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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 Gabriella LoBue at 7:20PM
Dr. Tanya Saunders, Assistant Provost for International Studies and Special Programs, and executive producer of FLEFF

Blog posting written by Gabriella LoBue, Cinema and Photography, ’18, FLEFF Intern, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Dr. Tanya Saunders, Assistant Provost for International Studies and Special Programs, and executive producer of FLEFF, graciously shared her extensive knowledge of and experience with the 19-year-old festival on a snowy Tuesday evening. By the end of the night, the blogging team had learned a great deal about the history, role, and mission of Ithaca College’s much anticipated annual event.

One of the most recurring and thought-provoking themes of the conversation with Dr. Saunders was that FLEFF houses a space for an “intellectual community engaged in dialogue.” I had never realized before that the festival brings all members of Ithaca College together, regardless of its participants’ individual schools or areas of expertise. FLEFF allows students, faculty, and staff to embrace difficult global issues and questions as one community, without labels and boundaries separating them.

It was also compelling to hear from Dr. Saunders that, in addition to acknowledging these issues, FLEFF also has an expectation of each individual if he or she is moved by a particular topic. That person must decide what it is that he or she wants, is willing, or is able to do with their newfound awareness and knowledge. In other words, as a platform for discourse and conversation, FLEFF is what you make of it.

In retrospect, it seems fairly evident that beyond understanding the dialogue and the connections that FLEFF and its events provide, it is important to take the initiative and act through reflection, further research, connecting with others to address the concern, and so forth. As Dr. Saunders explained, the information that one receives, and how he or she utilizes it (or fails to utilize it) beyond the festival setting, is entirely up to each individual.

Being that FLEFF is a festival of heterogeneity, it provides the perfect opportunity for participants to collaboratively make connections between the local and global spheres. This concept of its functioning has shifted my way of thinking about the festival, in that I no longer perceive it as an individual experience. Instead, I am prepared and am looking forward to engaging not only with the topics themselves, but with those around me as well.

What ways might you take FLEFF’s topics beyond the festival? 

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