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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 Julianne Grillo at 10:21AM
Julianne Grillo

Blog posting written by Julianne Grillo, Writing for Film, TV, and Emerging Media ’20, Honors, FLEFF Blogging Intern, Clinton, NJ

A small globe with yellowing peaks and valleys inhabited my childhood living room.

I spun and spun, stopping the world with the tip of my finger.

I learned the names of every country my finger landed on and this launched a lifelong passion for international affairs.

In a few short months, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) returns to Ithaca, New York for its twentieth year. A bizarre congruence: both FLEFF and I turn twenty years old this year!

GEOGRAPHIES” is the theme of this year’s festival. For FLEFF, geography encompasses more than my rudimentary junior high definitions entailing countries, continents, and bodies of water. The films, concerts, and lectures showcased will extend geographies beyond what can be pointed out on a map, or in my case, a small, spinning globe.

For example, the new media exhibition Invisible Geographies examines those uncharted geographies that cannot be documented. This exhibition examines entities, ideas and places “that have been erased or obscured,” according to the curator Dale Hudson's essay.

Invisible Geographies features twenty new media projects from around the world. Liz Miller’s The Shore Line, is a documentation of the wide-reaching effects of climate change and how people around the world confront these conditions.

As a newly minted FLEFF blogger, this year’s theme provokes many questions. How does one see the world? How do we see beyond our own experiences and locations? What does it take to broaden a sense of place?

I have spent my entire life in the small town of Clinton, New Jersey. However, I do not necessarily identify myself as purely a “Clintonian.” Clinton sprawls as a rural/suburban hybrid town with rolling farmlands and kitschy store-fronts. In the future, I want my identity to move beyond my hometown to something more global.

At FLEFF, people come expecting to see films. They leave exposed to unexpected, new issues.

The international media like those highlighted in Invisible Geographies transports spectators to different environments.

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