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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Engaging in spaces where environment and political landscapes react due to activism and policy, is where Dr. Thomas Shevory's work exists to critically examine the functions of influential moments in environmental history, like the 2015 Paris People’s Global Climate March, where Dr. Shevory attended and live blogged about his experiences this past November. I had the opportunity to meet with one of the two Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival's co-directors, Dr. Shevory, to reflect on past FLEFF experiences as well as aspects of the film festival that are to come.
One of Dr. Shevory's roles is on the team that builds FLEFF’s programming every year. One of his favorite aspects is the festival’s ability to constantly evolve. This not only allows for a different FLEFF experience every year, based on themes and topics, but the unique and important intersections that only FLEFF can provide in classrooms and the cinema.
These intersections often occur within Shevory’s own classroom at Ithaca College. Dr. Shevory, currently teaches in the Politics Department and focuses on discourse relating to policy, human health and the environment. One of the highlight’s for Shevory is bringing the classroom and festival worlds together to create unique and memorable learning experiences for his students, as the topics he discusses within his class are often found to be engaged with at FLEFF in a myriad of intersecting ways.
Having been in Dr. Shevory’s class two years ago, the classroom to FLEFF experience was my first encounter with the festival at Ithaca College. The impact and transformative nature of my academic engagement with FLEFF is what lead to a personal desire to develop a stronger relationship with the future festivals.
Dr. Shevory gets excited about nearly every aspect of FLEFF that he works to program for the festival. He believes the theme of Landscapes, which encapsulates many meta narratives under a unifying label, will serve as a catalyst for the memorable experiences that FLEFF provides to unfold within films screened and discussions that are prompted between audiences and FLEFF guests. The Silent Film Live Music events, Chinese banned cinema and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology events that happen yearly, are among the many occasions that excite Shevory about the annual FLEFF event.
Dr. Shevory’s interview concluded by sharing stories of past occasions where past FLEFF events encouraged discourse between himself, students and his co-workers; he looks forward to those dialogue based engagements throughout FLEFF Landscapes. Shevory believes that the openness and flexibility of this year’s Landscapes theme will invite many and multiple conversations from FLEFF participants who engage with the festival on and off campus.