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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 Meagan McGinnes at 10:39PM

“So I have named this tree out in the natural lands called grandfather oak—don’t make me sound crazy,” said sophomore environmental studies major, Elly Linares. “And I go visit it frequently. It really grounds me. I mean it’s just this huge tree that I go sit under and all of the sudden I am rooted with it.”

Linares, a California native, loves the outdoors and the environment. It is these loves that first made her drawn to FLEFF. Linhares attends the Wild and Scenic Film Festival when home, so she recognized this internship as an opportunity to have that same sort of connection and experience while at school. Not being a communications student, she is enjoying learning about the skills it takes to run a festival of this kind. However, her true passion is still with the environmental advocacy behind FLEFF- this year focusing on the theme of microtopias.

“I think it is something the world is shifting to right now which is think locally, act globally. And I feel like microtopias and the fact if we were able to form really strong local environments, we would form a huge utopia based off that,” said Linares. “Will it be perfect? No, because the world is not, but its something really important to be local. And what a great place for FLEFF to be because Ithaca is such a locally conscious town.”

Linares’s mission of environmental advocacy will not end with FLEFF, either. Currently, Linares tries to live a sustainable life style. While at home in northern California, she lives on a farm run on solar energy. She finds being as environmentally conscious is more difficult while at school.

“I do what it takes to be at balance with the world, be it emotionally or physically, and sustain myself that way. So, like an example I don’t use modern medicine. I use herbs and then I eat organic. Of course recycling factors into that too." 

But, as is being discussed in many of the previous blogs, sustainability is not solely about actions, but also education and mindsets. It relates closely to how we relate to each other as a community—on a small and large scale. Linares plans on promoting this aspect of sustainability through work with the Peace Corps

“The Peace Corps is a great organization to represent the though that I was raised with,” said Linares. “My mom was in the nonprofit world all her life and she said ‘I’d rather be paid in love than money’.”

Currently, the Peace Corps work is only seven percent environmentally based, but Linares hopes to change this. After working with the Peace Corps, she plans on living off the grid in a primitive area of the world.

“In ten years, I will probably be coming back to the world, hopefully with a little better understanding of it and myself,” said Linares.

And what does Linares say to skeptics of the environmental crisis?

“You don’t have to agree with it, but you have to understand that humans are the only species that have the power to change it. And that is an extreme amount of power to have, and we are just sitting there and not doing anything with it.”

So here’s my question for all of you: Recognizing we have the power of change, what should we do with it?


*Also, here are some fun facts about Elly—in case you were wondering, because I was!

Favorite movie- Food Inc.

Favorite food- Any raw prepared food, and Mexican food

Favorite color- Purple, for now anyways

Favorite musical artist- Ingrid Michaelson


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