Blog posting written by Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography with Minors in Gender Studies and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, '23, FLEFF Intern, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Makiyah Adams is one of the FLEFF Voices bloggers for the 2021 virtual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. As one of the bloggers and staff, Makiyah Adams has been attending panels and talkbacks throughout the week, watching featured films, and blogging it all.
Fortunately, Makiyah was able to meet with me and answer questions about her first week at FLEFF.
Brittney Cooper: How have you enjoyed your first week at FLEFF? Is it different than you expected?
Makiyah Adams: Yeah, FLEFF has been a phenomenal experience, because not only am I getting to meet new people but I'm getting to introduce myself to new people that I have maybe introduce myself to before and seeing them in a new context. For example, before the festival started I interviewed the author Terry Francis and it was a really wonderful interview and then I was able to go to the corresponding book launch event which took place yesterday, I think, and the book launch was also very wonderful because I got to see this person that I spent an hour interviewing and I got to see her interact with her academic peers and the people that she respects and whatnot. It was very illuminating.
BC: What other events have you gone to this past week?
MA: My first event was the conversation with Nicole Horsley and Carla Golden and I was part of the backend for that. Nicole Horsley is my minor advisor and she's perhaps the faculty member that I'm most familiar with. And yet, during the conversation, I was still learning new things about her. For example, she was referencing some of the people that she studied under and where she got her ideas from, and I was like “wow like it's like you're a student too!” Which is not something that undergraduates always feel when encountering their professors.
BC: So as a blogger, you've been writing about your expectations of going virtual and everything being accessible, what’s it like from predicting what the festival will be like to how it actual is?
MA: Yeah, so going in and actually participating in the event, I think that I was not prepared for the amount of community that I will be encountering. I was surprised, partly because there's the kind of misconception that you can't build camaraderie through screen, however FLEFF has proven that incorrect. There have been very spirited conversations. People are asking direct questions to one another with lots of dialogue and just still like a welcoming atmosphere that I think I was definitely not expecting.
BC: Are there any other expectations that have changed since attending FLEFF?
MA: I had the misconception going in that, like, I have to be some sort of film scholar and know every reference to every film. But now, because of the way the FLEFF is structured, you absolutely do not have to be that person. However, you can also be a person like me that's just interested in getting to know the field and the medium.
Learn more about FLEFF 2021 at the home page!