Lisa's Open Road


Operations Director/Youth Film Coordinator
Echo Park Film Center

“As adults, we become very preoccupied about what we should be doing, rather than what feels right to be doing… Any class we teach for adults is about unlearning that. It really is just about letting go and experimenting.”


Film Non-Profit Organizations


Transitions Conflict Fulfillment Exploration Community Culture Education Family


Teaching / Mentoring


  • Grew up middle-class; says she didn't have any exposure to arts or the symphony.
  • One day, she was out walking when a man told her they were opening up a film center in her neighborhood.
  • She'd been planning to become a lawyer, but she also painted, played in a band, and had recently started making films.
  • She began volunteering at the film center, working with founder Paolo Davanzo, who would later become her husband.
  • The Echo Park Film Center grew to encompass a microcinema, a mobile film school, and classes for youth, adults and seniors.
  • Didn't even start making films until she was 35 years old, so she's a firm believer in continually learning, experimenting and redefining your path.
  • Says the hardest classes to teach are the ones for adults-while children will try anything, adults are too concerned with "what's right."
  • Believes in the importance of just "messing around," and experimenting without worrying about the quality of your performance.

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