One Clap Speech and Debate

Award-Winning Director Lucia Small Discusses Her New Documentary “Girl Talk”

July 29, 2022 Lyle Wiley / Lucia Small Season 4 Episode 4
One Clap Speech and Debate
Award-Winning Director Lucia Small Discusses Her New Documentary “Girl Talk”
Show Notes Transcript

4:3 - Season Four of One Clap is moving along, and we continue to have discussions about Seeking Equality in Speech and Debate.  Lyle had the special opportunity to interview award-winning director Lucia Small on this episode of the podcast.  Lucia has been making acclaimed independent films for over 30 years, and she was gracious enough to discuss her new documentary, “Girl Talk.”

For notes, a full transcript,  and details about the episode, check out the website post here:
https://www.oneclapspeechanddebate.com/post/award-winning-director-lucia-small-discusses-her-new-documentary-girl-talk

If you have any ideas or requests for topics to explore on the One Clap Podcast, shoot Lyle an email at lylewiley@gmail.com or check out our blog and social media here:
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Greetings, friends! 

Lyle Wiley here - a high school English Teacher and Speech and Debate Coach in Thermopolis, Wyoming - and your host of the One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast!  

And we are just moving right along on Season 4 of One Clap - where we continue to have big discussions about Seeking Equality in Speech and Debate.  A couple weeks ago, I had the special opportunity to interview award-winning director, Lucia Small.  Lucia has been making acclaimed independent films for over 30 years, and she was gracious enough to sit down with me to talk about her new documentary - “Girl Talk.”

Here is the short synopsis of the film from the Girl Talk press kit:
Set in the cutthroat, boy-dominated world of high school debate, GIRL TALK tells the timely story of five girls on a diverse, top-ranked Massachusetts high school debate team. They are often talked over, under-represented and judged differently than their male counterparts, but each girl faces these challenges and shows us the value of speaking up and finding your true voice.

Bella: Then somewhere I think along the way I had a lot of comments on ballots that were like: too aggressive, tone it down a little, I had multiple comments that were like your skirt is too short.  I made the decision at one point to wear pants,  Mostly my sophomore year.  I thought it made me feel more... or less girl like, I think.  I was like trying to strike this perfect balance that I don't think exists between exuding confidence but not too much.  And as soon a as you second guess how you present yourself... that's when you lose it. 

Gabi: I have always been taught to be obedient, I guess. And to listen and be respectful.  But I never really learned how to stand up for myself.  Or share my thoughts, or just say that I disagreed with an authority figure in general.

Hannah: Not a lot of people on the team know this about me... like my parents were refugees after the Vietnam war and my dad went to college at the age of 33.  And growing up like seeing people blatantly discriminating against my parents because they had an accent.  That just really angered me.  Because I knew how captivating they were in their native tongue.  I really value the ability to express my thoughts and talk about the things that matter to me because of my parents experiences.  Being able to speak and communicate is almost like a privilege to me.

Those were short clips from three of the featured girl debaters in the film - first, Bella; second, Gaby; and third, Hannah.  “Girl Talk” follows Bella, Gil, Gaby, Hannah, and Anika through their debate experiences, struggles, and triumphs, all while exploring the formidable challenges presented for a female debater.  

The documentary is basically a must-see for anyone in the debate community.  Watching debate through the lens of five girl boss competitors in a candid and authentic long-term based film study gives a powerful insight into the experiences and challenges for a girl debater.  

Lucia and her filmmaking team do an incredible job of balancing a number of difficult realities to bring this documentary to the public.  Lucia was kind enough to drop by the podcast and tell me more about her history in filmmaking, details about her “Girl Talk” project - including what it was like to work in the world of debate with these amazing debaters, and her hopes for the film.

Let’s go ahead and jump right into my interview with award-winning director and exceedingly kind human Lucia Small.


Lyle Wiley: Welcome 

To the one clap speech and debate podcast. 

Lucia, small, the director of girl talk, a film that's being released like kind of right now, right? Lucia it's in the it's in the works. It's available for some viewings, but still early.

Lucia Small: We're doing, what's called the festival circuit and also some community screenings and debate camps, which is really exciting.

I have this amazing outreach and impact team that believes in this film and the kinds of conversations it can spark. And so we're going straight into different kinds of Screenings, which is very exciting. 

