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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 Blaize Hall at 1:08AM
Sound Bite Wave, courtesy of the internet

Blog post by Blaize Hall, Television-Radio, '15, Georgia, VT

“You don’t get credit for everything.” - Amy Brown

Amy Brown is one of the Producers and Directors of A Will For The Woods.  Amy shared how the idea for this film began while she was still at grad school, and while she was able to receive credit for a few parts of the process, most of the filmmaking was extra curricular.  She stressed this as important for students to grasp because making a film should not be about getting credit, but rather, making something that you feel compelled to make.  

“You have to teach yourself something entirely new every five years.” - Laura Kissel

Laura Kissel is the director of Cotton Road.  She shared how the evolving film industry has allowed her to continue learning.  Working as an academic and professor has proved a symbiotic relationship with her filmmaking.  She is learning new technology all the time to use it in her creative work, but she is also required to learn it to be able to teach it, so the two faces of her professional life really support one another.

“Take advantage of the place you are in.” - Rodrigo Brandao

Rodrigo Brandao is an IC alum who now works as a film distributor for Kino Lorber Films.  Rodrigo shared these words of wisdom in the FLEFF lab How To Make Your Break panel.  He advised that students use all of the resources at their disposal while in college, and always take ahold of opportunities that present themselves.  He suggested that having a clear direction and knowing what you really want are also helpful in achieving “the dream”.  

“You can create your own office, your community of people who will follow you.”  - Ernesto Livon Grossman

Ernesto Livon Grossman is the director of Brasco.  He advised during the Dissonance Diaries panel on Saturday that networking is key, but that it can take many forms.  He explained that creating your network is a matter of finding people of similar interests and being able to trust one another, and that having these people is what will make productions happen.  

“When you’re up against a wall, you’ll know what to do.” - Vanessa Domico

Vanessa Domico is the president of Outcast Films.  She gave these reassuring words to a young filmmaker during the Dissonance Diaries discussion panel on Saturday.  She expressed that as students, if we have ideas, we should take risks and go for them.  When we are in situations that feel foreign or unnerving, that is when our instincts will kick in.  

“I have become what I call an angry Russian woman.” - Irina Aristarkhova

Irina Aristarkhova works as a new media theorist and art history scholar.  She made this statement during her presentation on the Pussy Riot movement, related events in Socchi, and the Anti-Gay politics movement in Russia.  She said, “There is a time in our lives when we realize we cannot deal with current events anymore.”  She spoke about her disgust with the current state of her country, and how this motivates her to do the work that she does.  


“Sustainability has to raise both social justice and environmental stewardship...We can’t be for the people, and not stand up for the planet, but we also can’t be for the planet and not stand up for the people.”  - Ira McKinley

Ira McKinley is the director and primary subject of the film, The Throwaways.  He expressed in a discussion following the film that if we are to maintain a sustainable world, it needs to be one where social issues are not prioritized beneath environment or economy, that they are all intertwined.  


“The people I work with who’ve hit rock bottom with addiction and come back are people from another galaxy in terms of their wisdom and centered spirituality.” - Bess O’Brien

Bess O’Brien is the producer and director of The Hungry Heart.  She shared in a post-screening discussion her admiration for the people in her film, and her love of working with people to tell these important stories.  


“Everyone’s smarter than me, I just know more ‘cause I’ve been around longer.” - Andy Watts

Andy Watts was one of the guests who’s film, Where The Walls Contain Everything But The Sky, was included in the Upstate New York Filmmakers exhibit on Sunday.  He joked that he recognizes brilliance in his young child but not in himself.  He just sees himself as having more knowledge.  


“The whole cast and crew sang her favorite song (Tomorrow from the musical Annie) to cheer her up.” - John D. Scott

John D. Scott is the producer and director of In the Waiting Room.  He told this story about the child actress in his short.  One day on set was especially long and she was really dragging, so everyone sang to her!

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