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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 11:47PM

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


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of a festival is “a periodic celebration or program of events or entertainment having a specified focus.” Before this class when I thought of the word festival, I associated it with celebrations. Celebrations conjures thoughts of elaborate food, décor, and fireworks, not as much as discussion or intellectual stimulation. 

Ithaca is a city known for its famous festivals such as Apple Fest, Chili Fest, or Ice Fest. Festivals I have enjoyed annually since I was a first-year on campus. All of these celebrate Ithaca and bring people from both colleges and the community together Downtown and help boost the economy. 

Previous to learning about FLEFF, these were my only understandings of what a festival was.  I knew nothing about film festivals, but my assumptions were that it would be a celebration of movies that boosted the economy and brought people together. Although I was not entirely wrong, my perception of film festivals was deeply misconstrued.  

The first thing I learned about film festivals was that they are heterogenous and interdisciplinary by nature. FLEFF is a film festival but it has many different components than just movies. Along with thought-provoking films it combines other disciplines such as new media with SwampScapes VR experience or music performances like the Fall Creek Brass Band or the Infiltrations concert.

Film Festivals are meant to be both local and international.  FLEFF brings together the local community through having Ithaca alumni and professors speak and perform. Ithaca alum Jaylene Clark Owens, an award-winning actress and spoken word poet, will be performing at FLEFF. While FLEFF will also have films such as Bacurau a Brazilian thriller film, ADAM a Moroccan feminist film, and Give Me Liberty a film from a Russian immigrant living in Milwaukee. 

Audiences that attend film festivals are meant to be wide audiences. The audiences are meant to be more than just people who enjoy film, but people from both the local and international community. FLEFF will bring together film makers from all over the nation and globe along with local community members and students of the college.

Film Festivals are meant to create discussion and dialogue. Audience members are asked to think intellectually and critically to engage in conversations about the content they consumed.  FLEFF has discussions at the end of every film for viewers and master classes to allow attendees to dive deeper into topics and subjects to create these stimulating discussions.

Although FLEFF is different than my original perception of a film festival, it is still a celebration of films, cultures, art, music, technology, and overall intellectual thinking by bringing together both local and global communities of people.




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