About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, April 12, 2019
Blog posting written by Molly Bandelli, Television and Radio, minor in Sociology, ‘20, FLEFF Blogging Intern, Westfield, NJ.
Is it possible to have your FLEFF experience of disruptions, disrupted?
If you were to ask me, the answer is yes.
On Wednesday, I went to the Hammond Health Center feeling rundown. The doctor told me to take it easy, rest and to inform my teachers I would in be in class the next few days.
I cocked my head and looked at him for a minute before saying, “That’s not an option. It’s FLEFF week. I can rest when it’s over.”
From there, I went straight to the Journalism in an Age of Despots panel at the Handwerker Gallery.
Despite my health being disrupted, I did my best to not let it prevent my from immersing myself in the events and screening. I attended the faculty research forums, master classes and panels that offered insights on issues I wasn’t aware of. On top of that, I spent hours upon hours at Cinemapolis jumping from screening to screening.
But what truly struck me about the festival was the diverse audience FLEFF attracted. There were families, students, film makers, professors, new media artists, senior citizens that were all of different backgrounds gathered in one place, offering different perspectives on controversial topics.
I was fortunate to experience this first hand at the viewing of Our New President on Friday night. The film was controversial in nature, focusing on the Russian response and coverage of the 2016 election.
The audience was filled with people of all ages. Throughout the film, there were unsure laughs and gasps. Those in the audience tended to have a shocked expression on their faces for the majority of the film.
The conversation that took place is what came most shocking to me. I thought the direction of the conversation would head towards the role of the Russia in the Election. Instead, it brought up the issue surrounding what media outlets can be trusted and talked about how a form of this corruption exists within American media outlets.
I accredit the diversity and powerful dialogue to the location of FLEFF. In the book, Film Festivals: Culture, People, and Power on the Global Screen by Cindy Hing-Yuk Wong, Wong emphasized the importance of the geographic location of the festival.
Ithaca has an incredibly diverse population and is located in between two college campuses. The allure of Ithaca’s population and beautiful environment makes it the most ideal place to host an Environmental Film Festival.
Overall, my experience of FLEFF week and all the planning leading up to was nothing short of amazing. I am grateful for all I have learned over the last three months and that I was able to be part of this year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. I am eagerly awaiting to learn of ways that allow me to participate next year!