The Asian American Film Lab is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic diversity in film and television programming. Through our education and outreach programming, we connect filmmakers of color, provide seminars, screenings, opportunities to workshop scripts, and more. We also run the famous 72 Hour Shootout, an annual, high-profile filmmaking competition organized with the support of Asian CineVision and the Asian American International Film Festival, through which we work to ensure that stories and voices too often silenced in mainstream media are heard, not just as whispers, but as shouts to the world.
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THE WORLD PREMIER OF THE TOP TEN 72 HOUR SHOOTOUT FLMS!
JULY 27, 2013
Asian American International Film Festival Anthology Film Archives
2 Second Avenue, New York, NY - (212) 505-5181 (2nd Avenue and 2nd Street)
Followed by an Awards Ceremony & Wrap Party
The White Rabbit
145 E. Houston Street, New York, New York
Judges include David Henry Hwang, Marci Phillips (ABC), Dan Smith (FOX), and David Elliott (Don Buchwald & Associates), among others. Click on the "72 Hour Shootout" tab, above, for more information.
The 2013 72 Hour Shootout THEME is. . .A Guest In My Own Country.
Click here for a filmmaker's perspective on the Shootout Click here for information on SAG and the Film Lab's work for diversity in film!
AUGUST 1, 2013-Unfinished Works Screenwriting Competition at AAIFF'13
Winning Screenplay Reading, sponsored by Asian CineVision, the Asian American Film Lab and the Museum of Chinese in America, as part of the Asian American International Film Festival! Click here for more!
ABOUT US AND OUR PROGRAMS
View our ACTOR DIRECTORY here
The Actor Directory contains diverse and talented
actors, searchable by gender, age range, union
status, languages spoken, and more!
The Asian American Film Lab is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which originally developed in 1998 as a small New York-based screenwriting workshop series to develop, promote and improve screenplays by Asian Americans. The Asian American Film Lab has since expanded across the globe and includes hundreds of professionals of all colors and from all aspects of the entertainment industry working together with the common goal of advancing and supporting the inclusion of all people of color in the arts, particularly film. Our focus is on creating, promoting and supporting gender and ethnic diversity in film and television. We are currently funded by grants and private donations. For more info, email us at email@example.com. To join our MAILING LIST, send your name, geographic location and entertainment area of interest (writing, acting, directing, etc.) to Connections@film-lab.org.
FILM LAB PROGRAMS
Film Lab's programs include the annual 72 Hour Film Shootout, Unfinished Works, Industry Spotlight, and Connections and Social Outreach.
72 Hour Film Shootout
The 72 Hour Film Shootout ("Shootout") is a worldwide competition organized by the Asian American Film Lab, in which filmmaking teams have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit and produce short films up to five minutes in length on a common theme. The intention of this competition is to create opportunities for Asian Americans to demonstrate their talent, gain exposure in the entertainment industry and to impact the visibility of Asian American stories and characters in film and television. In order to meet this goal, the Film Lab require that at least one key production member and a lead actor from each team must be of Asian descent. This annual competition has inspired hundreds of filmmakers by helping nascent talent take brave steps towards a filmmaking career. Judges from the 2012 Shootout included hip hop pioneer Russell Simmons, Executive Director of Casting for ABC Primetime Marci Phillips, producer and entertainment executive Teddy Zee, acclaimed cinematographer Erin Lin, and more. 2013 judges include playwright David Henry Hwang and FOX Japan Producer Dan Smith. For more info, click on the Shootout tab, above, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Film Lab's longest running program, Unfinished Works constitutes an avenue for filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors to share and workshop their work at any stage of development for honest feedback. The feedback process includes a reading of the piece by professional Film Lab actors and is carefully structured to provide assistance with drafting, editing, outlining, and more. Lorna Nowve heads up this program. For consideration, screenwriters may email their logline and synopsis to UnfinishedWorks@film-lab.org. For program guidelines and requirements, please click here. To link to our ACTOR DIRECTORY, click here.
