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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 Matthew Reis at 11:55PM
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Blog posting by Matthew R. Reis, Cinema & Photography '13 with an Art History minor, Chapel Hill, NC

Now that FLEFF Week is history here are a few things I really enjoyed about the event. I'll start off by talking about the people I met.

I met a host of people from the film and media industries including Philip Mallory-Jones, Karin Chien, Franklin Lopez and Tina Mabry. I learned a lot and I'll share a bit of that with all you, our faithful readers.

Phil Jones: His work really needs to be laid out on a timeline, a really long one, to be thoroughly examined and appreciated. Working with video practically since its birth (late 60s/early 70s) Phil understands the medium. Now he's pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the Virtual realm, or as Phil likes to put it, the synthetic world. I really appreciate not only his web projects on "Second Life," but the fact that he really cares about other people's work. I saw Phil downtown at Delilah's and in Cinemapolis numerous times networking with others. He engaged wholeheartedly in observing and debating other artist's work.

Karin Chien: She's a magnificent person. I interviewed her on two occasions and was left highly impressed. At the lone screening of "Disorder" on Saturday, a disturbingly poetic city symphony flick, she talked about how what her company dGenerate Films does. Her company brings films from Mainland China to the United States. The filmmakers usually write, shoot, produce, direct and edit these works by themselves. They have a unique story to tell and want their voices to be heard somewhere. They aren't really welcome to screen their works back in China due to government censorship.

Frank Lopez: He's a dynamic and relentless individual. He came to Ithaca on Friday for one night only to promote his film "END CIV: Resist or Die." He's on tour with the movie and I was fortunate enough to pick up a copy and get it signed by the man himself. Frank's extremely interested in challenging the status quo and his film END CIV is an extension of that. Though he lives in Vancouver he stopped over at FLEFF as part of a larger tour promoting the work of him and his friends. I wish him the best of luck on the rest of his journey.

Tina Mabry (last, but definitely not least): Meeting Tina was the highlight of my week. She flew into Ithaca from sunny Los Angeles last Thursday and brought some of that warm, friendly energy with her. It was a pleasure to talk with her in person after only interfacing with her over email and on the phone. Her film "Mississippi Damned" is stylistically and categorically not a documentary, but it feels as real and honest as one. That honesty is pretty genuine since the film is based on her life story growing up in Mississippi as a child under difficult conditions. One thing the film crew did though was shoot in North Carolina. It's also ironic to think that such a happy, down-to-earth lady could have lived in such a negative environment. But she made it out and arrived in LA to study at USC. Now she is the CEO of Morgan's Mark.

I thank all the individuals I mentioned above as well as those guests I didn't for their awesome company, fabulous insights and creative drive. One day I hope to meet each of them again. Thanks for reading!

Check back later for more on FLEFF Week.


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