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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 Sean Themea at 8:07PM
Bridge Over Water.

Blog posting written by Sean Themea, Communication Studies '16, FLEFF Intern, Chester, NH


In just seven weeks, people from all walks of life will descend on the city of Ithaca, NY and Ithaca College for the 19th Annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. Upon arrival, they will immerse themselves in films, plays, lectures and concerts which surround this year’s theme, Landscapes


Landscapes are intersectional, and this year’s theme presents a host of possibilities with which we can engage.


As human actors, we can take dominion over natural landscapes. We can choose to use the rule of law and government to preserve our environment or destroy it.  We can criminally punish our fellow men and women for pursuing their livelihoods in these spaces. Given our environmental crisis, fI oresee this year’s FLEFF featuring works from artists that explore landscapes, politics, and law.


Landscapes also serve as physical hosts for intentional dialogue. They manifest in the suburbs of Paris to combat climate change, amidst the urban bustle of New York City to empower women entrepreneurs, and in rural New Hampshire to spread the values of individual liberty. I have no doubt that across the city of Ithaca and its universities, this year’s FLEFF will once again provoke thought, dialogue, and action.


The landscape is not always physical. The rise of social media suggests that digital landscapes will play an integral role in shaping global culture. Unlike their natural counterparts, digital landscapes are volatile. In just five years, the role of social media in Arab nations has shifted from the purveyor of democracy to an agent of terror. Perhaps this year’s FLEFF will investigate digital landscapes from a wider lens than what traditional media has featured. 


What role have landscapes played in your life? How do you think filmmakers, artists, and scholars will approach this theme through their works?

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