Industry Spotlight provides an opportunity for guests and industry professionals to teach others, share ideas, and to gain support and exposure by presenting a workshop, participating in a discussion or panel on an industry topic and sharing their experience. Industry Spotlight has encompassed everything from a nuts-to-bolts filmmaking workshop by feature film Wedding Palace director Christine Yoo to storyboarding how-to workshops to acting coaches teaching monologue workshops for actors. If you are an industry professional looking to share your expertise in any aspect of the entertainment business, please contact Perry Tsao at IndustrySpotlight@film-lab.org.
Connections, Social Outreach & Fundraising
Connections consists of social events designed to encourage networking and collaboration among entertainment professionals of color. For up-to-the-minute news and information on our events, please join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AAFilmLab) and follow us on Twitter! To receive event invitations, email David Dennis or Aurora Betsin at Connections@film-lab.org.
About the Film Lab Team
Jennifer Betit Yen, President and Board Member
Jennifer Betit Yen is an actor, attorney and the CEO of MyJennyBook.com. She has a strong commitment to volunteer work and to fostering and supporting gender and ethnic diversity initiatives. As an actor, Jennifer has performed on stage for East West Players in Los Angeles and at the Manhattan Theatre Source in New York City (http://www.backstage.com/bso/advice/paper-dragon-1005151982.story). Jennifer has provided voiceover talent for Random House and Reading Rainbow, among others, voicing the character of Avery in the series âThe Beacon Street Girls. Jennifer is an avid kickboxer and a graduate of Cornell University and Boston University School of Law. She is the author of several books for children, an article entitled 'Is My Baby Defective? Fetal Genetic Testing as Part of a Public Health Care Plan' published by Suffolk University Law Review and the co-author of the Boston Bar Association White Collar Crime 2005 CLE Seminar presentation, entitled 'Issues with Debarment/Exclusion.' Jennifer has experience newscasting and hosting and produced the web series La La Land in Los Angeles, which won an Accolade Award for Best Television Pilot.
Perry Tsao, Coordinator, Industry Spotlight
Perry C. Tsao is a New York based actor, writer, and attorney. His passion for filmmaking and story telling started from a very young age, even before he immigrated to the United States. However, throughout his life, he has often wondered whether pursuing this passion was a fool's errand. A lot of his doubts came from the fact that he didn't see many people on television or films that represented his racial or ethnic group. Nonetheless, as he grew older he realized that there were many people that felt the same way that he did. Some of these people were OK with the status quo, while others took it upon themselves to do something about it; Perry wanted to be one of those people. As an undergraduate at Fordham University, Perry took on the role of Program Coordinator for the Asian American Cultural Exchange Organization. During his first year as the Program Coordinator, he helped organize Fordham University's first annual Asian American for Conscious Thought Conference; notable guests included MTV's correspondent Suchin Pak, and New York councilmen John Liu. Ever since then, it's been Perry's desire to champion Asian American and minority causes through his work as an actor, writer, attorney, and Film Lab Industry Spotlight program manager. Perry has also held marketing and promotional internships at Sony Pictures and Film Movement.
David Dennis, 2013 SHOOTOUT Coordinator, Connections, Social Outreach
David Dennis is an animator and illustrator whose work evokes the intensity of Japanese Anime and Italian Drama. A graduate of New York University, David has traveled to the Czech Republic where he completed his first 35MM short film, NIKDO, which was shot on location with the support of Panavision and Barrandov Studios. His film's subject matters are both dynamic and diverse, ranging from chaotic family relations between mother and son, to the alternative history of colonized civilizations and their brimming fury towards impending doom.
Lorna Nowve, Coordinator, Unfinished Works Program
Lorna Nowve has an extensive background in film and television production. She has worked as a screenwriter, producer, and development director for a number of independent production companies. She served as Associate Producer on the indie hit Untitled and the Paul Reiser/Steven Sater Untitled NY Pilot for FX. Her production staff credits include The Following, Bored To Death, Law & Order, Ocean's 11, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the upcoming feature, Now You See Me. Her projects in development include the music documentary, Women On The Side and Best Buds. Ms. Nowve produced the highly acclaimed screenplay reading series at the Nantucket Film Festival. The program brought together noted screenwriters and casts including Ben Stiller Amanda Peete, Jane Alexander, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Scott Cohen, Naveen Andrews, and Andy Richter. Ms. Nowve was a participant in the Sundance Producers Conference and served as a screenwriting mentor for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.
