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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 Jackie Marusiak at 7:36PM

Blog post written by Jackie Marusiak, Documentary Studies and Production ‘21, FLEFF Intern.


In second grade I wanted to be an ice skater. In fourth, a novelist. In sixth, an interior designer. In high school I thought I finally figured out I wanted to be a film director.


But now that I’m in college, I still don’t know what my dream career is. I’ve never wanted to be nailed down or define myself by one title or activity.


I’m Jackie Marusiak. I’m a Documentary Studies and Production student with minors in History and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies.


So far during my time at Ithaca College, I’ve hosted the morning drive at VIC radio, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for a week over winter break, and joined more clubs than I can remember. I challenge myself by signing up for classes totally unrelated to my field, like Swing Dance, Multimedia Programming and Linguistics.


I’ve often felt that by pursuing alternative interests throughout college, I sometimes feel I’m missing out on opportunities in the communications field.


If I had extra time, why was I funneling energy into unrelated one-off experiences instead of doing more radio, more video production, more communications work? Was I hurting my chances of specializing in something, of gaining valuable experience?


So what drew me the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was not one area of interest; it was many. I loved the idea of one festival spanning so many topics: public health, music, human rights, identities, politics, art. During FLEFF, there is no such thing as too many interests.


By applying for this blogging internship, I tried another new thing. I decided to not only throw myself into the uncharted territory of film festivals, but also intentionally challenge myself to become familiar with a subject I have never shared publicly before: writing.


FLEFF also offers what I consider treasured experiences: the opportunity to comment and ask questions in the presence of creators. The screenings I remember most vividly occurred with the directors and producers in person, watching with the audience and giving insight into the particular setting and story that unveiled before us.


As a documentary student, I hope to find myself in similar circumstances one day, sharing my work with thoughtful audiences and engaging in discourse over timely topics. In those respects, I imagine FLEFF as my future.


I’m incredibly humbled and excited to begin my journey into blogging and festivals, sharing my thoughts with the FLEFF community along the way.


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