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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 Haley Stearns at 9:22PM   |  3 comments
Dean Roberts

Blog post written by Haley Stearns, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts ’15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York

Bryan Roberts is the Associate Dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. I had the privilege of asking him a few questions about his thoughts on FLEFF this past week.

Q: How long have you worked at Ithaca College?

A: I’ve been here for about three years and a month.

Q: What are some of your interests and hobbies?

A: Well I’m the parent of a soon-to-be three-year-old, so not screwing her up is one of my hobbies. I work for the Michael J. Fox foundation, so that’s another hobby of mine, curing Parkinson’s. And then the Mets, unfortunately.

Q: How many years have you attended FLEFF?

A: This will be my second year because when I first got hired, you know, it just wasn’t on my radar. But I was super impressed. The caliber of students, faculty, artists, filmmakers involved, we’re so lucky to have it, so that’s great.

Q: How do you think FLEFF enriches student’s perceptions and college experience?

A: Well that’s the promise and the challenge of FLEFF, right? We have to integrate it into everything we do. And I think Patty is really good about that. I think it helps introduce new ideas from different people, from different countries, from different perspectives, it shows that you can be hands on in the field without every building something or editing something. And I think that’s what the advantage is. It forces us to think about – not what’s going to be a hit – but what is challenging what we believe? And I think FLEFF does that.

Q: Do you have a favorite aspect of FLEFF?

A: You know since it was my first year last year, I don’t know enough. But I like the disparate ideas that come of it. For someone like me who is a media researcher, I’m not exposed to this type of art or movie making, so it’s eye opening. Because I value new ideas but I’m too lazy to find them on my own.

Q: Do you have any advice that you would give to a first time festival goer?

A: Just try to experience everything. Part of the real value, too, is hearing from the filmmaker or artist or writer and really listening instead of talking, which I think is probably good practice for anyone in academia.

Q: If you had to give someone three reasons to attend FLEFF, what would they be?

A: It’s unique to Ithaca, and we’re lucky to have it at IC. I mean, what college has this? The second reason, I would say, is that it’s local. It’s right around the corner. We don’t have to go down to NYC or Greenwich, but the quality of work is that of an international film festival in Ithaca, New York. And the third reason is that you get to see your faculty in jeans.

Q: What do you think about this years theme of dissonance?

A: Well I think consonance is boring, and that’s what you strive for as a student, you don’t like cognitive dissonance, you like things making sense. I guess I relate it to politics – I don’t know what I really believe until you challenge me on it. If you agree with everything I say then I don’t fully form arguments. So dissonance is at the heart, in many ways, of academic and intellectual thought.


I appreciate Bryan Roberts's description of FLEFF as a "promise and challenge". Even on the level of working for FLEFF as a blogger, I feel that we have a certain motto to live up to. There is a high expectation from the film festival world that FLEFF needs to deliver. I am excited for the opportunity for us to be a part of making this happen.

great awesome article

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