Aurora Betson, Connections, Grants and Fundraising
A centenarian trapped in a younger body, Aurora is an ardent lover of silent-1950s cinema since the age of six. She hopes to one day see blockbuster Hollywood narrative films on the lives of Anna May Wong, Sessue Hayakawa and James Wong Howe. She has worked for Latin American Pay Television, acted in Atlanta productions and managed the Norwegian Emigrant Museum's collection of Hollywood silent star, Greta Nissen. She is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Exeter.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND ADVISORY BOARD
Aaron is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He shot his first feature film The Harimaya Bridge in Kachi Prefecture, Japan and San Francisco. The film had a nationwide theatrical release in Japan in the summer of 2009, and had an independent release in the United States in 2010. For his first film, the short Rage! Aaron won a Directors Guild of America award. His short films Eki and Kuroi Hitsuji won several awards, screened in international film festivals, and played on cable television. Aaron was the recipient of an ABC Talent Development Grant, and was later a Walt Disney Studios/ABC Entertainment Writing Fellow. With The Harimaya Bridge, Aaron became the first African American to make a feature film in Japan, and one of the few Americans to direct a movie in the Japanese film industry. Aaron is a veteran of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). He taught junior high school English in Kachi Prefecture. Aaron collaborated with playwright Tim Toyama in writing the play Bronzeville for The Robey Theatre Company, which developed the play and presented the world premiere in association with The Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. Aaron and Toyama received a nomination for an Ovation Award in the category Best Playwriting for an Original Play.
Bea Soong has been an actress for over thirty years. She has appeared on stage with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, East West Players and La Mama among others; in film (Greedy), and television (Law & Order), but she is best known for her appearances in numerous television commercials for clients that include GE, Glaxo Smith Kline, Intel, Lilly, Merck, Prudential, Verizon and Visa. Bea is also a filmmaker; her documentary short film The Wives Of Henry Yuk won a Cine Golden Eagle Award in the fall of 2011. She is currently editing a narrative short film she directed. She holds a B.F.A. in Film and Television from N.Y.U.âs Tisch School Of The Arts where her animated film That Fruit Film won a regional Student Academy Award and went on to be a national contender. Her film, Tu-Na House, was a 2013 Cannes Film Festival selection.
Eric Lin, acclaimed director and cinematographer, studied film criticism and sociology as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. He went on to pursue his passion for visual storytelling and earned his MFA at New York University's Graduate Film Program. For his efforts, he received the award for Best Cinematography at NYU's First Run Film Festival as well as the Kodak Award for Best Cinematography at the International Student Film Festival, Buenos Aires. In the summer of 2003, Lin was chosen to apprentice under Rodrigo Prieto (Babel, Brokeback Mountain, and Frida) on Spike Lee's film The 25th Hour. For the Showtime network, he shot Brighter Days, a short dramatic narrative dealing with the relationship of two brothers and the haunting possibility of AIDS. He has shot numerous short films, including: Missing by director Kit Hui, which premiered in competition at the 2005
Cannes Film Festival; and Franklin and Matilda by Paul Dano, starring Eddie Redmayne and Zoe Kazan. His feature film work includes Hui's feature debut, Fog, which premiered at the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival; and Bradley Rust Grays The Exploding Girl, which premiered at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival and was released theatrically by Oscilloscope Laboratories. The Indiewire review of The Exploding Girl wrote: "Eric Lin's magnificent cinematography seals the deal: Expressive colors and gentle movements become as relevant to thematic construction as the characters themselves." His most recent production, Olivia Silver's Arcadia featuring Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes, premiered at (continued, above left)...
