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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 Jennifer Barish at 5:26PM

Blog posting written by Jennifer Barish, Communication Management & Design ‘14, FLEFF intern, Skokie, IL

Okay. I need to talk about this. I need to get it off my chest. I'm already sick of this topic, but as a staff member at one of the most influential, international film festivals in the world studying communication at a college known for progressive ideologies, I need to put some words on the page. I won’t even edit.

For the last 72 hours, KONY 2012 has dominated my newsfeed, and during this time my emotions have gone from dewy-eyed sympathy to vehement anger.

They got me. The movie had catchy tunes and I “awwwwed” at the adorable white toddler on the screen. After the 30 minute film, I was ready to order my “action kit,” stamp my status with a seal of approval, and lobby in Washington D.C.

 I’m an impulsive person, so this amount of zeal within such a small time frame is dangerous. But I fought the urge. And read. I researched. I questioned. It turns out that the emphatic idealism brought on by this brilliant public relations campaign was just a wee bit oversimplified.

 I’m still trying to figure out what I believe, how I feel about American intervention, and the co-existence between innovative communication strategies and the non-profit sector. I’m sad, angry, annoyed, pissed off, and utterly confused.

But there’s one thing I’m sure about. The use of film in the KONY 2012 campaign is the driving force behind the campaign. Social media and promotional events are incredibly strategic, but they’re just means to show off the crowned jewel of KONY 2012—the flashy drama-mentary produced by Invisible Children.

Now, I can genuinely say that film is the most powerful art form. I apologize in advance to the brilliant visual artists or musicians out there, but this movie has created an international debate—a social revolution that out-organizes, out-markets, and out-flashifies the efforts of the Occupy Movement or other modern, activist endeavors. 

In terms of getting people to talk, I’m committed to films for life.

Whether you’re among the millions of KONY 2012 followers or an angsty cynic, at least we’ve all stopped looking at cat memes online and started to think—well, at least for 72 hours.


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