FLEFF Intern Stories


Gena Mangiaratti '13

Gena Mangiaratti,  FLEFF Intern Alumna

Class of 2013
Feeding Hills, MA

I became interested in the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival as a second-year journalism student, who was finding herself becoming heavily influenced by independent media, particularly that which dealt with topics of human rights and social justice.

Since my medium is mainly words, I decided to intern for FLEFF to see how the topics I like to write about are covered through film.

One of the highlights of the festival for me was IC alum Jeremy Levine's Good Fortune, a courageous documentary that showed how humanitarian efforts from the West can be damaging to the very people they are trying to help.

Another highlight was meeting the writer Irakli Kakabadze after hearing him read a poem at Buffalo Street Books. Kakabadze is an exiled writer from the Republic of Georgia, where he was part of both the movement for liberation from Soviet rule and the Rose Revolution. It was very rewarding — both as a journalist and on a personal level — to be able to speak with him about his work for the FLEFF intern blog.

Being a blogger for FLEFF was a fulfilling experience on its own.

As bloggers we had the freedom to share our reactions to the festival, and therefore I was challenged to improve my ability to quickly articulate my thoughts. In the process, I was able to build confidence in speaking my mind — something I hadn't been very used to doing as a writer.

I am now a junior and continue to be drawn to independent media.

I am grateful that my experience with FLEFF was able to expand my understanding of how information can be communicated and ideas spread.