News, Views, Updates and More about the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Friday, November 2, 2012
Written by Jonathan Morello, Assistant to the FLEFF Codirectors
In this portion of our interview, Tom discusses new media and how the various forms of film featured in the programming shape the festival.
Jonathan: What gives you most joy while working on FLEFF?
Tom: For me, it’s learning new ideas and new ways of thinking about these ideas. I’ve learned so much about so many things with the festival.
That’s what keeps me interested. FLEFF is always changing. It’s always different. Year after year, we offer fresh content, presented in ways that have never been seen before at the festival.
The recent transformations of media really add to this way of thinking. I enjoy gaining insight on how this works. It’s just different than the traditional academic structures to say the least.
Jonathan: Can you explain how transformations in media have changed the festival?
Tom: We do a lot of work with new media. We always make sure to include works that engage digital interfaces. We don’t see the distinction between forms. We see film as a broad category that includes all media formats.
Jonathan: How does the incorporation of new media formats add to FLEFF?
Tom: It creates an inclusive environment without limits. New media allows FLEFF to incorporate works in new interfaces. It allows activist groups, nonprofit groups, and educators to have their message about sustainability heard. They will submit their films to the festival in the form of DVD, Blu-ray or in a digital format for the on-line audience. The use of Skype allows us to interact globally.
Everyone is welcome to share their story, their ideas, and their feelings toward sustainability regardless of form. It doesn’t matter if you are a distributor of major independent films shot and projected using 35mm film or an activist group using online interfaces for user-generated upload.
Jonathan: How does distribution across these different formats impact FLEFF?
Tom: It mainly effects how and where we plan to program events during the festival.
Most of the films created and distributed by activist groups, nonprofit groups, and educators are shown at Ithaca College during the festival. These works screen better on campus and the creators of these films really enjoy working with the undergraduates. As guests in the classroom, the creators really enhance the dialogue and discussions that pertain to their particular exhibition.
Larger budget films, distributed by major distributors have very particular roll-outs on the film’s exhibition. These pictures are shot and projected using 35mm film. 35mm films are generally what the industry and programmers dub “the most commercial.” A commercial film is something you can sell tickets to because it is designed for wide distribution. These types of works will screen at Cinemapolis in downtown Ithaca.
When programing for the more popular films, we have to be mindful of the roll-outs and how long major distributors plan to run these films in the theaters. In order to use these films, the roll-outs have to coincide with our scheduling and when we plan to have the festival.
Jonathan: Can you think of any other challenges relative to these commercials films?
Tom: Everything in the commercial and art cinema theaters is changing. 35mm film is going to disappear. Replacing it is high-quality digital projection. This provides quality that is superior to DVD, Blu-Ray and even 35mm film.
Jonathan: How does this pose a challenge for FLEFF?
Tom: In order to screen these films, you need high-quality digital projectors that cost about $60,000 each. Cinemapolis needs five of them for a complete upgrade. The theater is in the process of raising money through grants and fundraising to make this full and necessary transition complete.
Keep your eyes and ears open for Part II of this story! It's coming soon!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
FLEFF 2011 Checkpoint Not to be Missed:
Saturday, April 16
Siren of the Tropics
Silent Film/Live Music/Performance
Fe Nunn and Friends, jazz
Cynthia Henderson, performance
A Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Original Commission
Use your FLEFF pass for admission, or $9.50 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors. Plan to arrive early, as seating is limited.
About the Film
Siren of the Tropics [La sirène des tropiques] ( Henri Étiévant, Mario Nalpas, Portugal, 1927; 86 , min.) The dazzling, extraordinary, riveting, singer and dancer Josephine Baker stars in this film, the first to feature an African American woman as a star. Baker was born in St. Louis but spent most of her life in France. Marquis Sévéro, a rich, lazy Parisian, wants to divorce his wife so that he can marry his own goddaughter Denise. But Denise herself loves André Berval, an engineer employed by the marquis. Filled with jealousy, the marquis sends André to the Antilles, to prospect some land he has just acquired. He promises André that he can marry Denise if he is successful in the tropics, but he then writes to Alvarez, his manager at the site, asking him to prevent André from ever returning to France. The brutal Alvarez forms an instant hatred for André when the engineer breaks up Alvarez's attempt to rape Papitou, a beautiful native girl. Papitou becomes devoted to André, and protects him against Alvarez's schemes. But she faces a crisis herself when she learns that André plans to marry Denise.
