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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 Thomas Gonzalez at 11:37PM

Harry Greenberger has lived in New York City for twenty years now, but before then he grew up in western Pennsylvania. In our conversation he tells me that like many people of his generation, seeing Star Wars in the theater when he was nine.


I may not have seen it in the theater and I may not be of the same generation of Mr.Greenberger, but I know the feeling.

Harry Greenberger graduated from Ithaca College and worked in the film industry for several years, and when it came time to make his own film, the production stalled.

So often is the case in pre-production


While he was waiting to make what would become his second feature film, he made his first Staring at the Sun which will be shown as a part of FLEFF 2019.

Mr.Greenberger had written the script nearly seventeen years before, but hadn’t had the chance to make it until then. The story was inspired by a newspaper article about two Hasidic Jewish girls who had run away from home, “that could go so many ways, did they run away, did they get lost, were they kidnapped, were the murdered?” Mr. Greenberger tells me, describing how the script was developed.


The film was shot in 27 days, 22 in the New York City area and 5 in Arizona. Mr.Greenberger gives me an impression of the thoughts that may have been going through his head at that time, “A million things could go wrong at any moment and you try to anticipate those as much as you can. Once you anticipate all these things that can possibly happen, then you’re ready for the things that cannot be anticipated.”


Prior to making Staring at the Sun, Mr.Greenberger created several short films and music videos, but this film was the first he submitted to festivals, “If I was gonna jump out of the pool I ought to jump out in full force.” he says, citing the logic of director Robert Rodriguez, who says that independent filmmakers ought to skew toward making features, since there are few plays for shorts to go. While Mr.Greenberger says he may no longer agree with this, it is certain that with Staring at the Sun he has succeeded.


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