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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 Melani Lopez at 5:26PM
making connections

Blog posting by Melani Lopez, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '17, FLEFF Blogger, Houston, TX


Sit. Watch. Repeat.

That is not active participation.

That is not the recipe for an enlightening experience.

That is not a film festival.

And that is not FLEFF.


Film festivals, FLEFF specifically, are about community and connection.


Instead of passively and silently sitting through films and events April 6th through 12th, FLEFF encourages communication. Dialogues between students, filmmakers, and community members are a necessity for the success of festivals everywhere. FLEFF wants you to engage and generate ideas and come out at the end of the week, not only with a new perception of the world around you, but also excited and ready for next year’s festival.


Where can you see international art films that are banned in a filmmaker’s home country? Simple, festivals such as FLEFF are a safe space for controversial films that have a subject matter meant to ignite a response. Rare access into the, sometimes ugly, realities of the world is given. Distribution of art and education are the goals and as a result censorship is nonexistent.


What if you can’t find time to go see a film or simply don’t see anything in the program that particularly strikes your interest? Well, FLEFF isn’t film. Films are a major part of the program, but this is a haven for artists and intellects alike. Art exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and new media projects are just a few of the other events planned during FLEFF week this year.


One year. That’s how long it takes to construct the festival successfully. Come April 12th, individuals will slink back into the shadows and start all over for next year, producing a theme, planning out marketing strategies, and booking films and events. FLEFF never stops.


While many people associate FLEFF with Ithaca College, or more specifically, the Roy H. Park School of Communications, I’m here to tell you, you’ve been lied to. FLEFF transcends any classroom, any school and EVERYONE is invited. Everyone’s perspective is welcome and, hopefully, with insightful contributions from those who choose to participate, ideas can gestate and work toward a more cultured and well-informed society. You can teach just as much as you can learn in a festival like FLEFF, but only if you fully immerse yourself into the experience.


Attend. Question. Speak.

Most of all: Participate.

That is the recipe for a proper festival experience.

That’s FLEFF. 


What are your thoughts on FLEFF being an outlet for controversial films and filmmakers?

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