The 72 Hour Shootout is a global filmmaking competition for everyone from novices to established filmmakers. Filmmaking teams are given a common theme at the start of the Shootout (usually 8pm EST, the first Thursday of June) and then have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit, and complete short films up to five minutes in length.

Read more:
-Backstage Magazine article:

-Huffington Post article:

-NBC Executive Grace Moss on the Shootout:

For almost two decades, the Film Lab and the Shootout have provided a platform for faces, voices and stories too often marginalized, whitewashed or silenced by mainstream media. Registrants can obtain screen tests and mentorships from major TV networks and established industry professionals to help develop their careers and the top ten films screen at the AAI Film Festival, on the TV series "Film Lab Presents," and are promoted online via AAFL TV.

Every year, registration opens online in MARCH and the Film Lab runs a series of workshops between March and June, free for registrants, to teach basic filmmaking skills and help people network and form teams. The events are livestreamed for registrants around the globe.

The actual 72 hours of filming takes place in June with the winning films premiering at the Asian American International Film Festival in July under the auspices of and in collaboration with Asian CineVision.

Teams compete for access to a year of free educational and networking events, mentorships with executives at NBC, ABC, and more, cash, prizes and the chance to have their films screened at film festivals, both nationally and internationally. The competition creates a valuable opportunity for filmmakers of color – focusing on Asian American filmmakers – and women to demonstrate their talent, gain exposure in the entertainment industry and impact the visibility of diverse stories and characters in film. 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.

Past Judges include hip hop icon Russell Simmons, producer Teddy Zee, ABC Primetime Casting Director Marci Phillips and playwright David Henry Hwang, among others.

The top 40 films will roll out on AAFL TV. Subscribe for free at so you get to see them all!

Stay posted via our homepage, Facebook and Twitter.

The top ten films will screen at a live film festival in New York City. The top 40 films will roll out online on Film Lab's online channel, AAFL TV. Winners of individual award categories, such as Best Writer, Best Director, and Best Actor, will win a series of one-on-one mentorships and/or screen tests with major network executives. There are also cash awards and other fun prizes.

-Backstage Magazine article:

-Huffington Post article:

-NBC Executive Grace Moss on the Shootout:


- Competition Period: “The 72 Hour Film Shootout” (the “Competition” or the “Shootout”) commences with the announcement of the contest theme at approximately 8:00 p.m. (EST) on the first Thursday of June and ends at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on the following Sunday. The participating group (“Team” or “Entrant”) must complete its film/video work (“Team Film”) and have it uploaded by 8pm EST on that Sunday. All teams must send their submissions via online submission to the Film Lab at (using a PRIVATE HD download link (via Vimeo, wetransfer or similar service). The vimeo or other online submission should include the team name, team captain’s name, film title, and TRT. Shootout entries made publicly available will be AUTOMATICALLY disqualified without notice and no refund will be issued). It is recommended, but not required, to send a hard copy back up submission. Hard copy submissions (flash drive preferred but DVD also accepted) may be made by mail carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEX, DHL, Airborne delivered packages are the only ones that will be accepted if no online entry is made) to: 72 Hour Film Shootout, c/o Asian American Arts Alliance, Attn: 72 Hour Shootout, c/o AAARI-CUNY, 25 W. 43 Street, 10th floor, NYC 10036 (“Entry Address”) by 12pm noon (EDT) on Monday (to allow for the fact no mail can be sent on Sunday). Online submissions must arrive by 8pm EST and hard copies will not be accepted unless the electronic submission was timely received. NO DROP-OFFS (including messenger service) WILL BE ACCEPTED. Only works that are received by the above deadline via the aforementioned official online submission or mail carriers will be admitted into the Competition.

- To Enter: Entrants should register for the competition online at It is encouraged but not required that all team members register. Non-registered persons may work on a Shootout film and must complete all paperwork, but may not serve as team captains and will not be eligible for goodie bags or gratis screening or party tickets. Multiple members of the same team may register independently, in order to keep their options open should they wish to form different or solo teams later on. Entrants living in or convenient to New York City may register in person, paying via cash or check made out to The Asian American Film Lab, Inc., at official Shootout events occurring between March and July. Applicants should email with questions. Entries received after the launch of the Shootout/announcement of the theme will not be accepted and no refunds will be issued, without exception. Entries submitted in accordance with these Official Rules shall be collectively referred to hereinafter as the “Eligible Entries.” All entries must be submitted in accordance with the specification set forth in these Official Rules. All entries become the property of the Asian American Film Lab (Film Lab) and will not be returned. There are no refunds.

