As an Ithaca College communications student in the early-80s there were many things my classmates and I wanted for the school, campus, and community.
Idealism, inspiration and hope were all key to binding us as a small, close-knit group.
One of our dreams was that the communications school would get a building of its own.
A place wherein our discipline wouldn’t be perceived as as secondary field of study. A place where the study of media, culture, and communications would rightfully, proudly stand and be respected by fields of study which had existed long before the mountain where Ithaca sits had ever been adapted from its indigenous roots.
In short, equal respect.
Another thing we wished was for the college to be represented by a first class film festival.
A festival not designed for industry salesmen, or Hollywood elites, or a tourist trap. We yearned for a festival that explored the important tenets the Communications Department represented: provocative storytelling, collaborative communication, and broadening worldview.
And a festival which highlighted the diversity of Ithaca College’s students and faculty and welcomed artists from around the world to share their views. And would work to teach us-- and learn from us.
And, we wanted a festival to be inviting to all students, no matter their field of study — a festival not limited to film, but encompassing the passions and curiosity of all of Ithaca College and Ithaca, New York.
We dreamed big.
I’m so proud that FLEFF has fulfilled the dream of a small group of idealistic young Ithaca College students of 30 years ago.
--Billy Hall, Film and Television Executive, 2016 FLEFF Distinguished Alumni and Roy H. Park School of Communications Professional in Residence, '84