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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 Mira Moreau at 11:10PM
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Written by Mira Moreau, Cinema & Photography '21, Wayne, Maine 

There were three layers to my FLEFF experience.


First, I appreciated the works. Then, I appreciated the people. Finally, I appreciated the festival itself.

Wednesday morning I attended a master class taught by filmmaker Pawel Wojtasik. Pawel gave a shot-by-shot breakdown of his film Dark Sun Squeeze, which documents human waste in a sewage treatment facility.

At first, I appreciated the work because it was edgy, strange, and, despite the synopsis, quite beautiful.

Then, Pawel spoke about how he chose to make a film on human waste because he wanted to interrogate his prejudice against it. His clear motivation, combined with his intentional choice of words and well-made blue button-down shirt made me appreciate Pawel as a person.

Finally, I appreciated how I had the opportunity to watch Pawel’s work and hear him speak because FLEFF is programmed to inspire the discussion of new ideas.

Over and over again I had similar experiences. During a FLEFF Lab Friday session, a Diversity Fellow asked a group of featured artists how they keep decolonization in mind as they make their work. Filmmaker Arshad Khan said he decolonizes by consuming media from various sources in order to examine the world through different perspectives.


Hearing this, I thought about how I rarely consume media that contradicts my preexisting ideas. Because of that, I’m only examining a small sliver of the world.

FLEFF exposed me to fascinating art and incendiary people. The festival platform allowed me into conversations that disrupted the way I think. What makes FLEFF powerful to me is that all of these parts work together in order to make the “festival experience,” where my curiosity is constantly peaked by something new.

Once again, FLEFF week has been my favorite week of the year. 2020 can’t come fast enough.


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