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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 Gabriella LoBue at 10:35AM

Blog posting written by Gabriella LoBue, Cinema and Photography, ’18, FLEFF Intern, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Landscapes: a boundless word that can describe a number of places. Places that are similar, dissimilar, or even complete opposites of each other: Mount Everest and a manmade movie set of the same infamous peak; a sweeping desert and the open ocean; the Milky Way and a construction of space that exists only in one’s imagination. Landscapes: the theme of FLEFF 2016.

What makes this year’s theme so special is that it offers an incredible opportunity for creativity and discourse. Despite the role of a “theme” being to categorize and specify the type of programming, “landscapes” is, in a way, liberating for artists, scholars, and audiences alike. An expansive topic such as this allows for interpretation beyond imagination, and FLEFF provides the space to demonstrate the versatility of the term.

In a world that is so focused on being precise and detailed, perhaps the theme of landscapes came at just the right time. It frees the mind and promotes consideration of “the bigger picture,” which can sometimes be just as valuable as the smaller details it is comprised of. This theme can aid in taking a step back and seeing perhaps how seemingly unrelated people, places, or circumstances are, in fact, closely and complexly interconnected.

At the same time, however, landscapes can also describe closed spaces. In this sense, it may help us to see through a lens that examines different issues more closely, and to engage in films that explore marginalized topics. This theme may direct our attention to specific and underrepresented subjects, and subsequently bring awareness to their importance, especially in regard to those who are directly involved.

This year’s theme may also include the examination of physical natural landscapes that are specifically affected by the environmental crisis, and those who are responsible for it. For example, there are communities who are suffering at the hands of industries whose only goal is to capitalize on the people’s surrounding environments. Dwellings that were once hospitable are now toxic wastelands prone to poisoning suburban and rural families in the United States, ancestral homelands in Ecuador, and everywhere in between.

While the screening and discussion of commercial exploitation at the expense of natural landscapes is only speculation, this is just one of the many topics that are eligible for this year’s FLEFF theme. After all, it is an environmental film festival. Nonetheless, even films that may not seem to have an obvious connection to landscapes initially may later reveal themselves, upon further analysis, to be vital to the larger discourse.

I am thoroughly excited to see what this year’s festival has in store, and only have the highest prospects for what is to come. With that being said, I also have the utmost confidence that FLEFF will not only meet, but also exceed the expectations.

What topics do you think may be presented this year? Are there any in particular that you would be interested to see?

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