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
A virtual film festival success! After 15 talkbacks, 18 conversations, and 21 film screenings, the first 100% virtual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival came to a close late on April 11th. While there were dozens of amazing talkbacks and films, I am going to share take-aways from my top five FLEFF films and conversations.
- Charlatan (2020)
An open ending was expected, but the sudden end to Charlatan continued to shock my expectations. I was left with so many questions, but in a good way. The last scene concluded multiple small interactions that happened throughout the film and led Charlatan to a satisfying end, yet open and questioning at the same time.
- Book Release: Gaming Utopia: Ludic Worlds in Art, Design, and Media
As someone who spent years watching other people play games on YouTube, I felt the stigma through my classes of talking about video games in an academic world. Until Pederson’s conversation, I have never heard video games talked about critically in an academic context. Pederson revealed new lenses to read video games through beyond entertainment.
- Rouge (2020)
“If we don’t do anything, they’ll just move somewhere else!” (Rouge). Rouge put into light corporate responses to environmental damage pollution causes. The factory deemed the pollution as a conspiracy and a danger to the job market as a way to cover up the damage red soil has caused at the lake. The ideologies of Rouge relates to the current international issue of global warming and corporation and politicians deeming it as a false belief. Rouge was eye-opening to see the same corporate practices being used under different types of pollution and factory dangers.
- Minyan (2020)
The timeline of Minyan has David on the outskirts of the gay community on the cusp of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic. Similar to a “war film without war”, the HIV/AID Pandemic is shown through small scenes between David and the bartender. As a queer film, David’s queerness stays on the edges compared to the rest of the action of the film, yet it remains a central point to the story and a driving plot point.
- One says No Talkback
One Says No put the timeline of conception to exhibition in the filmmaking to a clear perspective. As Zhao Dayong mentioned, the film took years to get to completion which emphasized the possible long waits in what is considered a “face-paced” practice.
FLEFF 2021 resulted in experiencing the virtual zoom world in a new way with non-webinar walks and a diverse film program. As I stated before, virtual FLEFF has been a success beyond what I predicted