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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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“I was very impressed by how the music seemed to convey the mood of the story even though it was silent,” Ithaca College Senior Hayleigh Gowans, said. She attended the screening of “The Red Kimono,” a 1925 silent film about a small-town girl who succumbs to a toxic romance. The film was produced, written and directed by women.

A performance by Cynthia Henderson, Ithaca College professor, prefaced the screening. She spoke standing in front of the screen, which displayed slides with historic details to give the audience context of the time the film was released. A  jazz band in the left, front corner provided a soundtrack.  

“I was interested in seeing ‘The Red Kimono,’ because I thought the musical aspect was unique,” Gowans said. “I thought the context behind the movie in general was interesting, being directed  and produced by women. The talk at the beginning really got me to think how a difference your gender makes in the film industry, even today.”

Ithaca College alumna Kelsey O’Connor attended the festival for the first time for the screening of “Who is Dayani Cristal?” After the film was shown on Sunday, a film expert moderated discussion about the film’s style and the issues it brought to life.

“Having a discussion after was a great way to absorb the powerful film and ask questions that arose,” she said. “It was nice that it was informal and that we had access to a media expert to answer questions.”

Other students like Senior Leonard Slutsky returned after attending in past years. In 2013, Slutsky was a FLEFF Junior Fellow, and this year he was part of the audience in two film screenings and a panel discussion. His favorite event was the world premier of “Cotton Road,” a film by Laura Kissel, an Ithaca College alumna.

“I enjoyed seeing the IC alum-produced film about the supply chain of cotton,” he said. “I liked how the film used both American and Chinese elements for things such as background music. The film also told a story that affects all of us but few of us know how it works.”

Next year, the festival will bring new films and new guests. You don’t want to miss it.


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