Paolo's Open Road


    Team BNE


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.”


Film Non-Profit Organizations


Culture Transitions Conflict Fulfillment Exploration Community Education Family Support & Encouragement


Helping People


  • 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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