KGEM-TV, a public access station that has been serving Monrovia for 30 years, was among the participants that helped kick off the Action on Film Festival Friday.
The station screened several short films opening night at the Krikorian Theater on topics ranging from the art of hula dancing to the early beginnings of Jazz to Max, a therapy cat who visits patients in hospice care.
Although the festival is celebrating its 9th anniversary, this is the second year the event has been in Monrovia. KGEM has participated both years.
"It's great to get validated for your work and great to see your work in a room of your peers," said Lance Mungia, the station's executive director. "It's a great inspiration, and it keeps my producers producing."
Mungia, a filmmaker himself, produced some of the shorts, including a documentary to be screened tonight titled "In Time: The Delgado Brothers' Story," about a local family band that has been in music for more than 50 years.
Longtime K-GEM producer and show host Ralph Walker, who interviewed filmmakers and fellow producers, said the excitement of youth creating is what makes the festival great.
"You have all of these young people with creativity and dreams putting it together to share," he said. "This is how great folks achieve their dreams. They start young."
Walker hosts and produces the talk show "Conversations" on the channel and said he tries to tap into "teachable moments" in the wide range of subjects he covers.
"Everyone has a story," he said. "It's just using the ability, the God-given talent to tap into that and make their comfortable enough to share their story."
Shannon Kriska produces and hosts "Your Key to Real Estate" on KGEM. She said she came out to support her fellow producers and was excited to see what films were to be screened.
"It's such great group of team players," she said of her KGEM family. "Everybody tries to help everybody, and we have so many creative people."