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Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Announces Winners of 'Make Open Space'

ITHACA, NY — Philadelphia-based videographer Garry Hanna won first place in “Make Open Space,” one of three social media contests sponsored by Ithaca College’s Finger Lakes Environment Film Festival (FLEFF). The judging panel of three prominent international experts also named entries by Alix Belleville (USA) and Ethan May (USA) for honorable mention.

A component of FLEFF 2009–10’s yearlong rollout of blogs, screenings and online user-generated events, “Make Open Space” offered participants from around the globe the opportunity to remix the 2010 FLEFF artwork into a short trailer that explores “open space,” FLEFF’s 2009–10 program stream. All winners received cash prizes.

Hanna’s winning entry is entitled “Amoeba.” A videographer/editor in Philadelphia, Hanna holds a B.F.A. in film from the University of the Arts and currently specializes in event and corporate videos.

“Since I’m interested in getting more into animation and creative works, I saw this contest as an opportunity to depart from more business-like video work,” Hanna said. “I got the idea for ‘Amoeba’ from watching a lot of space videos about relativity, string theory, and how big the universe is. I thought: To the universe, we must be microscopic and insignificant, yet we imagine empty skies and distant dots as constellations to find the new world and stand in awe of a big, yet empty, open space. I then thought: As we’re microscopic to the galaxies, what’s microscopic to us, such as amoebas, must be in awe of the world we take for granted.”

“Amoeba” may be viewed at

The honorable mention awardees are:

  • Alix Belleville for “Infinite: Open Spaces.”
  • A junior in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts in Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, she is majoring in cinema production. A native of Boston, Belleville has worked as a production assistant on numerous Hollywood and independent films. She plans to work as a production designer in Los Angeles after graduation. “Infinite: Open Spaces” may be viewed at
  • Ethan May for “Open Space Enlarge.”
  • A sophomore in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts, he is enrolled in the BFA Film, Photography, and Visual Arts program. A native of Amherst, New Hampshire, May plans to be a film writer and director. “Open Space Enlarge” may be viewed at

Judges of “Make Open Space” were film festival curator Georgekutty Luckose (India), new media artist Stephanie Rothenberg (USA) and Kino Lorber publicist Rodrigo Brandão (Brazil/USA).

Luckose is the founder and editor of “Deep Focus Film Quarterly” and the secretary of the Bangalore Film Society. As the founder and director of “Voices from the Waters,” an international traveling film festival, he coordinates numerous film festivals, including the Breakthrough Tricontinental Film Festival and the Human Rights in Frames in Bangalore. In 2004, he served on the selection committee of the Mumbai International Film Festival.

Rothenberg is a new media artist who works at the intersection of art and technology and questions the boundaries and social constructs of manufactured desires. She has lectured and exhibited at numerous venues, including the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the 2004 Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts in Helsinki and Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Art. Her recent awards include the 2007 Eyebeam Atelier artist in residence in New York City and the SUNY Buffalo 2020 Scholars Award.

Brandão is the director of publicity at Kino Lorber, a distributor of international art films. In “Latin American Spaces” — one of FLEFF’s 13 blogs available at — Brandão profiles and discusses works by select artists who are producing challenging and politically progressive pieces, with a focus on film, politics, installation art, the internet and new/digital media. While a student at Ithaca College in the 1990s, he majored in cinema and photography and art history.

For more information on “Make Open Space” and FLEFF 2009–10, visit Major funding for FLEFF Open Space 2009–10 has been provided by Ithaca College’s Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies and the Park Foundation.

Launched in 1997, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was an outreach project from the Center for the Environment at Cornell University. In 2005 the festival moved permanently to Ithaca College, where it is housed in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies as a program to link intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues.

Originally published in IC News: Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Announces Winners of 'Make Open Space'.