive a cash prize of $100. Find out more information about that here.
What are you most excited for about the 17th Annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival?