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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 Lindsay Harrop at 9:35PM   |  2 comments
Erin Tustin photograph

Blog post written by Lindsay Harrop, Cinema & Photography '13, FLEFF Intern, McMinnville, Oregon

Erin Tustin graduated from Ithaca College in 2008. She now works at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) in Massachusetts as a photographer. The NEDCC is a nonprofit, regional conservation center that works to preserve paper, books and photographic objects.

"It's not about replacing the original with digital format but more about access," says Erin. "A lot of clients - historical societies, museums, universities - will use the files for an online archive that researchers all over the world can use. All of this also benefits the original artifact because it won't need to be handled as much and it will last a lot longer."

Erin interned with FLEFF as a senior at Ithaca College. I asked her how her experience with the festival has played into her work as a preservationist:

"FLEFF was a great experience and similar to my current work in a few ways. I'm not a curator but I work with a lot of curators who are trying to figure out the best way to present their information to the public, and that is part of our process of problem solving. A festival is the same, you have to look at the films and presenters you have and find the best way to program it all to make sense, based on each individual film but also on a greater theme. And I think the major themes of FLEFF and my job are essentially the same - access!

Watching films and meeting filmmakers and going to presentations is a great way to hone your 'detail oriented' skills which are important in my job. FLEFF offers a lot of opportunities for elbow rubbing and question-asking. You start to watch the films and think, 'What are the best questions to ask?' and 'How does this relate to the overall themes?' 'How does it relate to the other work I've seen?' These are all basic critical thinking skills you might not even realize you are developing under the guise of enjoying being a part of a festival!"

Erin is also one of the filmmakers behind Alive and Well and Kicking, a feature-length documentary about a paranormal magazine publisher in the midwest.


What a wonderful way to catch up with one of those fabulous former FLEFF interns, and to hear what interesting work she is doing. Erin, we miss you back here! Come back sometime for FLEFF, and...thanks for staying in the FLEFF community.

Thanks Patty!

I have the film-theory bug even just watching FLEFF from afar. I just read a great article about how to watch a documentary that touches on some of the questions I mentioned in this interview, it even mentioned the great Bill Nichols book.

I wrote about it and my own experience editing documentary on my blog

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