Lyle Wiley: I think as more speech and debate students and people that are involved in the community, see the film, you're gonna get a lot of really positive feedback I think it's gonna do really well with this community, would you maybe describe just a little bit about your work on some previous films and your filmmaking background?

Lucia Small: Yes. I'd be happy to, I'll just say it I'm a feminist, I'm an artist. I'm sort of more of an edgy documentary filmmaker.

I've used myself as a character in three of my previous films. Because I've always felt that artists as responsible participant is important. And even if I make the viewer squirm, it's important to show who has the power of the filmmaking, who who's behind the camera. I've always felt it's important to show my identity as a white female.

A lot of it's been in relationship to men and how I'm perceived, cuz the first one I. Did was on my father, my father, the genius, the second one I did actually on hurricane Katrina and the diaspora of that catastrophe. And and then the third one was about my film partner who I'd worked on-

"the ax in the attic," which is the one about Katrina. He got diagnosed with a terminal illness. So this was called "one cut one life." And it was about his journey as an autobiographical filmmaker., he sort of considered the father or grandfather of the form or one of them, and it was about his choice to make a film in the last years of his life.

And so I've always felt it really important to. Challenge the audience about preconceptions and judgment and bias and how they come to a audience or become form an audience. And what happens, what their expectations are in terms of documentary film and how you're supposed to feel. So I I've always been very interested in authenticity and, how to depict life in its complex form.

Lyle Wiley: Yeah, it's really amazing what you do with girl talk because your voice. Is not in the film. I mean it's the voice of the students. It's the voice of the people in the documentary. There's a couple of places where there's some information put on the screen, but really we just hear from the people in the film and, it's really powerful.

Also probably was very difficult to do an editing, but it really tells a story. 

Lucia Small: Well, well, thank you. I mean, I had an editor I collaborated with Rachel Clark. She helped make this film. What it is. She is a big reason. It's as good as it is. And You know, very powerful. My mantra was, I want, I don't want experts.

I don't want too many adults. I want these five girls to be the centerpiece. It's their voices that I'm interested in. I'm not interested in adults interpreting what they're going through. I wanted it to be their story and their journey, which is why it took so long to, you know, film and make. But I think it is.

You know, they passed the Baton to others. And I really, as a filmmaker, always wanted to make a film without me in it, even though I said artists as responsible participant, I wanted to give voice to others. And I, and it was just a gift that I was able to do this. 

Lyle Wiley: So when you chose this project, I mean, you, you were looking for something, I think maybe specifically about.

Girls find their voice. Did you know much about the debate world before you created girl talk? Or did you kind of like pleasantly just sort of slip into this world for this film without knowing a lot about it?

Lucia Small: The latter, I did not know much about debate at all. I mean, how I got exposed to debate one that were debate kids in my high school, but they were.

The smartest kids in the class. And they all went off to Harvard and Yale and schools I had never heard about in California. And I know that's why I had heard of Harvard, but, you know, , I didn't know the east coast Ivy league scene at all. So I had had some exposure to those kids, but this was the real deep dive into debate.

And I had no idea what I was getting into, and when Bella, one of the main characters, the person we sort of got oriented in debate with, she says, oh my God, it's so great. We get up at five in the morning and we. We come back in 10 at night and me and my film partner we're in our fifties. And we're like, that sounds great.

not at all. You know, so it's sort of, I mean, it was a, it was a total surprise

Lyle Wiley: it, a pretty grueling environment. Isn't it? 

Lucia Small: yes. And I had to get up, you know, at four, so I could film them, getting ready with their, you. Contacts and makeup and that kind of thing. So it was pretty grueling and I was a cinematographer on a lot of the early footage, I was able to bring in people later and really talented cinematographers, but I, I shot about 80% of the film and.

It was tiring. It was, but it was fascinating. And it was so interesting cuz Bella would run up to me and say, what did you think of my argument? How did you think I did? And I was like, I was just trying to focus on what you were saying, like on your, making sure you were in focus like that you, that we captured the world and what's going on and to a layman's audience, you know, layperson's audience, you, you don't know what you're looking at. It's sort of like Gil says that you're debating in broom, closets. You're debating in hallways. It's a lot less glamorous than people think. So I needed to figure out a way to translate a very complicated world to an uneducated audience in terms of debate and also make sure I please the debate world at the same time. 

