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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 Peter Keahey at 8:50PM
image of Peter Rothbart

Blog posting written by Peter Keahey, Film, Photography and Visual Arts, '12, FLEFF Intern, Yellow Springs, Ohio

I was able to have a discussion with Ithaca College professor Peter Rothbart. Professor Rothbart teaches Jewish studies, music theory, and history & comparison. He has served as a programming consultant for FLEFF in the past, and this year he is teaching a FLEFF mini-course titled, "Cultural Ecology," which explores how different social elements influence environment.

Peter: When did you first become involved with FLEFF?

Rothbart: The first or second year it was at IC.

Peter: Why did you become involved with FLEFF?

Rothbart: I had an interest in film and sound and it was an interesting thing to bring environmental awareness through film and sound.

Peter: What are you're responsibilities as programming consultant?

Rothbart: I wrote a FLEFF mini-course Cultural Ecology. I also previously worked on sound production around environmental issues.

Peter: How did you develop your mini-course Cultural Ecology?

Rothbart: I went back to United Nations’ idea of ecology: an interaction of different elements that create a society or environment. As a musician, I focused on the interaction of different cultures and how new artistic cultures form, including what new aspects are created and what old aspects are lost. It applies the idea ecology to a cultural, anthropological perspective through the arts.

Peter: What aspects of music and sound do you bring to FLEFF?

Rothbart: I talk about music, soundscapes and how they are used to reflect culture and evolution and how sound changes or effects my students’ listening, studying, and thinking habits.

Peter: Are you involved in the silent screenings and live musical bands?

Rothbart: No, I did some of that a couple years ago, but not now.

Peter: What knowledge do you want students to take away from your mini-course?

Rothbart: An awareness of who they are, where they came from, and how artistic influences from different cultures have helped shape their history and their current habits.

Peter: How were you involved as an advisory board member?

Rothbart: We thought about what kinds of movies we wanted to bring, what direction we wanted to go, and what kinds of courses we wanted to offer.

Peter: What does FLEFF contribute to the Ithaca community?

Rothbart: It deepens the cultural experience of film-going, beyond entertainment, to edutainment. It makes people more aware of the environment on many different levels

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