- Once an entry is deemed an Eligible Entry, registered team members will be invited to the Competition Launch Party via to be held, usually, on the first Thursday of June. At 8 p.m. (EST), a contest theme (“Theme,” “Contest Theme” or “Competition Theme”), whose elements may include a prop, a character, a place and/or a line of dialogue, will be announced. The theme will be simultaneously announced on the Film Lab’s Facebook page and via other online social media for entrants across the globe. Upon receipt of the Contest Theme, each Team will be required to develop a film based on that theme to be submitted as their Team entry to the Competition (“Team Film”). To qualify as an official entry in the Film Shootout, each Team’s film must contain all required elements of the Contest Theme.

- Submission Requirements: Online private and downloadable video link – if the links are made available to the public, the entry will be automatically disqualified. You may also wish to provide one (1) copy of the finished product on a data DVD (+R/-R) or a USB Flashdrive, formatted to the delivery specifications on the registration forms, without proprietary codecs for screening purposes. Hard copy entries shall consist of the Team’s Registration Material, Team’s Submission Documents, and, (1) if no online entry is made, two (2) copies of the Team’s Film no longer than 5 minutes in length as specified in these Official Rules; or (b) if online entry is timely made, only one copy of the Team’s Film no longer than 5 minutes in length, as specified by these team rules. Where online entry is utilized, judging will be done based on the online entry and the DVD will be used solely for screening purposes should the Team Film be selected. Teams should submit an email to with a link from which the Film Lab can download the submission film with team name, team captain name and film title (a logline may also be included, but is not required). Teams may be asked, at a later date, to submit copies of their Team Film in additional formats during the judging process. Films must be wholly original to the Team. All creative work for the Team Film, including but not limited to the following, must take place within the Competition Time Period: Writing the script, Rehearsing, Costume/Set Design, Shooting, Editing, Sound Design. Only the following work can begin prior to the Competition Time Period: Organizing Crew, Organizing Cast, Securing Equipment, Scouting/Securing Locations. All footage for the Team Film must be shot within the Competition Time Period. No stock footage or footage shot or created before the Competition Time period may be used in the Team Film. Animation and special effects are permitted, but must be created during the Competition Time Period. Only one Team Film may be entered by a given solo filmmaker or a Team. If a solo filmmaker or Team submits more than one film, the Film Lab may, at its discretion, disqualify both entries or consider only the first film entered. Entries that are not the original work of the Team, or illegible or incomplete entries will not be accepted. Furthermore, entries which do not adhere to the following programming guidelines may be rejected by the Film Lab:

- The finished Team Film must incorporate the contest theme selected for the specific year's 72 Hour Film Shootout which will be announced promptly at 8:00 p.m. (EST) at a Launch Party in New York City and simultaneously on the Official Website.

- The finished Team Film, including credits, must not exceed 5 minutes in duration. Required elements such as 10 seconds of black , as detailed below, do not count against the 5 minute duration time.

-The finished Team Film must contain at least one key crew member and one lead actor who are of Asian descent. A key crew member is a director, producer, writer, director of photography, or editor. A lead actor is a character that drives the storyline. The competition is open to all filmmakers, regardless of race, religion or nationality, and it is recommended that films be crewed and cast in as diverse a manner as feasible.

- Any type of video or film or digital camera may be used.

- Each team must submit an online downloadable link to their submission by 8:00 pm EST 72 hours from the announcement of the theme. All online uploads must be private and downloadbale (preferably via wetransfer or vimeo) and must NOT be made publicly available.

- If Film Lab cannot view your film on its equipment, it may be disqualified. The Film Lab will not return any films/videos submitted. Once submitted, all films and the corresponding entry information become the sole property of the Film Lab and will not be returned.

