The Echo Park Film Center is an invaluable community resource. In addition to being a nonprofit rent-a-center, library and screening facility, the blue and orange storefront also offers free classes, workshops and after-school programs to introduce neighborhood teens to “the magic of cinema.”

Every semester, local 13-18 year olds spend 11 weeks as a part of EPFC Youth Film Workshops, working with cameras, soundboards and young writers at 826LA to bring original short screenplays to life.

And last year, the organization added another outreach project to spark the creativity of underprivileged youngsters: the EPFC Filmmobile. The beat up blue bus that they converted into a veggie oil-fueled film school spent last fall at Central High Continuation School inaugurating the Filmmobile Youth Film Project by helping nine first-timers document life in Venice’s Mar Vista Gardens housing project.

In a movie event born from truly inspiring circumstances (think Dangerous Minds except Michelle Pfeiffer is instead a gaggle of film-nerd volunteers), the resulting shorts from both of last semester’s programs will be screened –with all underage filmmakers present – in a one-night only homespun movie extravaganza.

Equally as fulfilling for the EPFC crew as for the newly spawned filmmakers, the free screening of Show & Tell/FILMS From Mar Vista Gardens is sure to prove the value of such after-school programs and be an uplifting glimpse into the power of media arts. 8 p.m.

Echo Park Film Center is located at 1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park. For more information, visit