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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 Hanxiao Wang at 12:03AM
Beini Cheng

Blog posting written by Hanxiao Wang, Integrated Marketing Communications studies, '19, FLEFF Intern, Sichuan, China.

There are two places in the world that can change you over night. One is a casino, and the other one is FLEFF!

It was my most experience after I interviewed Beini Cheng, an assistant for the 18th FLEFF last year. Also, she is the team leader of the blogging team this year, and distributes responsibilities to bloggers and coordinates events. Beini is from Shanghai, China. She got her bachelor degree in China, majoring in English language and literature. Now she is a graduate student studying strategic communication at Ithaca College.

“Dynamic”, “heterogeneous”, “enlightening”, are terms Beini used for describing FLEFF. It is more than just a film festival. It’s a global intellectual festival. In FLEFF, you can meet many professionals coming from all different industries and be exposed to different disciplines and cultures. You can see the most fashionable art designs, know the newest media trends and technologies, enjoy the most powerful concerts, discuss with people from different fields about anything happening in the world. But the most important point about FLEFF is, you will be changed.

It challenges your ideas, perspectives, even your values. “I remember one day, I saw a documentary film talking about abortion and a woman’s life. The woman is from Ithaca and devotes herself to the fight for female rights. I didn’t have any interest at first and I even thought not too many people would watch it, but I actually got into it since I started to watch it. To my surprise, the woman’s granddaughter showed up on the stage to call for women’s rights. People sitting in front of the stage included young students, middle-aged adults, even 80 year olds, and they discussed with each other, no matter their age or social stratification,” Beini said. The experience changed her impression towards documentary film and her attitude towards female rights.

When I asked her what challenged her values the most, she talked about an America film on polygonal love she watched at FLEFF: “It changed my mind about the rules and the definition for love. Love doesn’t have to exist with just two people. The relationship also could include three or more people, Like LGBT, people who choose polygonal love having the right to fight for their happiness.” She said. The FLEFF challenged ideas she had never thought about, inspiring her to think critically and independently.

Talking about the theme of landscapes this year, she pictures a very broad image of natural scenery and countryside. She sees it all in refreshing green, earthy brown and other colorful patterns. Then she said, “In Old English, land means a place and people living there. Scape means to reshape.” To her, landscapes are about the association and connection between the natural world and the people who live and are surrounded by this area. I agree with that. The landscapes are created and given new meanings all the times by the interaction of human beings and nature. Just like our FLEFF, which changes participants every time!

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