Paolo's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Team BNE

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Chicago, IL

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:

PAOLO DAVANZO

Founder/Executive Director
Echo Park Film Center

“I wasn't going to do the 9 to 5, I wasn't going to do the conventional. The message we give here is that it's just about believing in yourself and believing in your power to create things of beauty.”

INTERESTS:

Film Non-Profit Organizations

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Community Culture Education Family Fulfillment Transitions Conflict Exploration Support & Encouragement

FOUNDATION:

Helping People

TAGS:

believing, burn out, continually learning, doing what is right, dreaming, empowerment, experimenting, filming, filmmaking, films, freedom, happiness, immigrant, insincerity, Italian, italy, routine, storytelling, teaching, trying new things

BIOGRAPHY:

  • His parents were Italian immigrants who settled in Orange County, California so their family could get the best possible education.
  • Felt some competition with his brother, who went to Princeton University, but his dad told him, "Paolo, you'll never be rich, but you'll always be happy."
  • As a community college film teacher, he thought he'd found the perfect career to combine his interests in teaching, film, and activism.
  • He had visions of helping marginalized individuals express their own unique visions.
  • Unfortunately, teaching in a traditional school didn't give him the time or framework to really invest in his students.
  • He decided to create a new blueprint for teaching film by opening his own film center in Echo Park, California.
  • Echo Park Film Center lets members of the community take specialized classes and use free film and video resources to tell their stories.
  • With the help of his wife, Lisa Marr, they grew the center to encompass a microcinema and a mobile film school.

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