Lyle Wiley: Very difficult balance I think you do a great job though, by the way. I think it does balance those things really well, so, 

Lucia Small: well, thank you. I know I don't. A lot of debate in there.

And I know you guys don't get to see the arguments develop, et cetera, et cetera. But I feel like you could fill in the blanks. And, it was just the question, my partner, and I said, how do you translate a 45 minute debate into, you know, a film? And you, we couldn't even follow the line of argument. During the debate.

And then we didn't know if they won or not. You know, it's not, it's not as, as Gabby says, you know, when you score a goal in soccer, you know, you scored the goal, but when you've won a debate, it's lot more arbitrary. It's, it's a lot more subjective. 

Lyle Wiley: I feel like you've spoke to this a little bit already , but so this was, eight years in the making, right?

Like five years of filming, a couple years of editing working on this project. So a really large in scope project. So why did you make such a huge commitment to telling this story and what was the story that you really were trying to tell? And then maybe like, what's the story you think you got?

Lucia Small: I mean, it's, it's interesting cuz documentaries, these kinds of documentaries that aren't pre-scripted and rather longitudinal studies, they're rare because they take so much time. And it's hard to work on a piece for this long, but the average documentary does take seven years to make, so this was the longest I ever worked on a documentary.

And. It was sort of a reluctant commitment because initially, my film partner and I, she couldn't commit to a long term thing at all. We thought a year in the life of Newton south. That's what we thought. But for the first. Two thirds of the debate season. We couldn't even get inside a debate. And as, as public as it is, you know, there are high school students, they are protected.

And, you know, we had to figure out a way that we could get inside a debate and make everybody feel at ease and. That took a while. I had to go to a lot of tournaments and sit outside in the cafeteria and in the tab room, you know, getting to know the judges, et cetera, et cetera. So building trust is key in documentary film making.

And so with that many characters, that many people, 30 people on the team, I, I also had to figure. Who was trusting me, who was open to my filming, who was natural on film, cuz sometimes I'd come around and the kids would want me to film, but they, they got very excited and mugged for the camera. And I can't, I couldn't use that.

So it was sort of like who's the most naturalistic in front of the camera who can, who can sort of, lead us. Through this and then every year, it just, okay. Two years in the life. No, no. Three years in life. No, and I, because I'm an independent and I didn't get money up front. Because it was so hard to figure out the story.

What was the story? What is the story? , I think.

You know, I had to work, I had to basically work and do other jobs. And so I kept dipping back in and it was very interesting cuz there was, there was a partnership I was following and that just fizzled out, you know? So you would do some things where you would follow a certain group of people and it just, for one reason or another would fizzle out.

So, but Gabby, Jay and Anika from their freshman year, they were open to it. Gabby was very welcoming. And I think because Bella was my, you know, our entrance into the world, she worked with Bella, Bella, really worked a lot with Gabby. So it was an opening of a door 

Lyle Wiley: that way.

Yeah. So you worked with quite a few different people and especially some really amazing girls that you follow in the film, the, the characters mm-hmm , it must have been difficult to balance all their voices. I mean, you've spoken to this a little bit about, especially with all the change that happens in the debate world with different partnerships and different sort of things that happen with the groups and, that you might have even saw in the time that you. Filming some attrition, some folks leaving the program and stuff, cuz that definitely does happen. Yeah. Um, but what was it like to work with the, with these, these girls and these students? All of them? 

Lucia Small: Well, it was amazing. They're very lovely, sweet kids. You know, I think that was another thing that broadcasters where's the edge, where's the drama.

, we need to have. Some underbelly or something like that. And I was like, I wasn't interested in that. I wasn't, I'm not a reality TV filmmaker. And I, I knew that this world, you know, there was, there was some anorexia on the team and there was some high pressure on the team of other, another girl that dropped out.

Yes. So I was curious if I. What I would've done if I had followed that line of thinking, but I, I felt they were so vulnerable and they, they were trusting of me. I just, I just felt like I didn't wanna do that. I didn't wanna go down that path at all. And so people that were really engaged in the activity and really excited about debate

are the kids that pulled me in, in their direction. So because there was a lot of drama and there's a lot of backstabbing and there's gossip and, you know, as, as wonderful as Newton south is to each other, there can be some big egos. And I know all about those big egos in the creative world, but in the debate world that exists as well.

