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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Written by: Jade Hazzard, FLEFF Blogging Intern
Nobody takes the same path in life; some people have it all planned out, while others take it one step at a time. For Dr. Sueyoung Park-Primiano, the Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Screen Studies at Ithaca College, it was the latter.
Prior to working at Ithaca College, Dr. Park-Primiano was an archivist of non-print historical collections, working with multimedia formats. Some of these formats include photographs, video cassette tapes and architectural drawings at various places including: New York University, Columbia University, The New-York Historical Society, and The Skyscraper Museum.
Dr. Park-Primiano then decided that she wanted to change her career to continue to grow intellectually and applied to get a masters degree in Cinema Studies at NYU. Once she completed her degree, she went to South Korea on a Fulbright Scholarship for a year to do archival research on post-World War Two film industry and culture there. After her time there she came back to New York City and applied to NYU’s Ph.D. program in Cinema Studies, and as she said: “the rest is history”.
“My professional career was never quite planned, I’m not one of those people who knew from the get-go, that's what I want to be doing and I know that's exactly how I’m going to get there—I took a lot of detours, including traveling in Europe and Asia for a year, prior to getting my Ph.D.”
Last year at FLEFF, Dr. Park-Primiano had various roles, including promotion of the fellowship program and speaking on panels. This year she will be teaching her own mini-course and co-teaching another. The mini-course she is teaching by herself is called “FLEFF: Environmental Disruptions,” which seamlessly coincides with this year's theme of Disruptions.
Her course focuses less on the territorial, ethnic and religious wars that destroy the environment and forces migrations, but more on the impact of climate change on the planet. It aims to expose how disasters happen in mainly poor areas, areas with racial minorities, as well as the portrayal of these disasters in the media. The course also sets out to teach students about how a lot of the migration that is happening may look like it is about war, but it is often about access to resources that have triggered the war that further destroys these areas.
Dr. Park-Primiano believes that the uniqueness of FLEFF comes from its ties to Ithaca College, which connects scholars from different disciplines with shared interests to come together and have a dialogue with filmmakers and media specialists from all over the world. Unlike other film festivals that might be more industry-oriented, FLEFF encourages intellectual engagement and a broader collaboration across multiple platforms, from panel discussions to workshops to mini-courses. FLEFF also allows for the direct engagement of undergraduate students and creates an environment where they can gain experience and be involved.