FLEFF Expands and Goes Virtual

By Danica Fisher ’05, March 9, 2021
The 24th annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival will be 100% virtual this year.

This year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) will be held from March 22 April 11. The events will take place on Zoom and films will be screened through Cinemapolis’ Virtual Cinema platform. These three weeks will feature film screenings, talkbacks, master classes, presentations and discussions. 

FLEFF will explore the theme of “infiltrations” this year and offer: 

  • One international new media art exhibition; 
  • 15 conversations, panels and salons; 
  • 15 post-screening talkbacks; 
  • 21 film screenings; 
  • and 100+ activists, artists, film directors, makers, musicians and scholars. 

Attendees can watch films from anywhere at any time and are welcome to join the live sessions for discussion and exchange. All of the FLEFF events are open to the public. All presentations and talkbacks are free.    

Patricia Zimmermann, professor of screen studies, says that moving to a virtual environment has not only expanded the reach and scope, but also intensified the kinds of dialogues, panels and conversations FLEFF can offer. 

“This year, the festival has tripled in length, from one week to three, to adapt to this dynamic new virtual environment with so many new affordances,” said Zimmermann. “Most importantly, the need to go virtual has expanded FLEFF's brand as a festival dedicated to providing space for significant dialogues and exchanges about ideas that matter about environmental justice into a much larger global conversation.” 


Cinemapolis Virtual Cinema screenings will require tickets. Visit www.cinemapolis.org for detailed ticket information. 

Links to Zoom events are on the FLEFF website, while links to talkbacks on the film are on the FLEFF Cinemapolis site. Twenty-one films from around the globe will be screened at Cinemapolis, with directors, producers, archivists, scholars and distributors on hand to take part in moderated talkbacks. The films are from Argentina, China, Czech Republic, France, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, US, and Vietnam. Films are narrative, documentary, and experimental, and span feature-length to shorts programs. 

Launched in 1997 as an outreach project from Cornell University’s Center for the Environment, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was moved permanently to Ithaca College in 2005. It is housed in the Office of the Provost as a program to link intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues.  

Presenting sponsors of the 24th edition of FLEFF include the Park Foundation, The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, the Park Center for Independent Media, the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education at Ithaca College, UniFrance (France) The Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong, and Museo del Cine de Buenos Aires (Argentina).  

For more information, contact FLEFF co-directors Patricia Zimmermann at patty@ithaca.edu; or Tom Shevory at shevory@ithaca.edu