So, they do a lot of work with trying to. You know, make this team about giving back, but you have to win and you have to sort of earn your wings and really understand what it's like to support someone else. And I think you have to go through the, the struggles of like, how do I make a mark on this activity?

And it was so interesting, cuz Gabby was really good. Um, but she. She just didn't land. You know, she just, as she says in the film, and so she had to find her power elsewhere. And she did, you know, without giving away the movie, but she found it in her teaching others. So that, that was really inspiring that she could sort of learn to accept losses and keep going and keep working hard and keep helping others.

Lyle Wiley: I, I think you've captured what it's like to be a speech and debate coach and a teacher. The kids are amazing. They're wonderful. They're the reason why we, we do what we do. But, uh, but there's a lot of challenges that go in with that and, and every student has to find their way.

Um, but they're amazing, right? Like, I mean, working with students. Unreal. Like these speech and debate kids are so talented. They give so much of themselves. It's just incredible to work with them. And you can tell in this documentary that this group that you're working with is they're amazing people.

Lucia Small: They, they are. And you know, it was very interesting cuz you not only have to earn the trust of them, you also have. Gain the trust of their parents and their parents rightly so are way more protective of them than they are of themselves. And so that was an interesting twist. I didn't expect because I am not a mother.

I am an auntie and it's, you know, I'm kind of known as the Archie ante that does things that mothers don't do. So, I felt like they were my nieces and nephews, and I kept trying to reassure their parents. Like I'm not out to get them or make the boys the heavy. In fact, I'm interested in the boys' participation really as their friend, as friends and collaborators, that's what I'm more interested in.

And Jay was completely aware. Ben was completely aware. Dan was aware of their privileges as men, you know, and that was what I was interested in too. An acknowledgement of their privilege.

Lyle Wiley: Yeah, I think your challenges, the things that you're balancing in this documentary are Legion. It just sounds like it was a very challenging project.

When I was watching, I was curious about access to home, gaining trust of parents had to have been very difficult, travel. The time spent, that's one of the things about the speech and debate universe is it's kind of like a big endurance contest almost. I mean, the national speech and debate tournament is a week long.

I can't imagine some of the challenges that you faced making this film. I'm sure there's many more . 

Lucia Small: Yeah. I mean, it was, you know, that's this work. I mean, the, the kind of work that I do, I know this, there are challenges, but there's so many rewards and no, it is.

I think access, you spend a lot of time trying to maintain that access and you know, it, you don't want it to show in the movie because, you know, I mean, you wanna be concentrating on their story arts, although I've shown it in the past, I've shown when I'm the character. Like some people are reluctant, some people aren't, some people go back and forth, some people hate you and then they love you.

And you know, so I've dealt with that in my past work. And I, I really wasn't interested in, in that, in this film, I was much more interested in their journey within the world of debate. 

Lyle Wiley: You talked about how you needed to balance a lot of different things in this film for different kinds of audiences. And I loved a lot about this documentary, but I think one thing it does really well is it could actually introduce newcomers to the debate universe because there's like vocabulary helps and then explanations from the students that are very lay person friendly.

So in making all of this and coming to the, uh, activity as a newcomer and stuff, what really surprised you about the debate world the most when you were working on this project?

Lucia Small: Well, I think as a filmmaker, what surprised me is the visual cues were opposite of what they would translate to an normal audience.

Like the fact that in the final rounds, the losing team, that's not advancing, gets the trophy. I mean, we couldn't go into the details of that. We couldn't explain that. So, so sort of the visual cues, I'm like, damn, you have no way of knowing that they just won because the other guys get the trophies. And, so that was a big challenge that I didn't expect the visual, not having enough visual cues and also not having a clear sense about who the winners are when you get to a certain level.

I mean, I got to a certain point where I was like, I think they won the round. You know, I feel like they won the round and Jay and ANCO were really good. They won a lot around, so my guess was 50 50. So, it was interesting it took me so long to understand. and the intricacies of debate.

And I, Josh tried to get me to judge a bunch of times and I said, no, I'm not gonna judge because I, I don't wanna work that hard on it. I feel like the judges really need to work hard. And I, I know public forum is supposed to be a form of debate where anybody can sit down and judge, and I feel.

