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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 Alisha Tamarchenko at 10:35AM
Alisha Tamarchenko

Last semester, once a week, I sat in the basement of McGraw Hall at Cornell University. The building houses the History and Anthropology departments at Cornell. The room was lined with skull casts of human and non-human primates. Around a wooden table sat about 10 students, 3 undergrads and the rest PhD candidates.

As an Ithaca College student, I have the opportunity to enroll in an Ithaca College-Cornell University exchange program that allows me to take a certain amount of credits at Cornell. Last semester, I chose to take advantage of this and enrolled in a high level anthropology class open to undergrad and grad students.

Being part of that class was a tremendous experience. I sat there listening to our quirky and quick-witted professor, small of stature with lightly tinted purple hair and discussing with incredibly intelligent anthropology, engineering, and design students the theories and epistemologies of anthropology research and fieldwork.

Being part of an environment with engaged and knowledgeable professors and students that continuously intellectually challenges me is what I look for in all my classroom experiences but what was exceptional about this experience was that the people in the room came from many many different academic and work backgrounds.

As opposed to many of the college classrooms I find myself in where undergrad students come from the same majors and disciplines and have often taken the same classes, this was different. This is what really draws me to FLEFF, the experience of being part of an inter-disciplinary space.

I chose to be a FLEFF blogger because I attended the the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival last year and and found such a space there. Last Spring, I was enrolled in a class through which class we were asked to attend some film screenings and discussions. I completely immersed myself, attending more than 15 different events that week.

I was stunned by the guests the festival brought in and thrilled at the opportunity to talk to and discuss documentary film and theory with these brilliant minds. Before and after film screenings, at roundtable discussions, people were so eager to talk to students and hear our thoughts and what we had to say. It was a very special experience being treated as a peer to filmmakers, guests and professors.

Becoming a FLEFF blogging intern this year was the perfect opportunity to continue to engage in intellectual conversations with filmmakers and guests from so many different background and disciplines.

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