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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, April 12, 2019
When my week started with the lecture by WITNESS, I knew the disruptions would be plentiful. So I welcomed them.
At that presentation, a completely full lecture hall discovered effective and safe ways to document abuses by authority. We saw firsthand footage of the injustices WITNESS trainees have captured and learned how to become better citizens of the world, should we find ourselves in this kind of situation.
Another on-campus highlight includes the Disruptions Concert on Tuesday evening, where opera singers performed in front of breathtaking digital artwork and in conjunction with a slam poet, the Ithaca College Women’s Chorale and many other artists. The concert was moving and unique, an eclectic collection of performances never been imagined together before.
In addition to the on-campus events, Cinemapolis had a wide range of film screenings. From nonfiction documentaries with no dialogue to high energy foreign musicals, there was a film for everybody.
Over the week at Cinemapolis, I met and talked to so many people. Talking to students, Ithaca locals, and out-of-town visitors introduced me to a more immersive form of viewing film.
Rather than sitting alone in a dark room then immediately leaving like the ordinary theater experience, FLEFF invites us to stay seated as the lights come up and talk to those around us. One film that had a particularly strong audience reaction was Swing Kids, a South Korean musical set during the Korean War. The film's shocking ending left the audience rattled and inspired to ponder its strong statement together.
While most stay for these discussions, it wasn’t uncommon to see people politely make their way down the narrow rows of seats before sneaking across the theater for another screening.
Whether it be a moderated discussion by experts or the filmmakers themselves, the after-screening discussions were always engaging and thought-provoking.
To say FLEFF was a whirlwind would be an incredible understatement. Between lectures, masterclasses and screenings at Cinemapolis, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, frantically trying to cram as much as I could into the short seven days.
All in all, I had a very successful FLEFF week. I saw a collection of diverse and inspiring films and got to listen to so many people talk about their passions that I feel like I learned so much. My experiences over the last week will inspire me to consider the disruptions in my life but more importantly, it inspired me to create disruptions as I move forward in my life.