With the evolution of the activity it has and this spreading, it has become more like policy. It isn't as accessible. And that's something that would be really great if people were going to address. But I think the Pandora's out of the box already, and you can't really pull these kids back when they're winning, speaking faster.

So that was something I didn't expect either. I mean, I had seen it in policy, but I didn't expect it in public forum. 

Lyle Wiley: Yeah, it's been a really interesting process of nSDA realizing that events are getting a little bit too much like policy a little bit too fast, and then trying to create different kinds of events that are, are meant to be a little bit more accessible.

And then those events slowly becoming more and more advanced to the point of policy rounds. 

So well, 

Lucia Small: and that's, that's that's because. The judges were former debaters, so they, they had an ability to listen in a way that a parent, you know, didn't and so, yeah, I mean, it was very interesting cuz they used this term mommy judge, like, which to me was so condescending.

I was. You know, I said, don't you see that you're being sexist too, about the judges? And, oh, she was a mommy judge, you know, and I, so I kept on thinking like, this is this, there's a lot to unpack here. There's a lot to, to figure out the debate. Community needs to take a hard look at some of this stuff.

But I, it wasn't my mission to do that. It was my mission to sort of capture it and, you know, capture it in it's all ex excitement and complexities and nuance and, you know, and I really wanted to show, and my editor did to these kids are kids. You know, they're not adults, but they're dressing up like adults.

They're acting like adults, but they're still kids. That was really important too, to sort of capture. And that's not about the debate world. That's about filmmaking and making sure people can identify with this, these kids. Cuz initially when I was putting things together, people are like, I'm totally alien alienated from these kids.

I don't know who these kids are. Who are they? What are they saying? You know? So spending time in their homes, spending time with them. Sharing their vulnerabilities. That was, that was really important.

Lyle Wiley: You put a little bit of pressure on this when with your talk about mommy judges, we call 'em lay judges around here a lot of times, and it is often those terms are disparaging, right?

You also put pressure on the fact that that's about gender. Bias as well. There's a lot of things in this film that you communicate sort of the gender inequalities that are inherent in both the activity and in our culture.

After spending time in this community, do you have any thoughts about like best hope or positive change? How some of these gender inequalities and speech and debate and in our world, how we can kind of combat these. And what from the documentary specifically are some, some answers you think that kind of come from the process of the documentary and in the film itself?

Lucia Small: Well, I think it's happening. The exciting thing is it's happening within the debate community and people are talking about it and, you know, Dana. Who is the younger sister of Ben? We don't really get her name because she's not interviewed. And she was come, came up after Ben, but she says, no, you can't just be inclusive.

You have to be anti-sexist. You know, you have to actively look for ways to include the girls and the young women and the transgender and like gay. And lesbian, you know, kids that feel alienated. I mean, there, what was interesting is there's that cluster of boys, you know, hanging out from different schools and they all sort of go and circle around each other and to get into that circle, it, it takes a lot of pushing, you know, yourself.

And then if you're you push yourself into that circle and then you're not addressed. It's really hard. I watched it happen several times, but I think that's changing. And of course they had, they started to have a few discussions about this in, on at some tournaments, but it was only attended by girls.

And so I think this idea of allyship and the boys being more actively focused on trying to be. More inclusive is really important. And I think Newton's south does a good job of it. I mean, there's still sexism on the team and they know that and some are better, you know, some are better than others, but, I think it's happening and the dialogue is happening.

Didn't have TOCs. There was a big thing that happened, um, a couple years back where a young woman forfeited her slot and decided to debate the topic of girls and sexism debate. I debated about putting that in the film. It was too tangential for this, for these characters, but I felt like that's really exciting. You know, people are having the hard discussions and there are more organizations I wish there would be one that was, you know, boys and girls working together or something like that.

Because I think that that's. We've identified the problem. The problem is real. The problem appears on the ballots. It's a given and the stats speak for themselves, right? So it's a given. So what can we do as a community to combat this together and not put all the burden on the women, the young women to do it.

Lyle Wiley: Absolutely. I think the film does a good job of showing some of the supports that the Newton team does have. But you're right. , in the same way that we need to be anti-racist we need to be anti-sexist and we have to be active and figure out some, ways to, to do things proactively and the community.

I think it's healing, but it's, it's gonna be a process. 

