Time Warner and Film Lab Host Screening & Panel on Race in Media

The Film Lab and the Asian and Pacific Employee Exchange at Time Warner (“APEX”) hosted a screening of select 72 Hour Shootout films, followed by an uncensored discussion on race in mainstream media at the Time Warner Center in New York City
Jennifer Betit Yen, Tyler Ham Pong, Eunseok Choi,Justin Anthony Long, Erin Quill
Jennifer Betit Yen, Tyler Ham Pong, Eunseok Choi,Justin Anthony Long, Erin Quill
NEW YORK - Nov. 14, 2014 - PRLog -- The Asian American Film Lab™ (“Film Lab”) and APEX, Time Warner Inc’s Asian American business resource group, raised some intriguing questions about race and media at a screening, panel and reception hosted at the Time Warner Center in New York City on Thursday night.  Select winning films of the Film Lab’s annual 72 Hour Shootout competition screened to a full house.  Following the screening, a panel made up of Shootout filmmakers and a widely read author on race issues in entertainment and moderated by Film Lab President and actor, Jennifer Betit Yen, had a frank and open discussion about the current state of race in mainstream media.  Panelists included widely read blogger, singer, actor, and Adelphi Adjunct Professor, Erin Quill; and three of the Shootout winners - director Eunseok Choi, actor/producer/ Tyler Ham Pong and Justin Anthony Long, who is a writer/director/actor and teaches musical theatre at the Mayo Performing Arts Center.  Betit Yen began the panel with the question, “Why the [expletive] are we still talking about diversity in mainstream media anyway?  The year is 2014 and networks have proof in the numbers that shows by and about Americans of color are anything but commercial suicide.  Over 40% of millennial adults are non-white and people are sourcing diverse entertainment that reflects the diversity of world we live in so why are we here?”  Audience members, who had the opportunity to submit questions in advance and during a live Q&A, did not hold back and the panelists offered frank and refreshing takes on the current state of diversity in the entertainment industry.  Quill offered eyebrow raising statistics and Ham Pong gave an intriguing take on the “dimensionality of diversity.”  Both Long and Choi provided fascinating recaps of their journeys through the Shootout competition and its impact on them.  The Film Lab will host its annual Holiday Fundraising Gala on December 6th.  For more information and to RSVP, please visit www.asianamericanfilmlab.com/  All proceeds go toward diversity programming.

About The Shootout
Celebrating diversity and artistic empowerment, the 72 Hour Shootout (“Shootout”) is a worldwide competition in which filmmaking teams are given a common theme at the start and then have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit, and complete short films up to five minutes in length. More at http://www.asianamericanfilmlab.com/72-hour-shootout/.
About the Panel
Moderator, Jennifer Betit Yen

JENNIFER BETIT YEN is an actor, writer and recovering attorney.  Jen has performed for East West Players and appeared on the FX show, Dirt, and in FOX’s America’s Most Wanted, among others.  She also voiced the “sporty, bouncy and outspoken” character of Avery on the series The Beacon Street Girls, and wrote, starred in and produced the Accolade Award winning web series La La Land.  

She currently hosts the television series Film Lab Presents.  In addition to acting, Jen runs a company to help promote children’s literacy (MyJennyBook) and is the President of the Asian American Film Lab.  Jen launched the Film Lab’s newest production arm, AAFL TV, in the summer of 2013.  In her spare time, Jen boxes, runs and bakes pies.  www.jen-yen.com
Panelist, Erin Quill
ERIN QUILL holds a BFA in Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  Credits include the TONY Winning Musical, AVENUE Q, the 50th Anniversary Production of FLOWER DRUM SONG and KING & I. She co-wrote the feature film THE MIKADO PROJECT, which holds medallions from 6 film festivals.  Ms. Quill is an internationally known blogger on diversity. Her blog - www.fairyprincessdiaries.com - was the first to discuss Asian American representation in theater, in addition to LGBT issues, Native American representation, and the occasional 'feel good' story.  Stories that Ms. Quill has been the first to write about, have been picked up and covered by The LA Times, The NY Times, The International Business Times, Playbill.com, Broadwayworld.com, The Seattle Times, and more. She has been quoted in articles that have appeared on National Public Radio and appeared as a panelist on NPR's CodeSwitch.  Ms. Quill is also an Adjunct Professor at Adelphi University, teaches Acting for Singers and directs their Broadway night.  www.fairyprincessdiaries.com
Panelist, Eunseok Choi
EUNSEOK CHOI is a director of the Shootout film, My Hair is Not Black, which was created by a pan-Asian filmmaking crew, including members from Laos, Taiwan, Korea, and the United States.  The group came together to participate in the 72 Hour Shootout competition. The meaning of "Nolja" is "Let's play" in Korean, which they aspired to do during the 72 hours spent making their film.

Panelist, Tyler Ham Pong
TYLER HAM PONG is an actor, producer, and director.  Ham Pong started performing at a young age, first appearing onstage as Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice at the National Arts Centre in Canada. In addition to training at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, his New York City achievements have included producing Moony Mercury (theatre), producing the award-winning Two Days 'til Dawn (theatre), and producing the short film Sawaru, winning him a Best Actor Award at the AAIFF. Currently, he is based in Los Angeles.  www.TylerHamPong.com
Panelist, Justin Anthony Long
JUSTIN ANTHONY LONG is a writer, director and actor. Writing/directing credits: musical web-series City of Dreams (New York Times, USA Today, Playbill.com), Take Out (Top 10 2014 Asian American Film Lab 72-Hour Shootout), Cookie Soiree (Winner of Ken Davenport’s 2012 10-Minute Play/Musical Contest) Jake & Lindsay (2013 Davenport 10-Minute Play/Musical Contest Finalist), Welcome to Shoofly (2011 NYMF Next Link Finalist & 2011 NJ Playwrights Contest Finalist).Directing: Broken (Players Theatre), The Last 5 Years (Geneva Theatre), Disney’s High School Musical (New Benefit Theatre), and The Marriage of Bette & Boo (MSU Theatre). Acting: The Wolf of Wall Street, Wunderkind. A grad of the Upright Citizens Brigade Improv program, he holds a degree in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University, is an SDCF 14-15 Observership Candidate and member of AEA.  www.JustinAnthonyLong.com
About APEX
Our ongoing mission is to support Time Warner’s vision of diversity by promoting and advancing Asian American professionals at Time Warner through collaboration, networking, and professional development.  In support of APEX’s mission, we are committed to maximizing the experience of our members by focusing on four strategic areas; professional development, enhancing industry knowledge, networking and cultural and community outreach.

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