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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 Kaley Belval at 11:25PM
Kaley Belval

Blog posting by Kaley Belval, Documentary Studies and Production '15, FLEFF Blogger, Woodbury, CT


As a college student, classes often spur ideas, discussions and collaborations. Once we leave the classroom setting, many of these elements cease to continue. Fortunately, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival offers the opportunity to explore a multitude of themes. Where else can students, filmmakers, new media designers, professors and community members meet to discuss ideas? 

At film festivals such as this, the mission is not to sell as many movie tickets as possible, but to help those who attend think differently. When people with various ages and social backgrounds come together to discuss a film, event, or issue, something unique and beautiful happens. All of those perspectives can come together to create a meaningful conversation that allows for intellectual growth and engagement.

Hello everyone! My name is Kaley Belval and I am a senior Documentary Studies and Production major with minors in Honors and Women's & Gender Studies from Woodbury, CT. 

This year, I am extremely excited to take part in FLEFF for my fourth year as a staff member. In my role as a blogger, I cannot wait to be able to talk to people about the festival, all of the projects and people that are a part of it, as well as the theme of "Habitats". This festival has been a formative part of my college experience and I am so happy to be ending my college career with it. 

As a Documentary Studies major, I am constantly fascinated by the ways in which a multitude of media practices can be implemented to explore an issue. Being in an interdisciplinary program of study has allowed me to see things from various perspectives and also creatively consider the different mediums—film, print, online, etc—in which these views can be expressed.

Since I am an extremely curious person who takes every possible chance to learn what I can about a person or subject, I highly value my education. Whether that be at Ithaca College or—as I spent the past semester—in Brazil, I see every experience and interaction as a way to learn something about the world around me. In this mindset, I find myself constantly changing and discovering more about myself while becoming more comfortable with stepping outside of my comfort zone. The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival definitely brings me out of that box, but always into a space of higher thinking.

FLEFF is inseparable from my college experience, so I am very enthusiastic about once again engaging in dialogues about various social, environmental and cultural issues. It's unsettling to think about this as my last chance to be a part of the festival, but I look forward to the opportunity of fully immersing myself in this "different environment". 

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