Lucia Small: Yeah, it's a process. It comes from, you know, the ground up often these things do, but I think the speech and debate the national speech and debate organization needs to put some muscle behind it.

Unfortunately they didn't endorse the film because they questioned our stats, but we got the stats through them, in a paper that was double checked and triple checked, cuz I didn't want to have anybody say where did you get those stats?

And it's interesting. I think it's, it's hard to acknowledge that your organization is doing this but they're gonna have to come around. You know, they've done a great job with urban debate leagues, but the connection between the urban debate leagues, and the other debate community hasn't happened yet, they're still separate. So. How do we bring them together as well? You know? So, you guys do have your work cut out for you, but I think there are enough people that are interested in addressing this and, and sort of embracing this that I think I feel hopeful about it.

Lyle Wiley: It's great. Hear you say all that. And I have no problem pushing back on NSDA. I mean, I think, they need to have pushback sometimes. I know they're trying and that's great that they're trying, but they need to do more so right.

So, how can people see this film? I was able to watch in a private viewing and, and it was amazing for me, but, what are some opportunities for people to watch this film?

Lucia Small: Well, it's, it's gonna change. We get into festivals or we create screenings one by one.

And so it's, it's changing weekly. So if you go to our website, girl, talk, film.com. And, I'm terrible at promoting this. I know there's, there's a schedule or screenings tab up there that you can, you can look at. And I think that gets updated the most and you can sign up for our mailing list.

That would be awesome if you signed up for our mailing list. If anybody wanted to do that, cuz we send out MailChimps about the next screening and. Right now we're scheduled to screen at woods hole, film festival, August Wednesday, August 3rd, at six 15. And they're gonna do some streaming in relationship to the festival.

So there's a way to stream that. It runs the gamut festivals are a good way to, to see it right now. And, checking out that schedule is, is a way to see it right now.

And then we're hoping to have a Boston broadcast sooner rather than later. And hopefully we're gonna be on PBS, but we have to do it station for station. And that's a lot of work. 

Lyle Wiley: Well, I'll make sure to link to all that in all of my podcast information, to your website and the, I think there's an events tab on the website.

I'll make sure I link to that and the place where folks can sign up for your messages from MailChimp. 

Lucia Small: There's also social media. There's Twitter there. We have every. Social media even TikTok. So you, you can, you can sign up for those or like them, Facebook, whatever you, whatever your preference is on social media, you can find us there as well.

And right now, actually, what we're trying to do is build our, our audience. And we're doing hashtag my debate story and asking everybody in the debate world to tell something, doesn't have to be long. Doesn't have to be detailed. Doesn't have to be, this was great. Maybe it was the hardest moment, you know, that you overcame or maybe it was.

Revelation about a topic. It doesn't have to be too much pressure, but like please share your debate story with us and the world. 

Lyle Wiley: Those are really cool. The ones that are up on social media the design of them is really nice and the information is really great. And it's really neat to see all the different women who have stories relative to debate and the impact it's had on their lives.

Lucia Small: Yeah. I mean, I'm very inspired. I keep on being incredibly inspired and I think that people outside the debate world will find that they can relate to this. I had one woman say I was just loud. I just was the loudest person in the wo the room. And I always felt bad about it, but this film makes me feel good about it.

And I, I feel like I, I don't have to shut down my voice anymore, you know, so, and she never debate. So I think there's things that people outside the debate world can find. And it's good for, it's good for kids to share with their parents because you try to describe what debate is to your parents. And it just goes over their head.

And I think that that is an intergenerational thing that is, is kind of a nice way for people who don't fully understand the world to, to, to explore it. 

Lyle Wiley: Absolutely. I totally agree there. It's difficult to explain and even when you see it, it's hard to understand, but it's hard to explain to people.

They have to see it to believe it 

Lucia Small: it's wild. Right? I mean, it it's interesting cuz I didn't do anything after COVID started. I decided to leave that world as it was. And so the kids are all like on top of each other in their kitten pedals and you know, they're all. Very close and crowded, crowded hallways.

It's it is a different time. I know that the debate world really stepped up and did all these virtual debate tournaments. And I'm in awe of that. I mean, I know Newton south and Tim may Roland, Josh were instrumental in getting something happening right away and it just went all around the. World and community.