- The finished Team Film must begin with the following:

1) Team name, date, title, running time

2) 10 seconds of black


- Films must include the following credit: “This film was made possible in part by the support of the “72 Hour Film Shootout presented by the Film Lab,”

- The Film Lab reserves the right to reject any entry that could be considered pornographic, or that depicts hardcore or graphic sex, or any other material, including language, deemed objectionable to community standards as determined by the Film Lab in its sole discretion. The Film Lab reserves the right to reject any entry that it deems, in its sole discretion, to violate any of these policies.

- Releases: Each Team is responsible for securing talent, location and all necessary releases for completion of their respective film. Regarding music releases, Teams are encouraged to work with local composers and/or musicians to write and record music for the Films. The Film Lab realizes that this may be difficult to achieve. Therefore, it is permissible for a Team to use prerecorded music; HOWEVER the Team must have the rights to any music used in its Film. Participant shall defend, indemnify and hold Film Lab and any and all other sponsors, and their respective affiliates, harmless from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, damages, or other payments, including, without limitation, reasonable attorney fees, arising out of any breach or alleged breach of any of warranties or representations pertaining to the Shootout. Releases must be available upon request. NOTE: Not having proper releases may prevent winning films from being screened at the Asian American International Film Festival, or at any other festival or venue.

- Judging Panel, Voting and Winner Selection: Based on the judging criteria set forth below, entries will be judged by Film Lab with one (1) Grand Prize Winner and two (2) Runner-Up Prize Winners to be announced at the Award Ceremony (exact time and location to be announced on the Official Website). All Shootout registrants will be invited to the Award Ceremony. Teams that are unable to attend the Award Ceremony will be able to determine if their Team is a Runner-Up Prize Winner or a Grand Prize Winner by accessing the Official Website.

- Prizes and Awards: Grand Prize (1): The Grand Prize Winner shall receive a prize package including but not limited to a prize provided by Film Lab or its sponsors. Runner-Up Prize (2): Runner-up Prize Winners shall receive a prize package including but not limited to a prize provided by the Film Lab or its sponsors. A current list of awards and prizes will be posted on the Official Website. The top ten Shootout Finalist films will be screened at the prestigious Asian American International Film Festival in New York City, and possibly more. The fianlists will also have the opportunity to be considered for online viewing on AAFL TV or televised showcase on Film Lab Presents (“AAFL TV Submission”). AAFL TV submission rules are listed on, which entrants agree to read and be bound by.

- Additional award acknowledgments will be announced in the following categories: Acting, Editing, Direction, Screenwriting, and Cinematography. Additional categories, awards and prizes may be added, removed, or substituted at the sole discretion of Film Lab.

- Eligibility: The Competition is open to filmmakers and Teams who have at least one Team member who is at least 18 years of age at time of entry. In order to be eligible to participate in this Competition each Team must contain at least one key member and one lead actor who are of Asian or Asian American descent. A key member is a director, producer, writer, director of photography, or editor. A lead actor is a character that drives the storyline. The Film Lab assumes no responsibility for any disputes among members of Teams that are entered into the Competition with regard to the film submitted into the Competition, or any disputes among the various individuals and/or entities that have collective interest in any submitted film. Such disputes will not be resolved by Film Lab. In the event that any such dispute or personnel change interferes with the operation of the Competition, entrants and their respective Team members involved in the dispute may be disqualified, in Film Lab’s sole discretion. Entries are VOID WHEREVER PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Members of the Film Lab or sponsors and their affiliated entities are eligible to participate so long as they are not members of the organizing or judging committees of the Competition. By participating in this Competition, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of the Film Lab, which are final in all matters relating to this Competition. No responsibility is assumed for incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by an entrant, any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Competition or by any human error which may occur in the processing of the entries or votes in this Competition. Entrants agree that neither the Film Lab nor any of its sponsors or affiliates will be responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in or downloading any materials of this Competition. If, for any reason, the Competition is not capable of running as planned, including, but not limited to, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Film Lab, or any and all sponsors and affiliated entities, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Competition, or for any reason Film Lab deems it necessary, Film Lab reserves the right in its sole and unequivocal discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition and/or the prizes. Entrants agree that all interpretations of these Official Rules and the decisions of Film Lab are final. The Film Lab reserves the right in its sole and unequivocal discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering, or has tampered with the entry process; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person or entity.

