About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Blogging Post by Alexis Lanza, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Enfield, CT
I joined the FLEFF blogging team not knowing what to expect. All I knew was I wanted to learn and I wanted to write about it. My job is a blogger. I am a number; part of a group that is part of a larger group. We are the festival team.
The theme is dissonance. It's all we've been talking about for weeks. Every time I interview someone, I ask, “What does dissonance mean to you?” because every person has a different answer.
I have learned that festivals are a place for thought, discussion, and ideas to mass together in the same pot. I am excited for this. I think FLEFF is fascinating and every person who I have talked to has been completely different. It's a giant pot of soup with ingredients and flavors that somehow meld together to create an unexpectedly pleasant, bold, and unforgettable flavor. By result of some happy circumstance, I have been able to talk with people who offered an insight on something that directly correlated with my life: a concept I learned in class the day before that made me question my opinions, an idea I was on the fence about, or perhaps something that has been floating in the gray matter of my brain for awhile now.
I was given the privilege to speak with Karen Rodriguez, Upstate Filmmakers Showcase Curator, who talked with me about her experiences in the Pacific Northwest and experimental film. Hearing her story was the encouragement I needed to solidify my desire to move to Seattle and pursue what life has to offer me there. My blogging team also had the pleasure of Skyping with Leila Nadir, co-founder of ecoarttech (and her dogs!). Leila talked with us about the environment, nature, and her work. For that whole week, I had been subject to discussion along similar veins, focusing mainly on the National Parks, in my Environmental Anthropology class. I had been visibly struggling as these ideas threatened to irrevocably destroy everything that was important to me in my life before I questioned these topics. Without even realizing it, Leila put my mind at ease and helped me to see, as she put it, that nature “exists, but it's constructed.”
Dissonance. Throwing a wrench into the mix. I experience this every day. Although a contributor to opening my mind, thus far FLEFF has also been a way for me to calm the dissonances in my life and in that way fully grasp the lessons the world is trying to teach me. These two examples embody the feelings I have been experiencing as a blogger for FLEFF the past couple months. I am a little tentative— but mostly excited— for the festival week, when every day will be these experiences one after another. I am open and ready to question the world.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Blog posting written by Timna Mayer, Violin Performance,'15, FLEFF blogger, Salzburg, Austria
My name is Timna Mayer. Yes, it’s Tim-na (people usually have trouble understanding my name so I’m just making sure). Anyway, I’m Timna and I come from Salzburg, Austria. Austria is the tiny country right next to Germany (just in case you were wondering). I came here to Ithaca about 1.5 years ago, with only one suitcase and a violin.
I left my home, because, even though Austria is a wonderful country, I had always been feeling as if I didn’t quite fit in- into the bigger picture; a bigger picture drawn precisely, in simple colors (not too bright) and planned out into its greatest detail. I had always been spontaneous, a bit dramatic (as my parents would say) and, most of all, driven by the idea of living a life as a free artist (call me an idealist!).
Born in Austria, the glory land of mountains and Dirndl-dresses, there was no place for an alternative musician like me- with terrible yodeling skills and a natural disinterest for Mozart. I was, as you will, the part of the picture where the artist accidently sneezed or spilled color- a part in blurred lines that was unplanned. In my world, the world of music, they’d call me a dissonance.
So there I was, a dissonance in a perfect Mozart piece, and after 23 years of searching for release, I finally decided to get on my feet and make a change. At a slapping pace, I left everything I knew, packed my life into a suitcase and got on a plane. Aiming for something greater or, without setting my expectations too high, at least something different.
For those who know Ithaca, the fact that I ended up here shouldn’t be a surprise. Ithaca: home for people of any kind and hot spot for artists, intellectuals and hedonists; a place with a sweet aftertaste of homelike idyll.
It didn’t take me a long time to find myself a home and a place to study. Ithaca College welcomed me with open arms, with a sense of personal warmth I had never experienced before. In Ithaca, and at Ithaca College, I immediately felt as if I had finally arrived; as if I had finally found a place that wouldn’t only allow me to be me, but would also help me embrace it.
No one has ever told me how to live my dreams. There’s no recipe for it and no manual. I’ve surely heard stories of princesses being rescued by a prince in shining armor, but I never thought it could happen to me. It sounds cliché when people come to America and talk about the “American dream”, but it happens- at least sometimes. At least it happened to me. My dream came true; I could finally be me.
Today, 1.5 years after my arrival, I can say that Ithaca and the people here have changed me; they have changed me in so many ways. It was here that I grew up, found my voice as a violinist and was culturally and intellectually encouraged on my way to becoming a professional musician. I performed countless concerts, I was taught and supported by highly qualified professors and I was engaged in many astounding cultural events such as the FLEFF film festival.
When I was younger, my mom used to tell me “When you find something good- share it”. After “finding” Ithaca, I felt the strong need to share my luck and what I know about this wonderful place. I wanted to become an active part of this city.
