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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 Tianhong Yang at 1:27AM

Blog posting written by Tianhong Yang, Environmental Sciences, ’18, FLEFF Blogger, Hangzhou, China

I wonder what would happen if all the artists, the scientists, and the most creative people in the world came together to imagine future landscapes. In fact, I think FLEFF has become such intellectual environment for provoking collective encounters.

Throughout the week, I played a number of roles that helped maximize my FLEFF experiences. And I also realized many benefits to attending independent film festivals.

  • The film buff

In one weekend, I watched ten films at Cinemapolis and engaged in five post screening audience discussions with filmmakers, producers, distributors, artists, community groups, and scholars. I not only watched stimulating films that I wouldn’t usually see but also met filmmakers from all over the world. Within two days, I learned about the Partition of India, nomadic lifestyle in Mongolia, railway system in China, and fracking issues in the U.S.

  • The networker

The idea of having conversations with professionals in the film industry made me nervous. However, my fear disappeared the minute after I spoke with Ms. Karin Chien at Red’s for her genuineness. To my surprise, I got to know many of the festival guests and even made connections with several producers at the end. I expressed my interests in Prof. Bradley Rappa’s upcoming project of clean energy in Ithaca. As a result, I will be conducting research with him next fall.

  • The blogger

Besides film screenings, I attended a concert, a new media presentation, and multiple lectures. I listened carefully to panels, speakers, and filmmakers while writing down quotes and key points. The Friday Lab, a collision of ideas, was my favorite among all campus events.

  • A staff member

During my shifts at Cinemapolis, I handed out schedules and answered questions. I felt very rewarding when people told me that they enjoyed one film or a discussion. As a staff member, I also learned what it takes to organize and execute a film festival. I became more aware of the importance of independent film cultures around the world. 

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