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72 Hour Shootout

Join the annual 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition and break some glass ceilings!

The 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition (the “Shootout”) is an annual, global filmmaking competition celebrating diversity in front of and behind the camera.  

Teams compete for access to a year of free educational and networking events, mentorships with executives at major networks like ABC, cash, prizes and the chance to have their films screened at film festivals, both nationally and internationally, and on television. 

Watch the premiere, dedicated to the late Howard Fong, and learn about the winners of the 2021 72 Hour Shootout: BE A HERO:

Watch the 2021 Launch Party here!  

Watch the 2021 72 Hour Shootout Premiere and Awards Ceremony here

The top 50 films will be showcased in Film Lab’s award-winning TV series Film Lab Presents in the fall!

Registration for the next 72 Hour Shootout is available here from March 1, 2022! Compete from anywhere in the world!

The competition creates a valuable opportunity for filmmakers of color – focusing on Asian American filmmakers – and women, as well as other underrepresented groups, 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 many others. 

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

FREE networking and educational filmmaking workshops March – June and, for the top ten, screenings, screen tests and network TV mentorships!

The actual Shootout itself takes place the first Thursday – Sunday of June. Films are based on a common theme which is announced online that Thursday evening around 8pm EST.

Join us and smash some glass ceilings!  

Email for more info.

More Press

2021 Backstage Magazine

72 Hour Shootout Archives








Want to see all the films?  Subscribe to our Shootout channel (for free!) here.  We’ll also do the top ten on the AAFL TV channel.  Subscribe for free here.  

The Shootout is a Registered Trademark of the Film Lab

All Rights Reserved

(c) The Film Lab

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.

For 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. This program was made possible, in part, due to the generous support of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council