The top ten films will screen at the Asian American International Film Festival!  The top 50 will be featured on the online AAFL TV channel and more TBA.

There are also mentorship, screen test and cash awards.



The Grand Prize, Best Director and Best Writer Winners will Receive One on One Mentorships from NBC's Grace Moss!

Grace Moss, the Director of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives for NBC, oversees multiple programs that focus on discovering, cultivating and showcasing talented writers, directors and actors of diverse backgrounds, with the objective of getting them staffed on NBC's scripted programs. Specifically, she manages Writers on the Verge, the Emerging Directors Program and the Late Night Writers Workshop.  Before coming to NBC, Grace was the Manager of Development & New Series at the Style Network, where she oversaw new series in production, from initial pitch to delivery. She was instrumental in developing hit shows such as Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, Ruby, Giuliana & Bill and Jerseylicious.  Grace was also part of the internal Diversity Council and worked with other cable nets to promote initiatives and track diverse talent in front of and behind the camera.  Prior to her stint at the Style Network, Grace worked as a Producer and Director on a plethora of unscripted shows on a variety of networks, including MTV, VH1, TLC and NBC.  Grace has been actively involved with numerous organizations, including Asian Pacific Americans@NBCUniversal, where she serves as a Chapter Leader, and Filipinos in Hollywood, where she acts as the Co-Chair. She was a selected participant in the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Rising Leaders Program in 2012 and the National Association of Multiethnicities in Communications (NAMIC) Leadership Seminar in 2011. She also won Comcast's Ingenuity Award in 2008 for her contributions to the Style Network.  Grace is also a member of the Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) and Visual Communications, where she has contributed as a panelist in their annual C3 Conference.  Grace graduated from UCLA with a BA in English and Minor in Asian American Studies. She was the founder of the Pilipino Organization of English Majors (POEM), a Board Member of the campus’ Filipino student organization, Samahang Pilipino, and recipient of the prestigious Royal Morales Prize in Filipino Studies, awarded for the most outstanding undergraduate paper on the subject.  Grace currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and baby boy.

Best Actor and Actress Winners will Receive An Intro to ABC's Director of Casting, One on One Mentorships from NBC's Jandiz Cordoso, VIP show tickets AND a FREE self-taped audition session at FOU Studios!

Jandiz Cardoso has worked on pilots and series with networks including AMC, ABC, CBS, Starz, SpikeTV and MTV, as well as tentpolling films with feature studios including Disney, WB, Paramount, Universal, NewLine and Screen Gems. In 2010, she joined NBCUniversal’s New York casting office, covering all pilots, and serving as Associate on the last season of the Emmy Award Winning series, 30 Rock. In 2013, Jandiz wrote the foreword for  the acclaimed resource book, “Actors Choice: Monologues , Volume 2.”  She was Voted “Backstage Magazine’s” Reader’s Choice Award for Audition Coach of the Year, along with other honors.  Currently directing all in-front-of the camera initiatives for NBCUniversal’s Talent Development & Inclusion Department, Jandiz spearheads fellowships & scholarships with Second City in Chicago and UCB in NY and LA, executive produces the LA & NY Scene Showcase, NBCUniversal Short Film Festival, and Stand-Up NBC, where she awards 2 talented performers  Talent Holding Deals with the network.

The Best Actor and Actress will also each one a FREE Self-Tape Audition Session from FOU Studios in New York City, as well as a $300 Value package of 4 VIP Tickets to BATSU (NYC’s live Japanese game show experience, named “Critics Pick” -Time Out NY, “Voice Choice”-Village Voice, “One of the Best Things To Do In NYC”-CBS), The New York City Improv Face Off (competitive improv game show in Times Square, NYC)

The Best Writer Will Win A Mentorship Award from Milton Liu, Director of Programs and Artist Services at Visual Communications

Milton Liu, the Director of Programs and Artist Services at Visual Communications (home of the renowed Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival) will be offering a one-on-one mentorship to the winner of Best Screenwriter.  After graduating from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), Milton Liu co-founded Kulture Machine, the first film production company listed in Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film – producing such films as JESUS HENRY CHRISTand FIREFLIES IN THE GARDEN.  He received the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award for his feature script JOHN HUGHES RUINED MY LIFEand received the Tribeca Alumni Grant to write, produce and direct the webseries. He recently wrote AWESOME ASIAN BAD GUYS and directed the short documentary I HATE BIG PHONY. His next project is producing the feature LUCKY GRANDMA which will have its premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Previously, Milton was a Disney Feature Writing Fellow and a 2018 Fox TV Writers Lab Fellow.  Milton is also the Director of Programs & Artist Services at Visual Communications (LA Asian Pacific Film Festival), Vice Chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, and a member of the WGA. 

