Chuck Norris

I remember going, as a young boy, to the one movie theater in Wilson, Okla., where, for a dime, I could spend all Saturday afternoon watching the double features and the serials. (Am I dating myself?) I loved Westerns (especially John Wayne) and action movies. With a nickel bag of popcorn on my lap, I could escape and dream of being one of those Western or action heroes.

A few decades later, as most probably know, my dream became a reality. Because of my martial arts background and career, I was able to become an action-movie star in more than 20 major motion pictures, followed by 203 episodes of the television series "Walker, Texas Ranger."

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Even to this day, my media room is where I like to go to relax and forget the pressures of everyday life by watching a good Western or action film. That's why films, especially action films, still are doing incredibly well at the box office, even in these trying economic times.

I'm grateful that action figures -- particularly martial artists -- continue to influence and entertain on the big screen. Long gone are the days when Bruce Lee and I "fought to the death" in the Roman Colosseum in "Return of the Dragon." But present and coming is a new group of actors who will keep the action arena alive and well.

So let me ask you this: Who really are the men and women who are going to keep the action arena alive and well? Who are the people who make action scenes so spectacular? Before I answer that, let me ask you another question: Would you risk your life to make someone else look good on the screen? That is what stuntmen and stuntwomen do. I can't even imagine how boring an action film would be if we didn't have the stuntmen doubling the action stars during dangerous scenes. Yet often their skillful and courageous work goes unrewarded.

Well, action fans, have no fear! Actionfest is here! Actionfest is the first and only film festival in the world to showcase only action films and those responsible for creating them (the actors, directors, producers, stuntmen, stunt coordinators and fight choreographers). Finally a film festival to honor the people who put the action in action films!

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.