What Is An American? The 13th Annual 72 Hour Shootout

Registration has officially opened for the Film Lab's 13th annual 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition, celebrating and empowering voices and stories too often marginalized by mainstream media
#72HrSO #StandTogether www.film-lab.org
#72HrSO #StandTogether www.film-lab.org
NEW YORK - March 1, 2017 - PRLog -- Registration opened today for the Film Lab's 13th Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout ("Shootout"), which will take place in early June.  Filmmakers began registering online at www.film-lab.org for this worldwide filmmaking competition, designed to promote ethnic and gender diversity in media, 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.  This year, the Film Lab says it intends to focus on the meaning of "American" – what does it really mean to be an American?  Who "deserves" to be considered an American?  "The idea came from one of our Board members, Aaron Woolfolk," explained Film Lab President, Jennifer Betit Yen.  "And the official tagline this year, 'Stand Together,' came from co-Shootout coordinator Cici Chu.  We want to focus on what brings our diverse and heterogeneous nation together and on our common humanity."

Registered competitors gain access to nearly a year's worth of free programming ranging from filmmaking how-to workshops to networking events.  The next event, moderated by Film Lab's Renee Lasher, will take place in mid-March at the Time Warner Center in New York City.  In the Shootout, teams compete for film festival and television exhibition, mentorship from top executives at major networks, such as ABC and NBC, cash, and other prizes.  The top ten films have the chance to screen their films at the prestigious Asian American International Film Festival, the only festival of its kind on the East Coast.  Teams also have an extended time period within which to submit a television version of their Shootout film for possible televised showcase by the Film Lab's new production arm AAFL TV, for a special spring Shootout TV series on CrossingsTV (Time Warner Cable, Xfinity, etc.).  Judges already confirmed include Marci Phillips (Executive Director of Casting for ABC Primetime), award-winning filmmaker Tami Gold, Michelle Sugihara (Executive Director of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), David Elliott (talent agent at Don Buchwald & Associates), Antony Wong (Program Coordinator at the Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI), of The City University of New York (CUNY)), and Girard Tecson, the Grand Prize winning filmmaker of the 2016 72 Hour Shootout. NBC executives Grace Moss, Director of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives for NBC, and Jandiz Cardoso, head of all in-front-of the camera initiatives for NBCUniversal's Talent Development & Inclusion Department, will be offering one-on-one mentorships.  Other prize sponsors include Face Off Unlimited, Bakerly, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, The Collagen Bar, Bridging Cultures 101, CrossingsTV, and HypnoHeart Reiki Massage.

The Shootout creates opportunities for filmmakers of color and women, particularly Asian Americans, to demonstrate their talent, gain exposure in the entertainment industry and create positive significant impact on the visibility of Asian and Asian American stories and characters in film and television.  One of the Shootout requirements is that at least one key production member (e.g., director, producer or writer) and a principal actor from each team must be of Asian descent.  The competition is also a perfect way for filmmakers, actors, writers, directors, editors, and "newbies" to learn, test their abilities and teamwork without any significant financial or time commitment.

About the Asian American Film Lab

The Film Lab is a non-profit 501(c)(3) headquartered in New York City that has been dedicated to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic diversity in media since 1998.  The Film Lab accomplishes that goal in three ways:  (1) education; (2) outreach and support; and (3) film, television and online entertainment production.

Education – The Film Lab runs monthly events that are open to the public ranging from screenings to seminars to Q&As, all designed to increase awareness of the current state of diversity in media and to provide audiences with the tools and motivation to effectuate positive social change through entertainment.

Outreach-Support – The Film Lab runs various programs ranging from the famous 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition to filmmaking how-to workshops to networking parties, all of which work to connect people of color, particularly Asian Americans, and mainstream media executives and to create mentorship and distribution opportunities for people creating diverse works.  The 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition is arguably the Film Lab's most important annual event; bringing together A-list judges and established and aspiring filmmakers across the globe.  People of all colors, backgrounds, religions, and cultures with a common goal: to battle inequality through creativity; to promote gender and ethnic diversity through entertainment; and to challenge stereotypical mainstream constructions of race, gender and sexuality.  Top Shootout films screen at the Asian American International Film Festival and the Time Warner Theatre in New York City and more.  The screenings typically sell out.

Production – The Film Lab produces media with positive and prolific perceptions of women and people of color.  The TV series, Film Lab Presents, hosted by Jennifer Betit Yen, currently airs on CrossingsTV (Time Warner Cable & Xfinity).  We also have an online channel, AAFL TV, to which viewers can subscribe to for free at youtube.com/asamfilmlab.

The Film Lab management team consists of Jennifer Betit Yen (President and Board Member, founder of AAFL TV Production Arm), Chloe Jenkins (Treasurer, Grants & Fundraising), Daryl King and Jodi Lin (Connections), Renee Lasher (Industry Spotlight and 72 Hour Shootout), and Cici Chu (72 Hour Shootout), along with a dedicated Board, interns and event volunteers. Board members include James Kyson and Aaron Woolfolk, among others.  For more information, please visit the Film Lab's website at film-lab.org.

Cici Chu and Renee Lasher Shootout Co-Coordinators
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