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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 Kristina DiNardi at 12:10PM

Blog posting written by Kris DiNardi, Writing for Film, Television and Emerging Media, ‘18, FLEFF Intern, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On a Friday night, most professors would be at home, but not Saviana Stanescu. From her office in the Dillingham Center at Ithaca College, she tirelessly works on her new project, with a working title called “The Others,” that is coming out in less than a month from now. The play will be shown at this year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.

Saviana Stanescu is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre Arts. She is an award-winning playwright and also a writer, poet, performer, journalist, curator, former talk show host and artivist from Romania — needless to say, she is a woman that wears many hats.

Even though Stanescu is well known in Romania, in 2001 she decided to take the opportunity offered through the Fulbright Scholar program to study in the United States at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. At NYU, Stanescu studied performance studies and dramatic writing.

After living in New York City for 11 years and teaching at NYU for almost 10 years, Stanescu came to the college in 2012. Since then, Stanescu has been heavily involved in creating activist art — also known as artivism.

In 2014, Stanescu’s short play “Hurt” was selected to be in The Best American Short Plays: 2012-2013 edition edited by William W. Demastes. When the college published the announcement, Stanescu was immediately approached by FLEFF to do a production for the 2015 festival.

Directed by fellow colleague Norman Johnston, an associate professor in theatre arts, “Hurt” was the first theatrical performance for FLEFF. The play “Hurt” is comprised of three intercut monologues that explore the dark depths of the characters’ minds through alienation, violence and immigration. Overall, “Hurt” was a success at Cinemapolis, drawing in a large crowd.

For this year’s FLEFF, Stanescu is collaborating with theatre arts students and faculty members for “The Others.”

Although her project is still in pre-production, it focuses on the micro and macro aggressions on campus, reflecting on the moments when someone thought that he or she is the underdog or “the other.”

“I have always been interested in underdogs, outcasts, people who are being marginalized, mistreated, misunderstood, discriminated against, on the edge...” Stanescu said, “So that has been a recurring theme in my work, and now, it is the time to respond to issues happening on campuses, to explore the topic of otherness for and with students.”

The project not only concentrates on issues on the college’s campus, but is also based off of news from other college campuses nationwide. Stanescu mentioned that the project will address subjects such as rape, sexual abuse, racial injustices and LGBT issues.

Before returning to her project, Stanescu said that the performances will shed light on “essential topics” that are not only important to Ithaca College students, but to all students and faculty on all college campuses.

The show will have performances before and during FLEFF from March 25–27 and April 1–3. More information about this event will be announced soon.

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