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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 Chloe Wilson at 12:43PM
FLEFF Kickoff Screening curator Karen Rodriguez

Blog posting written by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio ’14, FLEFF Intern, Ashland, Massachusetts.

Getting excited for the FLEFF March 3rd Kickoff Screening? I know I am! I'm even more excited for the screening after getting the chance to speak with Karen Rodriguez, the curator for this year's screening.  Read on to learn about the purpose of the screening, the filmmakers you can expect to meet, and the works you can expect to see!

Chloe Wilson: For those who aren't very familiar with FLEFF, can you give a quick description about what this year's Kickoff Screening is for?

Karen Rodriguez: This screening is for two things.  It starts the FLEFF season is comprised of films that have already been screened at FLEFF in the past years and that are made by local filmmakers. The second reason is that it’s a also a fundraiser for Cinemapolis.  The theater is in the process of transitioning to digital projection and we’re helping to raise money for them for their purchases of new digital projectors.

CW: Are the filmmakers from the entirety of upstate New York or specifically Ithaca?

KR: Some of them are faculty at IC, some of them are faculty at other colleges in the areas - like Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  It’s an opportunity to highlight local filmmakers and to get the FLEFF season off to a start.

CW: As the curator of this year's screening, can you tell me about your role in organizing this event?

KR: As the curator, I look at work and talk to people about what is new, what do they have available to be screened. Then once I have a list of potential films, I try to choose films that work together and that compliment each other as well as show diversity in the subject matter and also in the approach.  Then I coordinate information and such – working with the filmmakers and figuring out how to get the files from them to Cinemapolis.  I also contacted Leah Shafer and I asked her to moderate the discussion after the screening.

CW: Each year, FLEFF has a new theme, and this year it's mobilities.  Does the Kickoff Screening also have a theme?

KR: I didn’t choose a theme for the screening.  I think there are some approaches or stylistic approaches that have emerged from this group and I think there’s a strong emphasis on the visual overall, but there is no explicit theme.

CW: What can you tell me about this year's films?

KR: For some of the films, there’s a sense of poetry, like the films are adaptations of poems, but some aren’t adaptations and still have a poetic quality to them.  That’s about half the films.  The other half are narratives with local actors and stories.  I think it’s a strong slate of films.  There’s a music video by a local musician – Mary Lorson – directed by a local filmmaker and that’s a lot of fun and the music is great.  There’s a piece about post-9/11 America and immigration policy.  There’s also a narrative piece about a child and she has two moms and she’s wondering where her Dad is.  It’s a really interesting piece, especially since gay marriage has become legal and it’s a question that people will be asking.  It’s done in a really positive and thoughtful way.

CW: Is there anything else that you would want a FLEFFer to know about the screening?

KR: I think the screening reflects a lot of diversity that we have in the area and the depth of the talent that we have in the terms in the filmmaking, storytelling, and the acting as well.  There’s some terrific acting and filmmakers.  It's a great way to start off the FLEFF season.

Are you excited for the Kickoff Screening? 

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