Patricia Zimmermann

Patricia Zimmermann

Professor, Media Arts, Sciences and Studies
Faculty, Culture and Communication
Faculty, Cinema and Photography
Faculty, Documentary Studies and Production

Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Begins Its Second Decade

ITHACA, NY—It’s spring—time for Ithaca College’s 2008 Finger Lakes Environment Film Festival (FLEFF). Opening on Monday, March 31, and running through Sunday, April 6, the 11th annual edition of FLEFF will offer a weeklong smorgasbord of forums, music, films and multimedia events aimed at rethinking and recreating our roles in our communities and our world.

“FLEFF embraces sustainability across all of its forms—economic, social, ecological, political, cultural, technological and aesthetic,” said Patricia Zimmermann, co-director of the festival and professor of cinema, photography and media arts. “The festival takes its inspiration from UNESCO’s initiative on sustainable development, which redefines and expands environmental issues to explore the international interconnections between war, disease, health, genocide, the land, water, air, food, education, technology, cultural heritage and diversity.”

This year’s festival will focus on four new content streams: Camouflage, Counterpoint, Games and Gastronomica. Under those categories fall a wide landscape of 150 presentations, including films from all over the world, digital art exhibitions, special festival minicourses, silent films with live music, installations, new media and community forums.

“Through all these presentations, the festival will engage interdisciplinary dialogue and vigorous debate,” said Tom Shevory, festival co-director and professor of politics. “It links the local with the global, and it showcases Ithaca College as a regional and national center for thinking differently—in new ways, interfaces and forms—about the environment and sustainability.”

Most of the events will take place on campus and are free and open to the public. In addition, there will be 25 feature-length film screenings at Cinemapolis and Fall Creek cinemas in downtown Ithaca that will require admission fees. Many of the downtown screenings will feature visiting filmmakers and guests. These events are offered as part of FLEFF’s partnership with the nonprofit 7th Art Corporation.

A complete list of topics, featured guests and events, along with a day-to-day calendar of events, is available at


For more information and to schedule interviews, contact Patricia Zimmermann at (607) 274-3431 or, or Tom Shevory at (607) 274-1347 or

Launched in 1997 as an outreach project sponsored by Ithaca College, Cornell University’s Center for the Environment and Eunadi Center for International Studies, and others, FLEFF has become a major regional event in upstate New York and enjoys an international reputation as a cutting-edge, multi-arts program. Major funders for this year’s festival include Ithaca College, the Park Foundation, the Experimental Television Center (a part of the New York State Council on the Arts) and the French American Cultural Exchange.


Below is a list of some of the festival highlights. Except for the downtown screenings, all events are free and open to the public.


“West Side Story Counterpoint”

March 31, 7 and 9 p.m., Hockett Family Recital Hall, Whalen Center

A multimedia performance celebrating the contrapuntal rhythms of “West Side Story” will combine large scale projections of contemporary urban images and archival amateur film with a performance of a musical transcription based on Leonard Bernstein’s score for “West Side Story.”


“Hiding in Plain Sight: Community Forum on Youth, Sexuality and Jewish Identities”

Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

This FLEFF forum will feature a screening of “Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School,” followed by a panel discussion on gay and straight youth, and Jewish identities. Panelists will include Rebecca Lesses, assistant professor of Jewish studies at Ithaca College, representatives from Keshet (GLBT Jewish grassroots organization) and students from local high schools and Ithaca College.


“The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art”

Tuesday, April 1, 4 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

This lecture/exhibition and workshop on the new frontiers of international new media art will be presented by Tim Murray, curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art and professor of comparative literature and English at Cornell University.


“Precious Places and Camouflage”

Wednesday, April 2, 1–2:40 p.m. Park 281

Program director, producer and 1986 IC graduate Gretjen Clausing will present screenings from one of the country’s most comprehensive community media projects, which uses the video documentary as a storytelling medium. Neighborhood residents come together to document the oral histories of their communities.


Tango Concert with Daniel Binelli

Wednesday, April 2, 8:15 p.m., Ford Hall, Whalen Center

Bandoneon player extraordinaire, composer and tango legend Daniel Binelli will perform with Ithaca College School of Music faculty members Pablo Cohen (classical guitar), Steven Mauk (saxophone) and Nicholas Walker (double bass) in this special tango concert, which affords a rare opportunity to hear tango in all its virtuosity, complexity, counterpoints, camouflages and collaborations.


“Digital Counterpoints: Performance and Networked Media”

Thursday, April 3, 4–6 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

This panel discussion features on-line curators Dale Hudson and Sharon Lin Tay, new media artist Stephanie Rothenberg and locative media artist Nick Knouf.


“Precious Places and Counterpoint”

Thursday, April 3, 4–5:15 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

Program director, producer and 1986 IC graduate Gretjen Clausing will present selections from Scribe Video Center’s “Precious Places” Community History Project, which focuses on bypassed neighborhood sites as bright landmarks that surprise and inspire residents and visitors alike.


“Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?”

Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

Featuring local health, medicine and public policy analysts and activists, this screening, panel and community forum contends there is more to health than medicine.


 “A Topography of Banda Aceh: Notes from a Journey”

Friday, April 4, 10:30 a.m., Handwerker Gallery

This reading and slide show by author Sorayya Khan details the lasting effects of the Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 and resulting tsunami on the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh. The presentation is based on the author’s May 2007 visit to Banda Aceh.


“Precious Places and Gastronomica”

Friday, April 4, 2 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

Program director, producer and 1986 IC graduate G

retjen Clausing will present selections from “Precious Places,” showcasing collaborations with community groups engaged in grassroots gastronomica.


 “How to Get Your Break”

Friday, April 4, 4:30–6 p.m., Park Hall Auditorium

This panel discussion on how to break into the entertainment industry will be moderated by Steve Gordon, former executive vice president of creative affairs for Viacom Productions, and feature documentary filmmaker Lloyd Fales and screenwriter Craig Volk.


Weekend Screenings at Cinemapolis and Fall Creek Cinemas

Friday–Sunday, April 4–6

These screenings at the downtown Ithaca cinemas will offer more than 25 films, many featuring visiting filmmakers and guests, who will lead audience discussions and community forums.

Film screenings at Cinemapolis and Fall Creek require admission fees.

Individual ticket for one evening screening (Fri, Sat, Sun )—$8.50

Individual ticket for one matinee screening (Sat, Sun)—$6.50

Student with valid ID ticket (Sunday evening only)—$6.50

For updates and more information, visit


Premieres of Silent Films and Live Music

All three events will take place at Cinemapolis, 171 E. State St, Ithaca; there is a charge.


Friday, April 4, 7 p.m.

“It” (1927), starring Clara Bow—Fe Nunn and Friends will provide the fresh musical interpretation, with a spoken-word performance by associate professor of theater arts Cynthia Henderson


Saturday, April 5, 2 p.m.

“Steamboat Bill, Jr.” (1928), starring Buster Keaton—Americana music provided by the Common Railers


Sunday, April 6, 7 p.m.

“Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life” (1925), a documentary on the migrations undertaken by Persian nomads—improvisational experimental music by Chris White, Peter Dodge and Robby Aceto

Originally published in News Releases: Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Begins Its Second Decade.