About Cynthia Henderson
Cynthia Henderson is an associate professor with Ithaca College’s Department of Theatre Arts. A professional performer for a number of years in the United States, Europe, and Africa, her Ithaca credits include Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hangar Theatre, and Lily in Crumbs from the Table of Joy and Callie in Stop Kiss, both at the Kitchen Theatre. Her New York City credits include A Wrinkle in Time at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, and Dorothy Dandridge: An Evening of Song and Remembrance, Brother’s Keeper, and It’s Only a Play off Broadway. Her European credits include leading roles in Dreamgirls, Into the Woods, Children of a Lesser God, and Little Shop of Horrors. She was acknowledged by the European Tournament of Plays with a best supporting actress in a musical award for her role in Little Shop of Horrors. African credits include Charlayne in Pretty Fire and a production of For Colored Girls, which she directed. Television credits include a starring role in UPN’s Ghost Stories, as well as numerous commercial and industrial credits. She is also the recipient of a Fulbright award.
About Fe Nunn and Friends
Fe Nunn is a songwriter and composer who lives in Ithaca, New York. He has written music for television and radio commercials, as well as for film. As a pianist, he specializes in jazz and avant-garde musical forms. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, during the powerhouse jazz era there in the 1960s, where he regularly heard John Coltrane, Sonny Stitt, and Roland Kirk perform live at the Blue Moon. He wrote the score for the All of Us Project, an initiative to involve the entire community in children’s education. With Jeff Claus and Baruch Whitehead, he helped to launch the Community Unity Music Education Program, a new form of music school. His CDs include We Can Make It (1999) and Precious Moments (2004). He currently teaches media literacy and television production at Boynton Middle School. He and Mike Vitucci, guitarist, have played together for over 25 years. His band, Fe Nunn and Friends, has worked with silent film and live music events, most notably the Within Our Gates project, recently featured in the archival journal Moving Image as an innovative project combining archival research, African American silent film, and live music.
Sound Support: Calf Audio
Producing and Lighting: Insights International
Writer and Researcher: Patricia R. Zimmerman, with Cynthia Henderson and Ann Michel
Funding for this performance of silent film/live music is generously provided by the Park Foundation and Ithaca College.
FLEFF: A Different Environment www.ithaca.edu/fleff
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Do you want an international experience without leaving town?
Do you want to meet filmmakers, new media artists, and industry insiders in an informal, engaged environment?
Then you need to get your FIVE PASS FOR CINEMAPOLIS for FLEFF 2011 NOW!
Pre-Festival Pricing for IC faculty and staff for FESTIVAL PASSES is $35 (regularly $45) until 5 p.m. on April 8 at the IC Bookstore. $7 a film! Festival screenings are normally $9.50
Passes also available at pre-festival price at Cinemapolis until last show on Friday April 8.
If you are an IC student, we have a limited number of passes left at the $20, until we sell-out all 200. Then festival passes increase to the regular price of $35.
Visiting filmmakers and industry professionals appearing at Cinemapolis include Helen De Michiel, Rodrigo Bellott, Rodrigo Brandao, David Brancaccio, Danny Schechter, Maple Razsa, Karin Chien, Arthur Smith, Tina Mabry, Jenny Stein, James La Veck, Tom Swartwout.
For more information on FLEFF 2011 edition Checkpoints program, check HERE.
FLEFF, A Different Environment
Thursday, March 31, 2011
2 films/2 filmmakers/2 discussions/2 economies at Cinemapolis!
