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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 Colleen Lemos at 1:24PM   |  11 comments
Photo of Colleen Ryan

Colleen Ryan

Class of 2012

Television-Radio, Scriptwriting

Anthropology Minor

Lansing, NY


I’m a vagabond of passions.

One of my biggest regrets is ever believing I had to chose just one.  As a college senior, Ithaca College is my third undergraduate institution, and I’m surrounded by so many other students and faculty, who like me, have discovered it’s a beautiful thing to be abundantly passionate.

That’s why I know I belong at FLEFF.  I don’t have to choose one form of expression because FLEFF celebrates it all. 

I added an anthropology minor in the second semester of my junior year.  My love for the human condition was what made it hard to find my niche in media for so long, but now I know I can intertwine them.

When you’re a college senior the “real world” becomes ever more real and scary, and some how society pressures make it seem like graduating college becomes a quarter life crisis.  Who are you going to be?  What are you going to do?  How much money are you going to make?  How are you going to leave your mark on this world? 

It’s nauseating yet exhilarating.

These questions may not be completely answerable in one day, or one lifetime.  In many ways I feel like a born-again activist.  I'm a pescetarian, I've stopped using plastics (to the best of my ability), and have started to put extra money towards saving endangered species.

After living in Los Angeles for a month, in the fast lane towards my then dream of being a television writer, I realized that I didn’t want to contribute to society by creating entertainment, but creating change.  Media is a powerful thing.  It's a universal language and it's ability to tug on heartstrings and make a difference in this world is amazing.  I see it as a blessing to be in love with too many things, because there’s no such thing. 

FLEFF is allowing me not only to share my love of writing with you, but to give you an insiders look into the beautiful world that it commemorates.  

I’m thirsty for knowledge and love to be well informed – perhaps it’s because I’m the child of two academics.  I’m in love with the idea of FLEFF because it turns these issues into art and expression, and I can’t wait to be involved with all that it has to offer.

I'm a sap.  I cry when I'm happy, and I cry when I'm sad.  I get inspired easily. I want to know: Is there any film, photo, or piece of art (music included) that has moved you towards inspiration to make the world a better place?


I totally agree with the fact that FLEFF celebrates all forms of expression. And I'm a pescetarian too! Crazy world.

The one movie that changed my view of the world was Moulin Rouge. It's not the most sustainable pick but it showed me the effect of an entire community coming together for a singular purpose, kind of like how the Ithaca community comes together for FLEFF! What about you?

I am totally with you about how being a senior about to graduate college is both exciting and terrifying. I have no solid idea what I want to do, maybe this experience can help us figure it out?

The movie Hotel Rwanda. There was one line in the movie that really stuck with me. It went along with the idea that no matter what people see in the news, they still are going to turn back around and continue eating their supper. I don't think it has to be like that; we just need to be more effective in the way we use media and present issues. I am determined to prove this movie's statement wrong. We all have the power to inspire change.

The movie I can think of most recently was one that I saw at the Tribeca Film Festival called "Snow Men." It's a movie about this little boy who's dying with cancer and wants to leave his mark on the world by setting the world record for the most snowmen built in one day.

I don't want to spoil it because it's literally one of the best movies I've seen in years and FYI it will make you cry like a baby, but it really just inspired me to be motivated to make a mark on the world, even if I set my goal high.

And Hana, I totally agree I have a feeling FLEFF is going to enlighten us in many ways, and open many doors, whether they be intellectual or actual doors!

I loved what you had to say about contributing to society through the use of media. Yes, it can easily be used to create entertainment, but more importantly, it can be used to create change.

And believe me, I know how nervous graduating can make you feel. I'm only a freshman and I'm already thinking about where I will see myself in four years from now! However, once you leave Ithaca College, I am sure that whatever you end up doing, you will be successful and happy doing it!

As for encouraging pieces, I am easily inspired by several films and all kinds of music, and this is what makes works of art so rewarding. Maybe one day you'll make something that'll leave that same inspiring impact on someone!

Colleen - I'm also a pescetarian, it was 9 years this January. It was actually a documentary about factoring farming that inspired my dietary change. What inspired you to only eat fish as a meat source?

Chloe - Moulin Rouge! That surprised me! I am a huge fan of that movie as well, and now that you mention it... I love the idea that it's a group of people working towards a common goal. Very, very interesting!

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