WORDS FROM OUR PRESIDENTS
Jennifer Betit Yen, The Film Lab, Current President (March 2012-present)
The entertainment world is full of extreme highs and lows. To choose a career in the field of film and television is to choose a daring and risk-filled path. For writers, directors and actors of color, that path is made even more difficult by all-too-common misperceptions that non-white Americans are âthe otherâ and cannot realistically portray contemporary roles. Happily, talented entertainment professionals of color have worked long and hard to destroy these misperceptions, bringing beautiful, multi-faceted stories of Americans of all races to life on the stage and screen, by giving voice to the unheard and by sharing stories that may seem superficially different but hold universal truths. I originally went into law, and still love the law, because it is America's civic religion-one to which all of our diverse and cosmopolitan citizens can pay homage to. Like the law, entertainment is perhaps another type of civic religion, a connecting thread of stories of love and loss that all of us, as human beings, can relate to and learn from. I am proud to be part of the Asian American Film Lab, a group that promotes and supports the creation and dissemination of these diverse stories. I welcome you to take action, contribute and be a part of the mission to share, encourage and promote diversity in film and television!
Carl Li, The Film Lab (President 2010-February 2012)
Welcome to the Asian American Film Lab [AAFilmLab], a non-profit organization created in 1998 to be a community for people of all walks of life, from filmmakers, directors, music composers, producers, performers, writers, editors, crew members, & production, to those who have nothing to do with film or being Asian save their appreciation, love and support for Asian American Films old, or yet to be made, to collaborate, hone their craft, support eachother, network, and share resources. We also hold general meetings, workshops, readings, screenings and special events such as our Annual International 72 Hour Shootout, and the Film Relay Experiment! My personal motto as current president of the AAFilmLab is âhow can this make us better!â Please join us every month as we continue to help eachother improve! :-)
Tana Sarntinoranont, The Film Lab (President 2006-2010)
Acting and filmmaking can become a very solitary art form. Although there are projects that you work on with other people, the time in between, for better or worse, can be very isolating. To me, the AAFilmLab is for those times when isolation hinders creativity and meeting like minded people with the same heart and drive as you becomes inspirational. Try as we might to inspire ourselves on a day-to-day basis, it becomes more difficult without others. Before I joined this group in 2003, I felt that I could do anything on my own. I even judged those who seemed to need support of others in order to accomplish their goals. I was young(er) andâ¦ok fine, naive. I obviously still strongly believe in independence, but I canât express my gratitude and debt that I owe this group for what it has given me in terms of friendships, learnings, and honestly my best work as an actor. Â Through workshops, screenplay contests, filmmaking contests (http://www.72hourfilmshootout.com/) and ground breaking filmmaking projects (http://relay09.tumblr.com/), the AAFilmLab offers opportunities for everyone; actors, directors, writers, editors and more. If you have found us online, then consider coming to one of our events that interest you or subscribe to our Blog or Email list. We are a Not-for-profit organization, all of us volunteers with the single uniting need to create through film. Do you have that need? Dig deep for that answer and get back to me.
Mission Statement 2006
Matte Chi, The Workshop (President 2005-2006)
While I write this during the sleepy hours of a Sunday afternoon, the Asian American community is silently but unstoppably growing. At this very moment the Asian Americans who are accounted for, form 4% of the population of the United States. We Asian Americans will double our population in breakneck speed mirroring the historic growth of Hispanic-Americans. In a mere 50 years time we will stand on the platform alongside Hispanic Americans and African Americans to rival the majority in the United States (non-Hispanic White Americans will cling to a 50.1% majority). Â During this time of unprecedented growth there is an incredible amount of work to do if we want to participate in the grand democratic conversation. As history has proven, physical numbers alone will not inherently provide the means of expression for our beliefs nor will sheer numbers alone provide the social structures necessary to distribute our expression. We must participate and we must commit to participating in the daily conversations of our lives. Â And by what means can we converse amongst our peers and to the diminishing majority? As has been said before truthfully and correctly, it is through the Arts where expression will always be found. Â I have found within myself and within this generation the incipient need to discover and communicate our ideals, our goals, our desires. Discovery is the most important element here. Though what weâd like to communicate is inchoate and continuously changing, the need to share this knowledge as it is gained has become an incessant drumbeat ever increasing in volume as each day progresses. Â What better medium than film to discover and communicate these ideas? What medium can provide a better arena from which to continue the grand conversation taking place among us? Filmâs intrinsically collaborative nature provides the testing ground from which to uncover a singular voice, or even better a chorus of voices, we all wish to find. Film provides the comraderie which we as social beings desire and need to survive, to reach that not too distant future when we will have more at stake and more voices that will want hearing. Film with its multidisciplinary breadth is perfectly designed to take advantage of the roles we have traditionally taken in our quest to find happiness through our until now obligatory lives.
