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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 6:06PM

I am Thomas Gonzalez and I am a Sophomore student at Ithaca College majoring in Cinema and Photography. I come from Flemington, New Jersey. Growing up, my immediate surroundings in my hometown were very rural, but living in a place between the massive cities of Philadelphia and New York, I always felt as though I lived on the doorstep of the world. Right at the bottom of the archway to greater achievement, I only gave the door a push.

I am a FLEFF blogger primarily because of my love of cinema but also my larger personal appreciation for the arts. What draws me to FLEFF in particular lies in the wide diversity of events and methods of artistic engagement that FLEFF encourages. In my own work in film I try to conscious of  the larger artistic sphere that cinema lies in. Cinema’s distant cousins in music and painting make it a unique medium, an artistic marriage of visual and sound. FLEFF’s wide ranging events from film screenings to speakers to concerts all under the same theme of one festival is the heart of my personal artistic philosophy.

The decision to join the FLEFF blogging team was rather easy. I knew that if I did not, I would miss a great opportunity for discussion with many artists and thinkers that I would be unlikely to meet in another setting. As a college student my greatest want has been to engage with the world on a wider and more intellectual level. FLEFF strikes me the meeting place of different artworks and disciplines and different individuals of different backgrounds.

I also greatly anticipate the chance to have intimate knowledge of an event such as FLEFF. Rarely in my experience have I been privy to such a gathering of people and ideas where I was not a spectator. Through these blogs and my deeper involvement at the Festival itself, I hope to gain insight that I could not have in another setting. In my view, art is as participatory as it is creative. Music requires the ear, and visual art require the eye, film requires each. An audience brings artistic work context, both in their time and in each individual experience. To get involved in FLEFF I hope to have both eyes and ears in the audience, and a voice to discuss with other like minded and unlike minded people the work shown at the festival.    

Regarding the work at FLEFF, I greatly anticipate the various films that I will have the opportunity to see. While I was only an audience member at last year’s FLEFF,  I still saw unique and thought provoking work. I often think about the documentary Cheshire, Ohio, a film about a small town polluted by a nuclear plant that spent over 10 years in production, and the fascinating and hypnotic Zama, whose seemingly meandering and irrational plot humorously admonished the ills of colonialism. I am excited by the possibilities by the theme of Disruptions, and the challenging ideas and assertions that may come with the work curated. I am excited to enter a space where controversy is welcomed, conversation is stirred and unique works of art are presented among a diverse array of people.



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