FLEFF Mission Statement
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival at Ithaca College embraces and interrogates sustainability across all of its forms: economic, social, ecological, political, cultural, technological, and aesthetic. The festival is in the spirit of UNESCO’s initiative on sustainable development. This initiative has redefined and expanded environmental issues to explore the international interconnections between war, disease, health, genocide, the land, water, air, food, education, technology, cultural heritage, and diversity. Through film, video, new media, installation, performance, panels, and presentations, the festival engages interdisciplinary dialogue and vigorous debate. It links the local with the global. And it showcases Ithaca College as a regional and national center for thinking differently—in new ways, interfaces, and forms—about the environment and sustainability.
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was launched in 1997 as an outreach project from the Center for the Environment at Cornell University. Always dedicated to films with a message, the festival, under program director Christopher Riley, expanded to become a major regional event in upstate New York. In 2004 Ithaca College was the major sponsor and host of the festival. In 2005 the festival moved permanently to Ithaca College, where it is housed in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies as a program to link intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues. Professor of cinema, photography, and media arts Patricia Zimmerman and professor of politics Thomas Shevory are the codirectors of the festival.