Though fifty years may seem too far away, by then as elders, that is exactly the moment when we will need to have a stable, viable outlet of expression. Without expression we will find ourselves living in a world where nothing we say will ever be heard, and nothing we want will ever be given. We have the rest of our lives to work. Take this opportune moment to make that work worthwhile. Find a means to communicate the meaningful. Join us and pick up a camera, learn from experience and share that knowledge. Convince others to do the same, and youâll find they will need little convincing.
The mission is simple: Create. Create honestly, continuously and share it. Above all Create.
The Original Founders, The WORKshop aka The Asian American Film Collaborative. 1998-2005
the 2012 Berlin Film Festival. Lin's other features have taken him abroad to Hong Kong, Cuba, and Haiti. Other works of Lin include a music video for Asobi Seksu's song, Trails, a Public Service Announcement for the Office of the Attorney General about student lending, as well as industrial spots for the global software company, SAP. An avid street photographer, Lin's photos of Havana were selected to be exhibited at Fotografia 2010 The Rome Photography Festival.
Erik Lu founded Descendant Films Production Co. in 2010. He is a graduate of the film production program at University of Southern California where he studied writing/directing under faculty such as Michael W. Watkins (The X-Files, Monk), Nina Foch (Spartacus, An American in Paris), and Gordy Hoffman (Love Liza). He has a natural eye and extensive training in cinematography under Earl Rath, ASC, (Raid on Rommel) and John Tarver, CSC, (Mothman, Seance). He has also done videography for Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA. Erik has made over 50 films in the last few years that have been distributed both domestically and internationally. Recent collaborations also include work with director/cinematographer Daniel Zhao (Far East Movement/Cali Swag District) and Emmy Award winner DP Dan Wills. Since moving back to the east coast, Erik has directed/shot several music videos and commercials and is currently writing a feature to direct in 2013.
Jennifer Betit Yen
See bio, above.
Voted by TV Guide as Hollywoodâ's 25 Hottest, James finished Hawaii Five-O on CBS, and a 4-year run on NBC's Heroes as Ando. A native of NYC, James graduated from Bronx H.S. of Science, then went on to study communications & broadcasting at Boston University, and New England Institute of the Arts. After a stint in a hip-hop rap group in college, and trying out improv comedy, James moved to LA on a one-way ticket & a single suitcase, where he began his training in music, dance, and acting. His first ever Television audition landed him on CBS's J.A.G. Other TV credits include "CSI", NBC's "Las Vegas", "The West Wing", "Heist", as well as ABC's "Threat Matrix", and FOX's "All About the Andersons."
John C. Woo
John C. Woo is founder and president of Woo Art International, a creative services and visual communications firm and the Executive Director for Asian CineVision.
FRONT ROW (L to R) Greg Pak, Steven Bai
BACK ROW (L to R) Rea Tajiri, Donna Tsufura, Mozell Miley, Takeo Hori, Thomas Moon, Michael Kang
MISSING: Ryo Hyashi, Francisco Aliwalas, NaRhee Ahn, Woody Han, Kevin Feng Ke, Yunah Hong, James Bai.
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To order Official 2012 Shootout DVDs:
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