And that's just testimony to you guys and the determination that the debate world has in, in sort of responding to crisis.

Lyle Wiley: Ultimately, what was the end goal of this film project for you? And what message did you really want people to take away from the film? And do you feel like you, accomplished that message.

Lucia Small: I think, I always want a film to raise more questions than offer answers. And, I have goals and dreams for the film to spark dialogue in any way, shape or form it evolves. And, you know, I do want people to think about this more carefully. And so I feel like. The film will help them do that. I mean, the goals, I don't have a specific agenda per se, although it's, I definitely have a point of view.

But my, dream always in this work is to reflect the grays in life and the nuances and identify maybe a problem or two and see what people come up with. So I think, I think it's, it's starting on its path. 

Lyle Wiley: So what's next for you? What's next for Lucia? Small.

Lucia Small: Well, thank you for asking. So I have been battling, a terminal illness and, um, I am.

Now for Lucia, small, prioritizing my health and my, my vacations, and just trying to pepper them with all the work that, that needs to be done for the film to get out there. And, but family, friends and, you know, gratitude in life is what is, what is my focal point right now. And I think that what I. Just back to the last question you asked me.

I mean, what I was hoping was to have something hopeful and because I wanted to leave on an up note, like there. There is the next generation coming. There is this next powerful generation full of verb and full of intelligence. And it's, it's not all lost. It's not gonna implode. There's lots of things to do.

There's lots of possibilities and it can feel overwhelming and daunting and really frustrating and dark and very dark in certain times like these, but.

I think for, I think for Lucious mall and she wants her audience to feel some form of inspiration and hope.

Lyle Wiley: That's really lovely. Hey, thank you so much for doing this interview, Alicia. , I just can't, I can't encourage people enough to get out and find a way to see the film. It's a wonderful film and I just really appreciate the work you did on this. And I really appreciate you coming on here. 

Lucia Small: Well, thank you.

And I appreciate all the debate coaches out there that are dedicating. Heart and soul to inspiring these kids, and exposing these kids to this very fascinating world that is about critical thinking and, and engaged citizen three, you know, it's like, it's so powerful to see that. And thank you seriously.

Thank you so much Lucia Small for her willingness to speak with me on the podcast and for being so gracious of her time in our interview.   “Girl Talk” is a documentary that I highly recommend to everyone in the Speech and Debate community.  The film adds to the discussion that all of us in our community should be having about Seeking Equality in Speech and Debate. 

I will put a link to the Woods Hole Film Festival link where you can purchase virtual tickets to view the documentary streaming in the comfort of your own home… These tickets will be available July 30-Aug 6, I believe.

I will also link to the website and social media for the “Girl Talk” movie in the show notes and on the website.  I’ll also add some additional links and resources - as well as the full transcript of this discussion on the website - Oneclapspeechanddebate.com

Be on the lookout for these upcoming episodes too: Ella Schnake talks about women in Speech and Debate and her 2019 NSDA championship POI, “Debate Like a Girl”... Director Lucia Small discusses her new documentary - “Girl Talk” - a film 8 years in the making that follows the journeys of girl debaters through high school… Riverton competitor Carolyn Benn-Thornton talks about the importance of Humor and her semifinalist run at NSDA Nationals…  Our second panel made up of YuYu Yuan, Haley Lauze-Reyes, and Leila Sandlin consider Being a Racial Minority and a Woman in Speech and Debate… Natrona County HS superstar and 2022 WHSFA Ambassador stops by to discuss Extemp and female leadership… and more!

If you’d like to join the discussion here at One Clap Speech and Debate, shoot me an email at lylewiley@gmail.com or reach out on the One Clap Speech and Debate Podcast website or social media - linked in the show notes.  Also, be sure to check out our new YouTube and TikTok channels - these will also be linked in the show notes!

This Year, maybe consider supporting One Clap Speech and Debate by checking out our patreon page linked in the show notes.  You can partner with me on this journey for as little as 1 dollar a month and stop patronage at any time!  Special thanks to our patrons: Terry, Tina, Brenda, Aaron T., Melissa, Marcus, Laura, Londe, Ashley S, Joel,  Matt, Allen, Ashley M., Aaron, Izzy, and Rick.

Thank you all for your support!

And thank you for listening to One Clap Speech and Debate… remember your voice matters… and we’ll catch you next time!