-No Animal Cruelty. No People Cruelty. No Porn. You want to kill a fish or stomp a bug for artistic effect? Don't. That sh*t will get you straight up disqualified. Leave the animals be. Treat your people kindly. If you have actors under 18 years of age, get parental consent, and, sorry, but no porn. Tasteful nudity for actors OVER the age of consent is ok, however, we advise you to shoot as though standard broadcast filetrs apply.

- Judging Criteria: Entries will be judged based on filmmaking ability, overall talent artist proficiency, originality, successful incorporation of the theme, and creativity.

Arrangements for the fulfillment of the Grand Prize will be made by Film Lab during the calendar year. The Film Lab reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to substitute the Grand Prize or the Runner-Up prize, or any portion thereof, with prizes of comparable value. The Grand Prize and Runner-Up prizes are non-transferable. Each Grand Prize Winner and Runner-Up Prize Winner (and each participating member, if a collective group), as a condition of receiving the Grand Prize, or the Runner-Up Prize must sign (i) an affidavit of eligibility and liability and agrees to release Film Lab, affiliated entities, advertising agencies, and any other participating sponsors, and their respective employees, from any and all liability, claims, demands and causes of action for personal injury and/or damage, theft, loss, or any other harm suffered in connection with this Competition or the use or acceptance of the Grand Prize or the Runner-Up Prize and (ii) except where prohibited, a promotional release granting the right to use his or her name, likeness and Team Film for advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Entry into this Competition constitutes each entrant’s agreement to sign such releases. Prior to the fulfillment of the Grand Prize, or the Runner-Up Prize, winners may be required to provide Film Lab with identification proving his/her age and identity and also to sign additional release(s) and/or agreement(s) necessary to fulfill the Prize. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY, FINALIST OR GRAND PRIZE WINNER (AT FILM LAB’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH INDIVIDUAL’S OR TEAM’S DISQUALIFICATION AS A FINALIST AND/OR GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF THE COMPETITION AND ALL PRIVILEGES WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED. Upon receipt of any part of the Grand Prize or Runner-Up Prize, each prize winner is required to comply with any and all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations related thereto.

- Entrants hereby agree to submit their entries under the following terms and conditions: (i) that the Film Lab may use entrant’s Film, and any ideas, concepts, materials, in whole or in part, contained in an entry to advertise, promote, and publicize Film Lab, AAFL TV and the Shootout, directly or indirectly, in perpetuity, including for commercial use; (ii) that all materials submitted become the property of the Film Lab and will not be returned; (iii) that all materials submitted are free from any lien or claim by anyone, including, but not limited to, any union, guild or performance rights society; (iv) entrants have obtained all rights, permissions and licenses necessary for Film Lab to use the entries for any purpose; (v) that no entry, or any part thereof, infringes any trademark or copyright or otherwise violates anyone’s right of privacy or publicity; (vi) entrants indemnify and hold harmless Film Lab and any and all sponsors and affiliated entities from any claims, suits, losses damages and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) that arise from any breach of the following conditions. All entrants agree to the foregoing and in addition agree to obtain, upon request of the Film Lab, any documentation and releases necessary to prove their unrestricted ownership in all materials contained in their entries and their right to use such materials without limitation for any purpose.

- Entrants will each sign a Participant’s Agreement which grants to Film Lab the irrevocable right and license to exhibit, broadcast, copy, reproduce, encode, compress, encrypt, incorporate data into, edit, broadcast, rebroadcast, transmit, record, publicly perform, sell, rent, and distribute and synchronize in timed relation to visual elements, the Team’s Film and any related materials submitted by entrants and the Team (such as personal information and/or elements, including but not limited to name(s), trademarks, tradenames, likenesses, photographs, biographical materials and all other graphic and/or textual material) (together with the Team Film, the “Materials”), and/or any portions or excerpts thereof, in any manner, an unlimited number of times, in any and all media, now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world, in perpetuity to advertise, promote, Film Lab, the Shootout, and any of its awards or presenting sponsors in all media throughout the universe and may authorize others to do so. Such advertising, promotion, and publicity may include portions and excerpts, in addition to cut-in, synchronized, dubbed and superimposed versions of the Materials. The Film Lab may use and authorize others to use Participant’s name, voice, biography, and likeness as well as those of artists or individuals who rendered services in connection with the Team Film in any media for the purposes of advertising, promotion or publicizing the Team Film and the Competition by the Film Lab.

