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72 Hour Shootout

Registration For Shootout 2024 Opens March 1st! Stay Tuned!

The top 50 films will be showcased in Film Lab’s TV series Film Lab Presents and the top 100 on AAFL TV

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.  The top 50 films from the Shootout will air across the country on the next season of Film Lab Presents


March 1: Registration opens online at Register early for early bird specials and access to the Spring Filmmaking How-To Workshop Series

First or Second Thursday of June, 8pm EST: The THEME of the Shootout is announced, upon which the films must be based and filmmaking commences!

72 hours later…: All films are due and Vimeo or retransfer download links must be sent to

July/August: Launch Party for the Asian American International Film Festival. The top ten Shootout films will premiere at the festival. This is a chance to meet other filmmakers and network.

July/August: Special Private Screening & Cocktail Reception in Manhattan for Judges, Sponsors and Top Three Filmmakers.

July/August: The Top Ten Films Premiere at the Asian American International Film Festival. Location: The Asia Society, NYC. Time: 12 Noon EST. Watch via festival VOD here August 8-13, 2022.

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

Compete from anywhere in the world with WiFi!

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. 

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

2021 – BE A HERO



2018:  NO MORE



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