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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Amber Thibault at 11:47AM
Amber Thibault wearing FLEFF baseball cap

Blog post written by Amber Thibault, Cinema and Photography ’15, FLEFF Intern, Lewiston, Maine.

Let me take you on a blast into my past for a minute. Last year, I was a freshman and very new to the cinema world. It was spring semester and I had heard about FLEFF but I wasn't really sure what it was. When I thought about the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival I thought it was going to be a bunch of films about conservation and being environmentally friendly. Plus the theme that year, Microtopias, unsettled me because I didn't know what it meant. I now find it an intriguing concept but last year I had no idea what it was or what it had to do with the environment.

Then, the week of FLEFF, my Architecture of Health class screened a FLEFF film. It was definitely nothing like I expected and made me feel vulnerable. I was confused, for reasons I couldn't explain, and was curious as to why it fell under the category of microtopias and how my professor had managed to get it screened in our class.

I now know that in class screenings are common with FLEFF. They create a smaller environment that allows for more engaging with the films and discussion with others.

Towards the end of that week in April 2012, I was told by my friend (who was an intern at the time) that there was a FLEFF workshop in the Park School and I could meet filmmakers from around the world. However, I was intimidated and thought I would have nothing to say so I did not go. 

I regret that, knowing what I know now. Filmmakers are just people who want to share their films and ideas with someone. They would've have been happy if I had just shown up, but I didn't, and I'll never know the magnitude those once-in-a-lifetime discussions would have had on my life. Please don't make the same mistake I did. Come to the festival, even if you have no idea what you are talking about. Just listen. One of my favorite quotes is by Woody Allen, and most of you are probably familiar with it. He said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up." How true is that?

This year, I was determined not to let fear get in my way again. So I threw myself completely into the festival by becoming a FLEFF blogger and I'm so glad I did. In just four weeks I've learned more about FLEFF and the world around me than I ever could have imagined.

So come one, come all and talk to me! Who are you and what do you know about FLEFF? Better yet, what do you want to know?

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