- All teams shall refrain from publicly screening or in any way distributing the Team Film prior to such time as the winners of the Competition are announced by the Film Lab. Any team that violates this rule may be immediately disqualified at the sole discretion of Film Lab.

- All interpretations of the rules and decisions by the Film Lab are final. The Film Lab reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it finds or believes to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the event; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person or entity. The Film Lab reserves the right to amend these rules.

- This Competition is organized by Asian American Film Lab, Inc., a New York-based not-for-profit organization with a mailing address for the purposes of this competition at: 72 Hour Film Shootout, c/o AAARI-CUNY, 25 W. 43 Street, Suite 10, NY, NY 10036

***PLEASE NOTE: This address is for Film submission ONLY and NO DROP-OFFS (including messenger service) WILL BE ACCEPTED!!! Team registration can be completed online or sent to us via email at***


In the event your work is selected for showcase by AAFL TV and the Asian American Film Lab (“Film Lab”), you (“Entrant”) irrevocably grant to the Film Lab a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully-paid, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable (in whole or part) worldwide license to use, reproduce, transmit, display, exhibit, distribute, index, comment on, create derivative works based upon, perform and otherwise exploit such submission, in whole or in part, in all media formats and channels now known or hereafter devised (including on WDIG sites, on third party web sites, on Film Lab’s broadcast and cable networks and stations, on Film Lab’s broadband and wireless platforms, products and services, on physical media, and in theatrical release) for any and all purposes including entertainment, news, advertising, promotional, marketing, publicity, trade or commercial purposes, all without further notice, with or without attribution, and without the requirement of any permission from or payment to the Entrant or to any other person or entity.

Without limiting the foregoing, the above grant of rights includes Film Lab’s right (but not obligation) to display any Videos, or portions thereof (including without limitation, news feeds or reviews from the Unfinished Works program in its sole discretion. By submitting an Entry, each Entrant agrees that Film Lab shall have no liability in conjunction with the failure to post video, news or other information regarding the Entry.

By submitting an Entry, and to the full extent permitted by law, each Entrant grants Sponsor and its designees the right to use his/her Entry, name, biographical information, voice, performance, photograph/video, life story, image and/or likeness for programming, advertising, publicity and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide and in perpetuity, without compensation or additional consents and without prior notice, approval or inspection, and to execute specific written consent to such use if asked to do so.

Writers submitting to their works to the Film Lab are not permitted to use Film Lab’s trademarks without written consent and understand that doing so will be a violation of Film Lab’s or its applicable licensors’ intellectual property rights. Each Entrant further expressly acknowledges that Film Lab does not owe him/her a duty of confidence (or fiduciary duty or the like) with regard to his/her Entry and that Film Lab has wide access to ideas, brand names and tag lines, photos, videos, designs and other literary/artistic materials submitted to it from outside sources or being developed by its own employees and that such ideas/brand names/tag lines/photos/videos/designs/literary/artistic materials may be competitive with, similar to (or even identical to) the Entry submitted by Entrant and that Film Lab shall have no liability to Entrant or any third party in conjunction therewith. By submitting an Entry, each Entrant represents and warrants that: (a) he/she has all rights in and to the Entry and that submitting the Entry and granting the rights granted herein will not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity.

Film Lab reserves the right to request written proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Film Lab from any Entrant at any time.

(c) The Asian American Film Lab, Inc.

The Film Lab and the 72 Hour Shootout are Registered Trademarks of the Film Lab and May Not Be Used Without Express Written Authorization from the Film Lab

© Asian American Film Lab (TM) | 72 Hour Shootout (TM)

A 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the support and promotion of gender and ethnic diversity.