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Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival Celebrates 25 Years

This year, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) is celebrating 25 years of dedication to opening discussions of sustainability from cultural, ecological, economic, social, political and technological perspectives. This year’s theme, Entanglements, explores different environments, ideas, imaginaries, places, practices, registers and species and how they twist together, entangling.

Initially beginning in 1997 at Cornell University, the festival has roots at both colleges and ultimately works to serve the entire Ithaca community, partnering with Cinemapolis for screenings and becoming a recognized regional film festival for all of upstate New York.

Instead of fully canceling the 2020 festival, co-director Patricia Zimmermann had moved it online in light of COVID-19. The festival also occurred virtually in 2021, and this will be the first year back offering in-person events as well. The hybrid format is something that both Zimmermann and Brett Bossard, executive director at Cinemapolis, are excited about and see as an opportunity to increase accessibility for the festival.

“The virtual platform has made us think more in a more focused manner about accessibility, and not just accessibility for people that have, you know, specific disabilities or impairments when it comes to visual or, or specifically hearing impaired,” Bossard said, explaining the ability to provide closed captions and visual aids, combat barrier issues like transportation and allow more widespread viewership asynchronously.

Zimmermann shared similar thoughts. “Most festivals right now are the biggest decision is not to go back and be fully embodied,” she said.

After beginning the virtual offering, Zimmermann said that the FLEFF audience quadrupled, with attendants coming from 40 countries — “We have people from all over the world, someone’s got a new book and they’re in the U.K. and we can have someone here interview, this is extraordinary.”

“One of the great things about FLEFF is that every year, there’s some sort of live event, whether it’s a theatrical performance that is accompanied by film, or often there’s a silent film with live music accompaniment,” Bossard said.

The festival has a wide array of partnering organizations including the Park Center for Independent Media, Conversations Across Screen Cultures, Art Mattan Films, EngageMedia Indonesia, the Ithaca City of Asylum, Opera Ithaca, Scribe Video Philadelphia and UniFrance, to list a few.

As one of the oldest environmental film festivals, Zimmermann says, showcasing international new media, art exhibitions, concerts, climate issues and faculty research, artistic abilities and talent through conventions, panels, roundtables and masterclasses have been part of the festival package.

Aside from Zimmermann, there are more than 40 team members behind the scenes of the event, including producers Ann Michel and Phil Wilde.

- Zoë Freer-Hessler, Ithaca Voice, 3/9/22

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News and Events

Cayuga Nature Center Lodge Reopens on June 18th

Cayuga Nature Center’s Lodge will officially reopen to the public on Saturday, June 18, 2022. Visitors are invited to explore the indoor lodge, in addition to the outdoor grounds and trails.

The Lodge offers exhibits, including the past and present Cayuga Lake aquaria and climate change exhibits, a live animal room, a new nature nook and touch table, taxidermy, and a gift shop. The Lodge will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm until Labor Day. Check the website for hours and updates: https://www.cayuganaturecenter.org/visit.

The Lodge will have a new “pay-what-you-wish” donation admission price this year to make visiting more financially accessible to all visitors.

"The Lodge is a great place for new and returning visitors of all ages to explore and connect with nature," says Katie Bagnall-Newman, Associate Director of Nature Center Programs. "We hope the new donation-based admission price will make learning about the natural world more accessible for all."

The Cayuga Nature Center will hold public programming throughout the summer, check the events calendar or follow on social media for more information.

The Cayuga Nature Center Lodge has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The trails, outdoor animals, and TreeTops, the six-story treehouse, at the Cayuga Nature Center have remained open to visitors.

The Cayuga Nature Center will also hold summer camp again this year at the Lodge with two new programs, Backwoods Base Camp and Animal/Critter Camps.

Next TCCPI Meeting

Friday, July 29, 2022
9:00 - 11:00 am
Due to the current pandemic, the monthly TCCPI meetings have moved online. Contact Peter Bardaglio, the TCCPI coordinator, for further details at pbardaglio@gmail.com.

If you have any issues you would like to bring to the TCCPI monthly meetings, please e-mail us at info@tccpi.org. General meetings are on the last Friday of every month, except for November and December. Because of the holidays, the November-December meeting is held on the second Friday of December.

The Ithaca 2030 District

Visit TCCPI's latest project, the Ithaca 2030 District, an interdisciplinary public-private collaboration working to create a groundbreaking high-performance building district in Downtown Ithaca.