Environmental film festival returns to town this week

The 19th annual Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) will bring a weeklong series of film screenings, performances, presentations and discussions to Ithaca from March 28 to April 3. Focused on the theme of “Landscapes,” the events will take place on the Ithaca College campus and downtown at Cinemapolis, 120 E. Green St.
 
Landscapes shape culture and character. They can be material and immaterial, built and imagined: the mountains and deserts of the American west, the vacant lots and high rises of the city, the digital environments of “Star Wars,” Minecraft and Facebook. All such landscapes will be explored in a multiplicity of ways during the festival.
 
All of the FLEFF events are open to the public. Those taking place on campus are free, while those at Cinemapolis will require tickets. Festival passes (good for five films) are $40 for adults and $20 for students.
 
Among the highlights this year:
“Switching Lenses: Art, Life and the Laboratory” at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 28, in Clark Lounge, Egbert Hall. Paul Vanouse, director of the brand new Coalesce Center for Biologic Art at the University of Buffalo, will address how conceptual art, land art, eco art, etc., paves the way for bio-art.
 
“FLEFF Forum” from 3–6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28, in Park Hall Auditorium. Roundtable discussions and an exchange of ideas exploring the Landscapes theme hosted by 30 faculty members from every school at IC.
 
“Landscapes, Celestial and Terrestrial” at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, in Hockett Family Recital Hall, Whalen Center. A multimedia concert with a large group of musicians, singers, dancers and producers performing music ranging from Gustav Holst and Cole Porter to Lennon/McCartney and Tamil folk songs.
 
“Landscapes of Memory: Belonging, Unbelonging” on Wednesday, March 30, at 6 p.m. in Handwerker Gallery. Raza Rumi, Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College, will read from his memoir in progress. An author, journalist and public policy analyst, Rumi is an outspoken critic of extremism and fled his native Pakistan following a 2014 assassination attempt.
 
“FLEFF Lab Friday,” a day of dialogue and conversation with festival guests, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Clark Lounge, Egbert Hall; and 4 to 6 p.m. in Park Hall Auditorium. Moderated discussions on such topics as Open Space Landscapes, Environmental and Geographic Landscapes, The Political Landscapes of Cinema, and Media and Arts Landscapes, concluding with the annual How to Get Your Break Panel.
 
Distinguished Alumni in Residence, with three returning graduates taking part in screenings and discussions: Jon Nealon ’93, who will show his new documentary “Here Come the Videofreex,” about the renegade videojournalism collective; Billy Hall ’84, former programming executive at TNT, TBS, FX and the African American-oriented network Bounce TV; and Rodrigo Brandao ’01, vice president of marketing and publicity for Kino Lorber, a distributor of international art films, who will take part in the Latin American Film Showcase.
 
Thirty films from around the globe will be screened at Cinemapolis, with directors, producers and distributors on hand to take part in moderated discussions.
 
A detailed schedule and description of events and participants is available at www.ithaca.edu/fleff.
 
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.