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Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival is Once Again a Weeklong Gathering

ITHACA, NY — After last year’s year-long rollout of blogs, screenings and online user-generated events, Ithaca College’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival will return to its traditional, weeklong format of forums, music performances, films, for-credit labs, panel discussions, meet-ups and multimedia events. Centered on the theme of “Checkpoints,” FLEFF 2011 will open on Sunday, April 10, and run through Sunday, April 17.

The events will take place on the Ithaca College campus, Cinemapolis, Delilah’s restaurant, Buffalo Street Books and Cornell University. All events on the Ithaca College campus are free and open to the public. The screenings taking place downtown at Cinemapolis will require admission fees.

“Checkpoints evoke crossing over to a different physical, artistic, social, political, psychic, emotional or intellectual place,” said Patricia Zimmermann, a codirector of FLEFF. “In the 1940s, the aviation industry instituted the term checkpoint to denote checking altitude in comparison to landforms or structures. Checkpoints functioned as reference points, markers, navigational aids.”

“Later, its geographical significance expanded,” added Tom Shevory, also codirector of FLEFF. “Included were Checkpoint Charlie, the West Bank, the United States and México, Baghdad, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

In addition, there are transaction checkpoints that recover data in computer systems. A gamer who dies can restart by way of a checkpoint. Biological checkpoints block cell division and stave off cancer. Checkpoints also mark environmental turning points such as global temperature gradients that signify flooding and heat waves. Weigh stations, police road blocks and security checkpoints at airports mark a fine line between safety and surveillance.

FLEFF 2011 will feature more than 50 guests, 75 screenings, concerts, panels, meet-ups, symposia, workshops and 62 screenings at Cinemapolis, as well as labs, readings and live music. Festival highlights are listed below.

A complete list of topics, featured guests and events is available at

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.

For more information, contact Patricia Zimmermann at or Tom Shevory at


  • “Festival Opening Night Concert with Multimedia,” Monday, April 11, 8:15 p.m., Hockett Family Recital Hall, James J. Whalen Center for Music. The concert will feature Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” for two pianos and Mahler’s “Ruckert Lieder,” featuring Ithaca College faculty vocalist Brad Hougham and pianists Jario Geronymo and Deborah Martin.
  • Live music performed by Blue Sky Mission Club (zydeco and soulgrass), Evil City String Band (country), Free Boody Institute (funk, soul and R&B), The Grady Girls (jigs, reels, polkas and other traditional dance tunes), Gene McDaniels (popular, soul and jazz) and Solstice (R&B, funk, reggae and soul).
  • Electric guitarist Robby Aceto, musician and composer Peter Dodge, songwriter and composer Fe Nun, jazz pianist and composer John Stetch and cellist Chris White will also make appearances performing live for silent film.


  • Laura Deutch, a Philadelphia-based media artist and educator, who uses media as a tool for social justice, creative expression and community organizing
  • Conceptual and new media artist Renate Ferro, who teaches at Cornell University and whose installations have appeared in galleries in Berlin, Hungary, New York and other venues
  • Philip Mallory Jones, who has worked with video, film and photography since 1969 and since 1990 has incorporated digital media into his work
  • Composer and media artist Megan Roberts and sculptor and media artist Raymond Ghirardo, who have collaborated in video, sound sculpture, installation and performance for more than 31 years

Friday, April 15, 4–5:30 p.m., Williams 225
“How to Get Your Break,” a panel discussion on breaking into the film industry, moderated by Steve Gordon, assistant professor of television and radio, and featuring international film distributor Rodrigo Brandao, casting director Rodrigo Bellott, screenwriter and director Tina Mabry, and film producer Karin Chien, president and founder of dGenerate Films.

Saturday, April 16, noon, Cinemapolis
“Feature Film Editing Workshop” with Tim Swartwout, feature and documentary film editor whose work includes Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”

The following directors and producers will appear at the Cinemapolis screenings of their films to conduct post-screening discussions: Rodrigo Bellott, David Brancaccio, Karin Chien, Helen de Michiel, James LaVeck, Jeremy Levine, Franklin Lopez, Tina Mabry, Danny Schechter, Arthur Smith and Jenny Stein.

A complete list of the 62 Cinemapolis screenings, along with all FLEFF events, is available at