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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 Lydia Lepinski at 12:56PM
Richard Shpuntoff

By Lydia Lepinski, Integrated Marketing Communications with minors in Anthropology and Live Events Design and Management, '22, FLEFF blogging intern, Metuchen, New Jersey

Before FLEFF got cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to chat with Richard Shpuntoff over Skype.

Richard Shpuntoff, a filmmaker and journalist, currently resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When I Skyped him, he was sitting in what appeared to be an office with a large book case behind him. The door to his balcony was open and I was able to hear the vehicles on the street below.

Mr. Shpuntoff is a consultant to the Cinema Museum of Buenos Aires. For FLEFF this year, he was helping with the programming of Federico Valle’s 1929 silent film For Argentine Lands, which had been lost for many years and was recently discovered in the museum’s archive. The screening of the film was to have two live actors and a live music performance alongside the film.

For Argentine Lands was created during the Golden Age of Argentina and creates a lens into that point of time. Mr. Shpuntoff shared that he feels like he has a connection to the filmmaker, Federico Valle, who was an immigrant to Argentina like himself. Mr. Shpuntoff grew up in the United States and shared how everyone envisions the United States differently.

For Mr. Shpuntoff, it was interesting taking on the role of the director and having control over the message. He describes, by writing a script and adding live music to the film, they have infiltrated the film by creating a vision they want the FLEFF audience to see. 

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