Sat April 16 2 p.m. Cinemapolis Upstate New York Premiere
Plunder, a riveting expose of the criminals behind the financial crisis, with director and muckraking journalist Danny Schechter, moderated by economist Shaianne Oesterreich
Sat April 16 4 p.m. Cinemapolis Upstate New York Premiere
Fixing the Future, an eye-opening look at how a new economy moves away from the destructive one, with director, journalist and NPR host David Brancaccio, moderated by radio journalist and NPR contributor Jonathan Miller
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
You will never get a better deal than this: a 2011 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) pass for $20.
Translation: five theatrical screenings at Cinemapolis with directors and speakers for $4 each.
FLEFF is offering the first 200 passes at $20 to Ithaca College students with I.D. This price is ONLY available at the Ithaca College bookstore.
This offer is valid only for Ithaca College students. Student festival price are regularly $35.
The downtown screenings will feature film directors David Brancaccio, Danny Schecter, Helen DeMichiel, Tina Mabry, Jenny Stein, Maples Razca, Jeremy Levine, James LaVek, commercial film editor Tom Swathout and more to be announced.
The downtown screenings also feature FLEFF's signature silent film/live music original commissions, featuring musicians John Stetch, Chris White, Robby Aceto, Peter Dodge, Fe Nunn and actress Cynthia Henderson. Silent films this year include The Last Laugh, Storm Over Asia, and Siren of the Tropics.
The 2011 FLEFF explores the theme of Checkpoints and runs April 10-17. Theatrical features run April 14-17, downtown.
For more information on the myriad industry, arts, new media artists, filmmakers, musicians, bands, and writers booked for FLEFF 2011 Checkpoints, and for more information on films as we confirm titles, go to: http://www.ithaca.edu/fleff
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Blog written by Patricia Zimmermann, codirector of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
So much is new at FLEFF 2011.
After a year of running FLEFF as a new media and social media exploration from off shore locations in Singapore and Mongolia, we're back to an on-the-ground, embodied festival right here in Ithaca.
We'll continue to work with our social media contests, blogs and new media projects PLUS we'll be bringing you concerts, presentations, panels, workshops, screenings, after parties and all those body-to-body, mind-to-mind encounters that make festivals feel a bit different from daily life.
So we are hoping you'll join us at the "checkpoint" for discussions, debates, engagement, and to reconnect with FLEFF and old FLEFFers.
With our 2011 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival exploring the theme of Checkpoints, we're diving head first into every imaginable way to torque this idea through film, video, new media, installation, music, silent film, bands, concerts, and writers.
Here's our first top five of what's new:
1. We've expanded to FOUR DAYS of screenings downtown at Cinemapolis, our local nonprofit art cinema. With the new, gorgeous, and comfortable theaters with excellent sight lines, Cinemapolis now sports five screens in one building. No more shuttling across town! If one films sells out, just pick another film!
2. We've expanded the festival from seven days to EIGHT DAYS. We open on Sunday, April 10, with the world premiere of the webisodes UNCORKED, chronicling the Finger Lakes wine country. UNCORKED is produced, directed, and acted by talented Finger Lakes makers.
3. We're partnering with Delilah's Restaurant and Club on Cayuga Street for our post-screening gatherings and parties.
4. We're expanding our music programming, with more bands and musicians and DJ's at the parties at Delilah's, programmed by the ever-energetic London McDaniels, a guitarist and vocalist specializing in funk, soul, zydeco and R and B.
5. We're partnering with the Park Media Lab (USA) and Engage Media (Indonesia) on an international social media project called The Checkpoints Story Project, to aggregate and amplify stories about checkpoints. We are running a writing contest where you can win $500. And, with Park Media Lab, we'll also produce short works about checkpoints that will be loaded up on Engage Media as social media projects, sharing checkpoints stories from around the globe.
So FLEFF is back. We're now in Ithaca AND in Web 2.0. We're local and we're global. And we're probing all the places in-between.
All we need to make it a living, breathing, pulsing festival is....YOU!