FLEFF Intern Stories


Neli Gacheva '14

Neli Gacheva, FLEFF Intern Alumna


Television-Radio, concentration in International Communications
Class of 2014
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Throughout my life I constantly pass through checkpoints: Checkpoint. Bulgaria-Germany. Checkpoint. Germany-USA. Checkpoint.

“Checkpoints” was also the 2011 theme for The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.

People have often asked me why I came to study at Ithaca, all the way from Bulgaria. While there were many factors, the biggest influence was FLEFF. While scrolling through the Ithaca College website, I accidentally clicked on the FLEFF page. I started reading the blogs and was inspired. I had always wanted to attend a film festival like FLEFF, but never had I imagined that I would actually be able to be an intern at such an event.

FLEFF exceeded my expectations.

In the beginning of the spring semester, our group of student interns gathered in Ithaca College’s Business School, discussing the festival world and meeting professionals from across the industry to prepare us for the festival week.

Within the blink of an eye, three months of training had passed and the festival was just around the corner.

There are no words to describe the inspiration that was floating in the air. During the day, you saw the guests around campus attending various events and meeting with students. At night, the non-profit art cinema downtown, Cinemapolis, became the home of films that had travelled across the world.

I felt like I was in my own personal heaven: I was giving out flyers to people and cutting stickers, but I was also meeting directors, making them feel comfortable and socializing with students from various countries and states.
FLEFF creates a multicultural environment and exposes you to so many different cultures, people, and habits. It broadened my horizons and made me realize how much I actually wanted to be a part of that world.

There is one thing I know for sure –once I’ve been a FLEFF-er I will always be a FLEFF-er.