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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 Alexis Lanza at 1:50PM
Dr. Virginia Mansfield- Richardson

Blogging Post by Alexis Lanza, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Enfield, CT

I have never seen a more relaxing office. Taiwan- inspired tapestries, plants, and dragons cover the tops of the furniture. Soft, brown armchairs welcome me to the window, where a decorative cherry tree sits. Its pink- budded limbs obscure the gray cloud that has perpetually encased Ithaca College this winter.


Tucked away in the corner by her blue “zen fountain,” sits Dr. Virginia Mansfield- Richardson, Associate Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Running water trickles constantly in the background of our conversation about FLEFF.


Q: Can you elaborate on your involvement with registration and courses for FLEFF?
A: Once FLEFF came into the Park School, Dr. Zimmermann approached me and asked, 'What should we do?' And I said, 'Let's just put it under GCOM,' which stands for General Communications, 'and that can be its home.' I do the work that an associate dean would do; set course numbers up, opening up seats to students, and sending out the emails. So that's how I got involved in it, and I was quite frankly thrilled to be able to help out. For the mini courses that are offered, we put in 'FLEFF' followed by the title of the course so when students are searching, they can find the FLEFF courses easily. I enjoy doing it; it's my way of helping and making sure things get up smoothly.


Q: Do the mini-courses fill up quickly? Are they very popular?
A: The broad answer to that is yes, they're popular. The marketing of the whole FLEFF festival and the amount of work that has gone into it and helped it grow over the years, the amount of expertise that Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Shevory bring to it is marvelous.


Q: How are students made aware?
A: We put an announcement in Park News, the Intercom, and I believe there are posters up.


Q: How long have you been involved with FLEFF?
A: Indirectly since it started, but very involved in the past 3 or 4 years. My schedule is very full, but I do keep my eye on it all, and I read anything that comes out on it. I wish I had more time to go to it all.


Q: In your opinion, what is the best part about FLEFF?
A: I'll tell you my honest answer to that. I think the best part about FLEFF is the people who run it. FLEFF is so successful because we've got Dr. Zimmermann, Dr. Shevory, and Dr. Saunders really, really driving the train. And it is because of all that energy and expertise that it is known as broadly and widely as it is. I know just how much they put into it. I know how hard they work to make it what it is. Because of this, everything else that is the best part of the festival, happens. Ultimately, the best part about the festival is what the students and the community get out of it, but to me their expertise is what makes all the other successes happen. And I just can't say that enough. I have such respect for them and everyone else who are behind the scenes.


Q. What does this year's theme, dissonance, mean to you?
A: I look at it from angles of international, politics, social layers and interconnections within society and cultures. I think about the role of dissonance in political movements but I also think of it in an artistic sense, too— how you bring that about and really leave an impact on people. I think a great film changes a person's life forever. But it can change the course of a lot of lives by shaking things up, making things uncomfortable, and making sure that various voices get heard.



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