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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 Elma Yedda Gonzalez at 11:51PM
Dr. Patricia Zimmermann, FLEFF director, introduces Cloud Chamber Orchestra to perform at a film screening in collaboration with Cornell Cinema. 1/28

Blog post written by Elma Gonzalez '14, FLEFF Blogger, Journalism, San Diego, CA.

In the past, FLEFF has explored themes that challenge the audience and encourage discussion of important social issues. This year is no different. The 2014 FLEFF theme, which is picked by festival directors, Dr. Patricia Zimmermann and Dr. Tom Shevory every year, is “Dissonance.”

The theme delves into the complexities that come with "difference." It highlights the disharmonious, cacophonous, and disruptive. Tiffani-Amber Muller, FLEFF assistant to the co-directors, describes it as an “all underlying” theme.

“It opens the door different kinds of films and different subjects,” she said. “Dissonance is such a great theme because it creates awkward tension it is all about clashing and the harmony not mixing. I know this one is going to be a good one.”

Though many of the well known international film festivals seem to stray away from focusing on a specific theme, FLEFF does not. Dr. Claudia Pederson, FLEFF assistant curator, explained via email themed festivals like FLEFF have been becoming more popular.

“[M]any festivals carve out specific foci, so along the more established festivals what you have today is a veritable explosion of 'themed' festivals around the world in a variety of formats. Some are static, some traveling, and some online.”

Providing a focus, she said, does not limit the intelligent dialogue festivals usually ignite.

"It is not so much used to circumscribe but to open up discussion. The idea is to disassemble the 'taken--granted', such that new thoughts and forms may emerge,” she said. “As a concept, Dissonance lends itself especially well to this idea if you approach it as both a reflection of our cultural condition and as a potential stimulus to change."

This year, we can expect a week of exciting films, discussions, and parties. It will be an opportunity  for students to immerse themselves in intellectual life outside the classroom, Pederson said.

"Watch the films, converse with directors, go to concerts with your friends, attend the workshops, and if you are so inclined, the parties,” she encourages. “Come prepared with questions and an open-mind. Think of it as an exchange between people passionate about ideas. That is your common ground."

Events leading up to the festival have already begun with a screening of Ladies of the Gridiron on January 16 and the screening of Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life with a live performance by the Cloud Chamber Orchestra in collaboration with Cornell Cinema. There are several upcoming events you should attend. Follow our blog to stay updated.

What does "dissonance" mean to you?

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