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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 Blaize Hall at 2:33PM

Blog post by Blaize Hall, Television-Radio, '15, Georgia, VT

I am brand new.  I am a sponge.  I am a first-time festival worker, first-time paraprofessional blogger, and first-time FLEFF worker.  I jumped into the FLEFF blogging team this semester with few concrete expectations.  I expected to write a lot.  I expected to absorb a mountain of new information.  I expected to engage in dialogue through interviews, reading discussions, and Q&A after films.  And I expected that it all would leave me with a lot to think about.

I’ve listed a few fast facts I’ve picked up along the way.

On Festivals

  • The first major film festival was held in Venice in 1932.
  • Film festivals are highly politicized and exist within delicate international relationships which affect what films are selected for certain festivals, and what films are banned.
  • Festivals draw audiences of people who crave ideological stimulation, from academics to activists to students.
  • The most important aspect of festivals is dialogue, a craft that is drastically changing in the internet age.  People are craving face-to-face reactions around hot topics, and festivals still provide that, while utilizing mediums that we value highly such as cinema, emerging media, and new technologies.
  • As “A list” festivals such as Sundance and Cannes evolve into events with ever more flare and “starlight”, audiences divide in search of smaller circuit festivals who include the most progressive of films.

On Blogging

  • Less is more.  A shorter blog with one, focused idea will be more relateable and readable than one that attempts to include too much in a long-form story.
  • Leave the vernacular at home.  Using exclamatory descriptions does not report anything of substance.  Highly descriptive reflections with new conclusions and insight will be of more worth.  
  • There is a fickle balance in using tags and links.  If they are appropriate and relevant, they can be tools for SEO (search engine optimization), and draw readers.  However, if they are misused, they can give your blog a bad name.

The experience of blogging for FLEFF thus far has whet my appetite for festivals.  It has made me realize the possibilities for personal growth through festival engagement.  I have invested in material I otherwise would not have, such as viewing Cloud Chamber Orchestra perform during a silent film.  I have read personal testimonies I never would have sought out, such as Gerald Peary’s “Memories of a Film Festival Addict” in the book Coming Soon To A Film Festival Near You.  I have had conversations I would not have had the opportunity for, such as the opportunity to pick John D. Scott’s brain in an interview for a profile.

All of these experiences, with the addition of a wealth of constructive criticism, have pushed me to improve not only practical skills of writing, but also to form connections across facets of my life between material in different jobs and coursework, and to form conclusions for myself.  This is invaluable. 

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