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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 Jessica Competiello at 1:22AM

Blog posting written by Jessica Competiello, Integrated Marketing and Communications, ’20, FLEFF Intern, Jefferson, New Jersey.



The first class I walked into at Ithaca College was my freshman year seminar, Wonder Women. This class taught a feminist perspective through literature, history, media, and dialogue.  

The course was highly discussion based and the discussions and debates we had about the literature we read or media we watched carried over into our lives outside of class.  Discussions would continue between classmates grabbing lunch in the dining halls or later at night in the dorm study lounges. 

These conversations ranged from character development in the novel The Bell Jar to questioning an LGBTQ+ subtext in the movie Thelma and Louise.

When I first joined FLEFF, I did not realize that a film festival’s goal was to foster this same kind of discourse and discussion amongst participants. Through my immersion in FLEFF and reading Film Festivals: Culture, People, and Power on the Global Screenby Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong, I learned that film festivals truly are about ideas, audiences, and, most importantly, dialogue. 

Through Wong and learning about FLEFF, I learned how festivals are places that bring people together to engage with each other and have complex conversations.  

Festivals are places that celebrate the arts, not just films, but all art and culture.  Festivals are meant to be heterogenous by nature and brings in films, music, technology, media, and more. This naturally stimulates discussions and debates about how people understanding things differently and have different takeaways from people with unique perspectives and point-of-views. 

Ideas are naturally challenged in the process and people are forced to think critically and intellectually.

My freshman year when I sat down in my first class, I never realized how important intellectual dialogue was for personal stimulation. Once I did, I thought it was something that would not occur outside of a college setting.  However, now I have learned that post-graduation, festivals are the places outside of the classroom that celebrate these conversations, create intellectual dialogue, encourage debates, and challenge ideas to create new thinking and discussions.




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