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Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) Will Be Represented At International Conference

ITHACA, NY — A dean and a faculty member will represent Ithaca College’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) at the Meeting of International Social Film Festivals in Bilbao, Spain, in February. Tanya Saunders, dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies (DIIS) and director of International Programs; and Warren Schlesinger, associate professor of accounting, will share their perspectives on the transformative power of film with hundreds of filmmakers, scholars and film authorities from Feb. 1 to 5. The event is sponsored by Kultura, Comunicación y Desarrollo (Culture, Communication and Development).

“Customarily, Tom Shevory and Patricia Zimmermann, the co-directors of FLEFF, would attend this event,” said Saunders. “But since they are out of the country on sabbatical, the honor of representing Ithaca College at this international meeting falls on Warren and me. We are looking forward to considering new areas of inquiry with talented faculty and experts from all over the world.”

Launched in 1997, FLEFF was originally an outreach project from the Center for the Environment at Cornell University. In 2005 the festival was moved permanently to Ithaca College and housed in DIIS, where it has been re-envisioned as a program linking intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues concerning sustainability.

“Since FLEFF is engaged with UNESCO’s encompassing definition of sustainability, the meeting in Spain will be a prime opportunity to share in serious discussions about the social, economic, ecological, technological and aesthetic approaches to sustainable living,” said Schlesinger, who coordinates a series of mini-courses offered in conjunction with FLEFF. He also oversees FLEFF’s Emerging Scholars of Color Fellowship Program, which allows doctoral students from across the United States to participate in the festival.

During its first 12 years, FLEFF had been held each spring as a weeklong presentation of films, concerts, discussions and presentations. This year, however, FLEFF began last September and will extend over nine months, featuring a succession of blogs, an Open Space Lab course for students, and other online, user-generated events under the program stream of “Open Spaces.” For more information and to participate, visit

Kultura, Comunicación y Desarrollo/Culture, Communication and Development (KCD) is a nongovernmental organization based in Bilbao. Its mission is to promote social and cultural communication as a mechanism for social change. KCD presents alternative and progressive information to counter the predominance of the monocultural model that destroys the diversity and legitimacy of national, social and cultural identities. KCD strengthens cultural identities and creates a socio-economic development model based on just and sustainable human development.

Originally published in News Releases: Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) Will Be Represented At International Conference.