A film about living in a diverse society…

At the Second Traffic Light © 2000 Teret Productions

20:50 minutes; 16 mm Film/Color

An accident blocks traffic at an intersection and forces individuals from different backgrounds, who would ordinarily not have anything to do with one another, to interact in order to get out of a situation.

Winner of UNESCO’s Prix de Tolerance award, “At The Second Traffic Light” has been screened at festivals around the world and used to start a dialogue on diversity, race relations and cultural understanding by government and non-governmental agencies as well as educational institutions in the USA.

The film is a commentary on racism and xenophobia.

I made this film 20 years ago, as a commentary on racism & xenophobia. It breaks my heart to say that the themes treated in this film still holds true today, 20 years later, in America. LGE 6/3/2020

Filmmaker Statement:

“At the Second Traffic Light” is a story that was inspired by my own metamorphosis.  At various stages of my life, while living in the U.S. as an African immigrant, as a woman in society, and as a person of mixed heritage (Egyptian and Ethiopian), I have, inevitably, been placed in different social categories.  These categories that were imposed on me have over time given rise to different schema of thought.   I have evolved from being a reactionary, who believed that fundamental differences among humans require radical solutions, to being a more tempered spiritualist who is guided by the outlook that human beings have more similarities than differences.

My intention is not to deny the many forms of injustice that are part of our reality related to racial, gender, economic, religious, political and other paralyzing issues.  Rather, I suggest that this world would be a better place if we focused on our similarities and celebrated our differences.

At the Second Traffic Light is a story about diversity…a story about humanity.  It draws upon many possible stereotypes that are formed and filed away in our memory banks.  It points to the fact that when humans act on instinct, they have a tendency to be good more often than we think.

Screenings & Awards

⦁ Screened at the EthnoFilmfest Berlin – 2005 – Berlin, Germany
⦁ Screened at the Smithsonian Institute – 2003 – National Gallery of African Art – Washington, DC
⦁ Screened at the 2003 CinemAfrica Film Festival: Horn of Africa – Stockholm, Sweden
⦁ Selected for competition for the 2002 Roma Independent Film Festival – Rome, Italy
⦁ Screened at the 2001 Reel Shades of Color Film Festival – Washington, DC
⦁ Selected for competition for the 2001 Damah Film Festival – Seattle, WA
⦁ Broadcast on Ethiopian TV – 2001 – Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
⦁ Screened at Filmfest DC (Washington DC International Film Festival) 2001 – Washington, DC
⦁ Winner of UNESCO’s “Prix de Tolerance” at the 2001 Vues D’Afrique film Festival – Montreal, Canada
⦁ Selected for competition for FESPACO 2001 – The Pan African Film Festival – Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
⦁ Screened at the 2001 Roma Independent Film Festival – Monthly Screening Program – Rome, Italy
⦁ Selected as finalist for the 2001 Hollywood Black Film Festival – Los Angeles, CA
⦁ Screened at the 2000 Jamerican International Film & Music Festival – Montego Bay, Jamaica
⦁ Screened at the 2000 Raindance Film Festival  – London, United Kingdom
⦁ Winner of the 2000 Best Narrative Short Film award at the Night of the Black Independent (NBI) Film Festival – Atlanta, GA
⦁ Screened at the North American Ethiopian Film Festival 2000 – Sponsored by The Society of Ethiopian Artists – Toronto, Canada
⦁ Selected for competition at the 2000 Zanzibar International Film Festival – Zanzibar, Tanzania

What people are saying about the film…

“…Crushing ethnic and religious stereotypes, At the Second Traffic Light shows how people form community in times of trouble.  At the Second Traffic Light is an excellent resource for churches, whether to jumpstart the discussion of inclusivity and interfaith dialogue or to continue a church?s efforts in peacebuilding.”

Rev. Lia Scholl, MDiv.
Star Light Ministries, Inc.

“…I found the film to be loaded with rich possibilities for diversity related discussions, and the fact that it?s short (20 minutes) and reasonably priced contribute to making it a good resource for us.”

Pamela Paul, Ph.D., Vice President & Director
Professional Development and Diversity
The Academy for Educational Development

“I recently was privileged to view the film At the Second Traffic Light, at a leadership conference at my hospital.  I was VERY moved by the film and I feel every man, woman and child should view this film.”

Jean Barchet, RN
CPCS Coordinator
Henrico Doctor’s Hospital

“It is a great video!!  I immediately watched it twice.  What a great video to raise awareness/feelings that you have.  Really helps to visually “see” thoughts/feelings and stereotypes that you didn’t even think you had.Great film!”

Don Rilling
Director, Organizational Development
CJW Medical Center

“A brilliant film. Divergent groups coalesce around the accident?Each brings their own cultural referent, fears, prejudices, anxieties, apprehension and even musical preference to the scene of the accident?As a clinical/industrial psychologist working with fortune 500 companies to achieve cultural competence for the global market place, I recommend the use of this film (At The Second Traffic Light). It is excellent as a case study of workplace attitudes that effect productivity.”

Edwin J Nichols, Ph.D
Clinical/Industrial Psychologist

” …the filmmaker was able to show the complexities and absurdities of the stereotypes that consume most of our social interactions.  In the process, she (the filmmaker) challenges us to examine our own values and priorities. She also shares with us her belief that understanding our common destiny in this universe will eventually override our selfishness, ignorance, and bigoted ideas. ”

Mesfin Mulatu, Ph.D, MPH,
Research Psychologist

At The Second Traffic Light is used by organizations, educational institutions, and government offices for race relations, for training on diversity

The following institutions have screened the film and/or used it for dialogue on diversity, race relations, cultural understanding and/or used as a resource for training: 

  • The World Bank: Diversity Department
  • Academy for Educational Development
  • George Mason University: Multicultural Center
  • Johns Hopkins University: Center for Training and Education
  • Johns Hopkins University: Organizational Development & Diversity
  • Catholic Diocese Of Charleston: Office of Ethnic Ministry
  • George Washington University: Medical Faculty Division
  • University of Vermont: Office of Student Life
  • Arlington Diocese of Resettlement
  • CJW Medical Center
  • Arlington Central Public Library
  • Arlington Government Reference Library
  • Corporation for National & Community Service: The Resource Center
  • The After School Institute
  • National Science Foundation
  • US Department of State
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • The Africa America Institute
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Winthrop University
  • Sonoma State University
  • Fairfax County – Department of Family Services
  • Arlington Public Schools – Department of Student Services
  • Kaleidoscope – Multicultural Civic Group – Mason District
  • Peace Lutheran Church (Alexandria, VA)
  • Annandale Interfaith Communities in Dialogue
  • Southwestern University
  • Pfeiffer University

Screening/Talk with “At The Second Traffic Light”

  • Second Eastern Regional Conference on After-School – 2006 – Presenter: Facing our prejudices
  • Arlington Central Library – Cross Cultural Cinema – 2005 – Dialogue on Diversity
  • National Science Foundation – 2002 – Film screening followed by discussions – Diversity & Tolerance
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) – 2001 – Film screening followed by discussions – Commonality amid Diversity
  • US State Department – IVP Program – 2001 – Film screening followed by discussions – Building Commonalties in a Diverse Society
  • George Mason University – Multicultural Center – 2001 – Film screening followed by discussions – Using “At The Second Traffic Light” for diversity training
  • George Washington University – Medical Faculty Division – 2000 – Film screening followed by discussions for medical residents – Dealing with diversity in the examining room
  • Harvard University – Africa in the New Millennium Conference 2000 – Panelist – Media and Entertainment: its role in development