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Paolo Davanzo
Paolo Davanzo

Paolo Davanzo

Echo Park Film Center

Chicago, IL USA

"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."

Career Roadmap

Paolo's work combines: Film, Non-Profit Organizations, and Helping People

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Day In The Life

Founder/Executive Director

I help at-risk youth and underserved communities find their voice in film/video through free classes and resources.

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    His parents were Italian immigrants who settled in Orange County, California so their family could get the best possible education.

  • 2.

    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."

  • 3.

    As a community college film teacher, he thought he'd found the perfect career to combine his interests in teaching, film, and activism.

  • 4.

    He had visions of helping marginalized individuals express their own unique visions.

  • 5.

    Unfortunately, teaching in a traditional school didn't give him the time or framework to really invest in his students.

  • 6.

    He decided to create a new blueprint for teaching film by opening his own film center in Echo Park, California.

  • 7.

    Echo Park Film Center lets members of the community take specialized classes and use free film and video resources to tell their stories.

  • 8.

    With the help of his wife, Lisa Marr, they grew the center to encompass a microcinema and a mobile film school.