The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival this year is centered on the theme of Microtopias or small utopia. This festival is not only for the tree huggers and film fanatics, but also for anyone interested in expanding their own knowledge on environmental and social issues. Between March 25th and April 1st, 2012 the entire Ithaca community and surrounding communities will come together for a week filled with screenings, concerts, discussions, forums, blogs, workshops, artists, and performances all centered around redefining the traditional way of viewing environmental issues. In conjunction with Ithaca College and Cinemapolis attendees can expect a wide variety of films from documentaries, short films, and multiple films from Latin America.
FLEFF kicked off the countdown to the festival on Sunday, February 12, 2012 with the premiere of the independent film OKA! directed by Lavinia Currier. The theater was filled with audience members of all ages, ranging from teenagers to grandparents. OKA! is based off of a true story surrounding the ethnomusicologist, Louis Sarno. Twenty-five years ago Sarno traveled from New Jersey to the dense forest of Central Africa to listen and record the music of the Bayaka Pygmies. OKA! follows Sarno’s adventures through Africa with his newly adopted family and lifestyle while combining undertones of environmental issues, such as deforestation. Taking on the look and feel of a documentary, but still maintaining the presence of a narrative OKA! captivates and expands on the well kept secrets of the music from the Pygmie tribe which was hidden from the rest of the world for centuries. The premiere proceeded with a question and answer session with the filmmaker and director Lavinia Currier.
After the success and crowd of OKA! the countdown for FLEFF begins.
Be on the lookout for more events around campus leading up to the opening day. Until then, you can find more information by visiting the official website at ithaca.edu/fleff or cinemapolis.org and follow it on Twitter @FLEFF_IC.