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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 William Hopper at 4:32PM
Photo of Will Hopper
By Will Hopper, Cinema and Photography with a minor in Honors, '22, FLEFF blogging intern, Harvard, Massachusetts
 
Although COVID-19 caused the cancellation of FLEFF events at the Cinemapolis and on the Ithaca College Campus, the festival took a new form online. Two groups of online exhibitions are currently available on the FLEFF website.
 
The first FLEFF online exhibition, called Radical Infiltrations New Media Exhibition, includes the works of Amazonia (2019) by Roger Beebe and the Occupy WiFi Project (2014) by Yoav Lifshitz. Both received a Jury Prize.
 
Amazonia uses the format of a Mac desktop as a tool to convey information about Amazon’s fulfillment centers. This short documentary utilizes opening multiple windows to display footage at the same time.
 
The Occupy WiFi Project creates a unique way of conveying information through media using WiFi connections. The Israeli Pirate Party disguised their own propaganda as a free WiFi network to inform people in Tel Aviv about the dangers of the Biometric Database Law. 
 
The second FLEFF online exhibition, called Infiltrations A Different Media Environment Exhibition, features collections of works from different organizations. Two of the exhibits include dGenerate Films: Chinese Independent Cinema and Scribe Video Center.
 
dGenerate Films offers a variety of independent Chinese films, including the feature length documentary Ghost Stories (Zhao Dayong, 2012), the short documentary The Questioning (Zhu Rikun, 2013), and the narrative film Oxhide II (Liu Jiayin, 2012).
 
Scribe Video Center, located in Philadelphia, gives groups and communities access to filmmaking equipment and guidance. It provides training workshops to people who want a platform to create community content and raise awareness on issues. 
 
Some of the organizations supported by Scribe Video Center include the Youth Arts Self-Empowerment Project, the Muslim Voices of Philadelphia Project, and the Filipino American National Historical Society.
 
Both of the FLEFF online exhibitions contain media that focuses on place and location. Amazonia discusses specific Amazon fulfillment centers in America, and the Occupy WiFi Project targeted the Biometric Database Law. dGenerate Films highlights independent mainland China cinema, and Scribe Video Center promotes community filmmaking in Philadelphia.
 
While each exhibit utilizes the significance of place, the two exhibitions do so through different formats. For example, the Radical Infiltrations New Media Exhibition features singular projects that can be fully experienced in one sitting. Amazonia lasts 24 minutes and 37 seconds, and the Occupy WiFi Project contains web pages that take a few minutes to read. 
 
In contrast, the Infiltrations A Different Media Environment Exhibition includes multiple works that may need more time to experience. 
 
dGenerate Films offers twelve films along with the full OVID Library. The FLEFF website curates five community videos from Scribe Video Center.
 
dGenerate Films and Scribe Video Center also grow their catalogues and evolve over time. On their OVID page, dGenerate Films maintains that they “are dedicated to procuring and promoting visionary content, fueled by transformative social change and digital innovation.”
 
The mission statement on the Scribe Video Center website states that it “seeks to explore, develop and advance the use of electronic media, including video and audio, as artistic media and as tools for progressive social change.”
 
Another key difference between the two exhibitions involves the type of media they produce. The projects in the Infiltrations A Different Media Environment Exhibition use more traditional elements of cinema, such as the documentaries in dGenerate Films and community videos from Scribe Video Center
 
The Radical Infiltrations New Media Exhibition includes experimental media and films that expand on the traditional methods of filmmaking. Amazonia takes the everyday computer desktop and turns it into a tool to create a unique short film. It utilizes basic computer functions such as searching internet results and opening images in conjunction with playing multiple videos.
 
The Occupy WiFi Project uses WiFi transmission as a method of local distribution for its media. The Israeli Pirate Party utilizes this format to inform people and invites others to do the same in their own communities. 
 
The Infiltrations A Different Media Environment Exhibition provides collections of feature films and short films, while the Radical Infiltrations New Media Exhibition provides new media experiences.


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