The Film Lab’s 17th annual 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition premiered its winning films at the Asian American International Film Festival, celebrating and empowering voices and stories too often marginalized by mainstream media. For the first time in its history, the premiere was dedicated to an individual.
The Film Lab premiered the top 10 films of the 17th annual 72 Hour Shootout (“Shootout”) filmmaking competition at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York City on August 11, 2021. The premiere and awards ceremony remain available as VOD at the festival until August 22, 2021. All films are based on a common theme and the Film Lab’s 2021 theme was BE A HERO. The Shootout is an annual global filmmaking competition that provides exhibition, exposure, mentorship, and more for all underrepresented filmmakers, with a focus on Asian Americans.
This year, for the first time in its history, the Film Lab dedicated the premiere to an individual – the late actor and writer Howard Fong. Mr. Fong is known for THE JOY LUCK CLUB, TIL DEATH DO US PART, FREZNO SMOOTH, ZEN NOIR, PARTY OF FIVE, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES; “MURDER 101”, ANYTHING ANYMORE, THE SHOWBIZ SHOW WITH DAVID SPADER, FAST MONEY, CLICK, CRASH, CHRISTMAS MAIL, ANITA HO, MICKY’S SUMMER RESORT, THE HERO SUPER, BATTLE B-BOY, AGAINST NIGHT, SAMURAI COP 2: DEADLY VENGEANCE, and DARLING NIKKI.
He wrote the play YUT HO, which debuted at the David Henry Hwang Playhouse and starred now Film Lab President, actor Jennifer Betit Yen. The play was directed by the late Elizabeth Sung. Mr. Fong was an active member of the AAPI community and the Film Lab staff felt he personified the theme of the 2021 Shootout: Be a Hero.
The Film Lab’s Shootout Coordinator, Shing Chung, hosted the first virtual After Party for the Shootout filmmakers on August 14. At the party, Chung thanked and congratulated the filmmakers and Film Lab staff, noting what an accomplishment the films were, particularly in light of the hardships experienced by everyone this past year, particularly the AAPI community. “The virtual after party represented an exciting finale to this year’s competition,” he stated.
The winners this year included:
Grand Prize: “Everyday Hero” by Team Empower Video Production, led by Nuk Suwanchote. 1st Runner Up: “Slurring” by Team Stacy’s Girls, led by Matilda Saell. 2nd Runner Up: “A Hero’s Duty” by Team HIIT Show, led by David Choi and “Heroes in Training” by Team Chew Tube, led by Kevin Chew. “Self Tape” by Team Two on the Nose, led by Alex Lee; “If it were this easy” by Team Beautiful People, led by Eileen Li; “A Hero’s Journey” by Team Agreitia; “Domicile” by Team Mafollma, led by Foster Manley; “First Day Back” by Team Bronze x Gold, led by Amanda Shi; and “So You Wanna Be A Hero” by Team Miss Ash Productions, led by Ashleigh Coffelt.
Individual awards included:
Outstanding LGBTQ Filmmaker – “Slurring” by Team Stacy’s Girls; Best Actor –Tim Liu of Team Films w/ No Friends; Best Actress – Amanda Shi of Team Bronze x Gold; Best Editor – “Be Your Own Hero” by Team Rocket; Best Writer – Francis Chin of “The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread” by Team Triscribe; Best Director – Nuk Suwanchote of “Everyday Hero” by Team Empower Video Production; Most Original Use of Theme – Tie between Xiaoyin Xie, for “Rain” and Eddie Shieh of Team Soy Sauce Chicken for China Doll; Award for Outstanding Female Content Creator – Sarah Di of “Be Your Own Hero;” and Best Cinematographer – Peixuan Wang of “Grandma” by Team Rush Hour 5.
The Film Lab will roll out the Top 50 films on their online channel – AAFL TV – and, this fall, in the television series Film Lab Presents.