During my first semester at Ithaca College, I stumbled on a class called FLEFF Festivals: Politics and Practices in Creative Industries. Even though this class had nothing to do with my major (violin performance), I was fascinated by the idea of being part of such an important event for our college and city. But not only that, because I grew up in Europe where film festivals are highly celebrated for representing nations, I also saw this film class as an opportunity for me to finally be involved; involved in getting this city “out there”.
One year later, after experiencing FLEFF 2013, I can say that participating in this festival was one of the best decisions I have made. Only in Ithaca can a student like me get the chance to experience all kinds of cultural features this city has to offer, in only one week (and there are plenty, trust me!). Film screenings, concerts, international guest speakers, flash mobs, intercultural exchange, etc. I knew from the start: This festival is Ithaca, the way I love and appreciate it.
After participating in this event for the first time, I was sure there was no better way for me to share my fascination with Ithaca than by being part of FLEFF. Ithaca has given me so much more than I expected and I want to share this experience by representing this place in the best possible way. I want to give more people the chance to experience what I’ve experienced and to become as happy with Ithaca as I am.
My name is Timna Mayer and I’m proud to say that I’m here now, representing Ithaca as a blogger for the FLEFF festival 2014.
My team and I welcome you to Ithaca, our home.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts ’13, FLEFF Intern, Elkridge, MD
I’m not the only person coming back to FLEFF this year!
Evan Meaney is a professor of transmedia design at the University of Tennessee. And, he is both an Ithaca College graduate and FLEFF alum. He will be returning this year due to his involvement with Null_Sets, winner of the Distributed Microtopias jury prize.
First, what is transmedia?
Meaney described transmedia as the communication of ideas through different forms. It has a lot to do with everything. It includes the science behind the work, the math in the program, and anything else that may be involved.
An interesting definition. Now, what is the big deal with Null_Sets?
He said that people are obsessed with ordered sets. Which makes sense, we like being able to understand information. But, this takes that data and converts it over to a new form (this time a jpeg image file). Now, we can look at and compare two things in a new way. Or we can simply look at the image created by a text file of Moby Dick and be intrigued with how pink is turned out.
And being familiar with the idea of FLEFF themes, Meaney has his own take on Mobilities.
Meaney was immediately reminded that there are so many systems in place to keep people from moving.
What immobilities can you think of?
Update: Profile: Amy Szczepanski written by Erica Moriarty. Stay tuned for a joint post on Null_Sets.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts ’13, FLEFF Intern, Elkridge, Maryland
Have you ever geotagged a photograph?
I do it all the time!
Some artists even do the opposite. Nate Larson and Marin Shindelman took photos to go with the location of the tweets that caption the photographs. Geolocation is an incredible “tribute to the data stream,” as they call it.
It calls into question the idea of place and movement.
Movement today is different. Smoother. Less physical. In one second we can receive a message from the other side of the world. We can actually be in another place in real time.
But, what does all this mean?
It means that we can go wherever we want at any time. We can go to Flickr and travel to a beach in Costa Rica. All from the comfort of our bedrooms. And, if you close the curtains, you may be able to forget that it is snowing here in Ithaca, NY.
Mobilities explores this idea. FLEFF brings people and ideas from all around the world to transport the attendees to all around the world. The Distributed Microtopias Exhibition brings together work from India, Ethiopia, the United States, Iraq, and plenty others. And that’s just one thing.
I hope I can make it to Latin America with a little help from FLEFF.
Where do you want to travel?
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Blog posting written by Chloe Wilson, Television-Radio '14, FLEFF Blogger, Ashland, Massachusetts.
My name is Chloe Wilson, and I'm excited to be back blogging with FLEFF for the second year in a row!
I'm a junior television-radio major with a concentration in scriptwriting. I also have a triple minor in history, legal studies, and the honors program.
I grew up in Ashland, Massachusetts - the original home of the Boston Marathon! I'm not athletic by any means, but I live close enough to the marathon route that I can walk outside of my house, set up a lawn chair, and cheer for all the marathoners running by.
Even though I grew up just outside of Boston, I'm a New Yorker at heart. I spent my last summer interning at Viacom in NYC while simultaneously working with a small non-profit. As much as I love media, I also love giving back to my community.
I consider the Ithaca area (and the surrounding Finger Lakes) my community. As a college student, I feel like I'm always mobile - travelling home for break, travelling to Syracuse to visit friends, travelling back to Ithaca for the new semester - and I'm excited to explore the idea of mobility in film and new media.
This year, FLEFF begins with a Kick-Off Screening on March 3rd. It's an Upstate Filmmakers showcase, featuring artists such as Carol Jennings, John Scott, and Jason Harrington. (Seeing as my birthday is March 2nd, it's like a belated present for me!)
The FLEFF schedule hasn't been announced yet, but I can't wait for the Kick-Off Screening. What are you excited about for this year's FLEFF?