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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 Jackie Marusiak at 11:00PM
The Ascension of Yemoja by Nnebundo Obi

Blog post written by Jackie Marusiak, Documentary Studies and Production ‘21, FLEFF Intern.


Nnebundo Obi is no stranger to disruption.


Born in Nigeria, raised in Sweden, and completing high school in Long Island, New York, Obi experienced her adolescence in multiple countries and cultures. “You could say my life story is all about adjustment and getting thrown into situations I don’t expect,” she said.


Transitioning from school in Sweden to school in the United States challenged Obi. “Parts of me belong to the places I’ve been to and grown up in,” she said. Moving on to college, she craved an environment that fostered international experiences like she had in her childhood.


Obi studies at Ithaca College as a senior sociology major and art minor. This semester she is also a Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival blogging intern, like myself.


First entering IC as a exploratory student, Obi found sociology as a way to question society. In Obi’s definition,“sociology is the study of how society works to create order, maintain the status quo, and sometimes disrupt the status quo.”


Her art minor allows her to represent her thoughts visually, learning to portray her experiences to viewers as “specific but also universal.”


But Obi has also been “looking to be pulled outside” of what she’s focusing on in college. She noticed FLEFF her freshman year. She planned to attend a screening, but every year, something always prevented her from going.


So Obi thought “You know what? I’m going to do it better.” Her senior year, she shifted from merely wanting to watch a film to applying to the FLEFF blogging internship.


“I wanted to be able to experience the marriage between intellectual work with artistic inquiry and expression,” Obi explained. She uses her sociological research and knowledge to fuel artistic inspiration, but felt that her college career had become too segmented between intellectual and artistic efforts.


Learning about the film festival world and experimenting with blogging is teaching Obi a lot about herself. “I’m a very curious person. I think in a weird way sometimes I forget that. Through blogging I’ve had to think about a lot of different things. I’ve had to learn there’s a lot of things I don’t know and that’s okay.”

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