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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, February 28, 2014
Blogging post by Alexis Lanza, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Enfield, CT
Tiffani- Amber Muller, Assistant to the Co-Directors, shared a little bit about her FLEFF experience via e-mail.
Q: How did you first become involved with FLEEF?
A: As a graduate student, you can be assigned Assistantships. This just happens to be mine! Since I went to Ithaca College as an undergraduate, I have heard of FLEFF, but I was not involved. I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to be part of this organization and unique opportunity.
Q: For how long have you been involved?
A: I started talking to last year's graduate student, Jonathan, in the summer when I was assigned this position. So, that is when I technically started my training. I met with Dr. Zimmermann in August and it has been nonstop since.
Q: Can you elaborate on your role in FLEFF?
A: My official position title is "Assistant to the Co-Directors". This means I assist Dr. Zimmermann. The great thing about this position is that I was able to tailor it to my future career goals. Since I am interested in recruitment, my job was to recruit the interns. I also have a passion for leadership and teaching, making this position a perfect fit.
Q: What do you feel you offer as someone who holds a leadership position in FLEFF?
A: I feel I offer a new perspective to FLEFF. Coming from a communications background rather than a film background allows me to see situations in a different perspective. I was the captain of the cheerleading team last year, and I am coaching this year and this gives me the confidence to guide my interns.
Q: Can you share something(s) you've learned from FLEFF?
A: I have a new appreciation for film. In the past, I rarely would attend a film that didn't have my 100% interest. FLEFF has broadened my horizons. I have attended film screenings I assumed I wouldn't have interests in and ended up loving them. I am grateful for this new experience because I'm not only learning an extensive amount about the film industry, but I am learning about myself.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best experience a student can get out of FLEFF?
A: Students need to realize how many different types of opportunities FLEFF offers. It's not just about getting to meet these great filmmakers and seeing these unique films. It's about the conversation. Go out of your comfort zone, ask questions, maybe even challenge a question. The point is to learn and grow.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Blog post written by Elma Gonzalez '14, FLEFF Blogger, Journalism, San Diego, CA.
In the past, FLEFF has explored themes that challenge the audience and encourage discussion of important social issues. This year is no different. The 2014 FLEFF theme, which is picked by festival directors, Dr. Patricia Zimmermann and Dr. Tom Shevory every year, is “Dissonance.”
The theme delves into the complexities that come with "difference." It highlights the disharmonious, cacophonous, and disruptive. Tiffani-Amber Muller, FLEFF assistant to the co-directors, describes it as an “all underlying” theme.
“It opens the door different kinds of films and different subjects,” she said. “Dissonance is such a great theme because it creates awkward tension it is all about clashing and the harmony not mixing. I know this one is going to be a good one.”
Though many of the well known international film festivals seem to stray away from focusing on a specific theme, FLEFF does not. Dr. Claudia Pederson, FLEFF assistant curator, explained via email themed festivals like FLEFF have been becoming more popular.
“[M]any festivals carve out specific foci, so along the more established festivals what you have today is a veritable explosion of 'themed' festivals around the world in a variety of formats. Some are static, some traveling, and some online.”
Providing a focus, she said, does not limit the intelligent dialogue festivals usually ignite.
"It is not so much used to circumscribe but to open up discussion. The idea is to disassemble the 'taken--granted', such that new thoughts and forms may emerge,” she said. “As a concept, Dissonance lends itself especially well to this idea if you approach it as both a reflection of our cultural condition and as a potential stimulus to change."
This year, we can expect a week of exciting films, discussions, and parties. It will be an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in intellectual life outside the classroom, Pederson said.
"Watch the films, converse with directors, go to concerts with your friends, attend the workshops, and if you are so inclined, the parties,” she encourages. “Come prepared with questions and an open-mind. Think of it as an exchange between people passionate about ideas. That is your common ground."
Events leading up to the festival have already begun with a screening of Ladies of the Gridiron on January 16 and the screening of Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life with a live performance by the Cloud Chamber Orchestra in collaboration with Cornell Cinema. There are several upcoming events you should attend. Follow our blog to stay updated.
What does "dissonance" mean to you?