Villages are more rare than rule in 2022, but the model and benefits of the village are welcome in many spaces. Filmmaking is a space where “working villages” grow and support intra-reliant creativity, while honoring difference. In the Embracing Arlington Arts March podcast interview (2022) hosted by Embracing Arts president Janet Kopenhaver, Professor Lucy Gebre-Egziabher discusses the importance of the film village while countering the very recent and trending notion that filmmaking is “a one-person experience.” Professor Lucy stresses the importance of the village, saying that “cinema is a communal art form, not an individual one,” and she recognizes the limitations created by seemingly unlimited access to personal technology. Gebre-Egziabher speaks about her primary goal with cinema: to counter the one-person experience where an individual ‘writes shoots, edits and even acts,’ in films, with an absence of others. She actively promoted the growth of the film village where each member plays a meaningful and intentional role. Committed to cinema’s visual storytelling and narrative forms, Professor Lucy speaks to filmmaking and children who are inherently different from each other. Mentioning her latest project, The Cinema Academy, a safe space for communities of young filmmakers, she describes how she plans to welcome the inaguaral class of Middle Schoolers to the year-long incubator in September 2022.
Reflecting on her life’s passion, Professor Lucy had the following to say about her work as a Professor of Film with Northern Virginia Community College:
"I believe that my role as an educator is not just to mold young minds academically, but to also help them find their creative voices and thus to shape their paths as they move beyond our college. In the process of educating them, I try to instill in them ethical practices, professionalism, punctuality, commitment, and treating others with respect. I expose them to the world beyond our borders, as they partner with students from different regions around the globe in creative projects. In my nine years as an educator, my role in the lives of the young people that have entered my classroom has been much more significant than just teaching them the discipline of Cinema. That is a privilege and a blessing."
As she prepares to welcome local seventh and eighth graders to The Cinema Academy, Professor Lucy envisions a community of young filmmakers making meaningful stories with wide-stretched imaginations and an abundant sense of belonging.