The Best Writer Will Win A Mentorship Award from Screenwriter Kelli Johnson

Kelli Johnson grew up in Collinsville, Illinois, home to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle (a painted water tower that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places).  Uninterested in condiments or water storage, she discovered her passion for storytelling by watching everything from The Apartment to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  More recently, Kelli received her MFA in Writing for Screen & Television from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  While balancing a full-time academic schedule, she worked as a freelance writer for Big Cat Entertainment.  She was a 2012 Alliance for Women in Media scholar and is an active alumni member of USC’s Women of Cinematic Arts.  Kelli is currently a writer on the hit NBC show “The Blacklist.”

The Winner Of Best Cinematography Will Win A Mentorship Award from Filmmaker Eric Lau

Eric Lau is an alumnus of NYU's prestigious Graduate Film Program. He has worked in the film industry for 34 years. His films, Nightwatchman and Ragged Edge, won the Best Narrative Film Award in the 1981 and 1984 Hong Kong Independent Film Festivals as well as Best Production, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography Awards in the 1984 First Run Film Festival.  Lau has been a cinematographer for many commercials and feature films. In 2007, he directed and produced Elevator Weekend which won the Official Selection category for both the Staten Island Film Festival and Long Island International Film Festival. He has produced and directed international TV commercials for Snapple, Toyota, China Unicom, and Blue Man Group among others, and garnered numerous awards including the Telly Award and the Gold and Silver Awards for the Taiwanese Annual TV Advertisement Awards. His work with AARP TV for NBC's TODAY SHOW: Your Life Calling Today with Jane Pauley won the 2011 Cine Golden Eagle Award. Eric has worked on news and documentaries for most major networks in the world such as BBC, CBS, NHK, ZDF, CCTV, 60 Minutes, etc. He has been a distinguished guest lecturer at numerous universities and film festivals including Tribeca Film Festival on behalf of APPLE on film and video production, lighting, and cinematography. Lau has been invited to be a jury member at numerous international film festivals including the Brooklyn International Film Festival, CBGB Film Festival, Asian American International Film Festival and Durban International Film Festival in South Africa among others. He was also an Adjunct Professor for Video Production courses at Brooklyn College.  For the past 29 years, Lau has been President of Solar Film/Video Productions, a full service production company in NYC. It has worked with internationally acclaimed films such as American Psycho and Y Tu Mamá También. He has also worked with filmmakers Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Alfonso Cuarón, Ernest Dickerson, John Turturro, Peter Bogdanovich, Mary Harron, James Toback, and Joel Schumacher.  Since 2009, Eric has been conducting Light and Shadow Filmmaking Workshop, focusing on independent filmmaking. It emphasizes on creative and effective hands-on techniques for small budget projects without sacrificing quality. It covers important film process including screenwriting, camera, lighting to directing and editing. For more  workshop info, visit: www.solarnyc.com/workshops  For more information about Eric and Solar, please visit Eric Lau's website at www.solarnyc.com
Best Editor, Director, Cinematographer, and Most Original Use of Theme Winners Will Receive a One-on-One Mentorship from Daniel Sakaya, President of CrossingsTV
Daniel Sakaya currently serves as the President/COO of Crossings TV. With a background in marketing strategy, business development, and entrepreneurship, his experiences include various start-up launches, corporate re-structuring initiatives, partnership management and development, and brand equity and awareness building through both strategic and grassroots approaches. Mr. Sakaya is a graduate from the University of Florida and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Best Actor Will Win a One-On-One with Ariel Estrada, the Producing Artistic Director at The Tank NYC

Ariel Estrada is an entertainer, producer, and arts administrator. As a passionate advocate for the arts, Ariel helps nonprofit organizations get their mission and message out into the world. He was recently inducted in New York Foundation for the Arts’ Emerging Arts Leader Boot Camp Program. In 2018, his work as an arts advocate was recognized by Theatre Communications Group in his designation as a Rising Leader of Color. Ariel is the current Communications Manager at The Tank NYC, a nonprofit arts presenting organization. He has also served as a development advisor for several Asian American performance companies, including National Asian Artists Project (Baayork Lee, Founder and Artistic Director) and Amaterasu Za (Ako Dachs, Founder and Artistic Director), as well as career coach for scores of early career performing artists of color.  As the Producing Artistic Director of Leviathan Lab, Ariel has produced over 50 events, productions, and short films since 2011. Most recently, he served as Executive Producer for the organization’s 2018 event THE WALL, a two-show series of performances in support of the immigration advocacy group Immigrant Families Together. 

Other Fun Tangibles


The winner of Best Director is getting some cold hard cash in the form of $100, courtesy of longtime Shootout sponsor and Film Lab Board alum Edwin Wong!


The winner of Most Original Use of Theme is getting some cold hard cash in the form of $100, courtesy of returning Shootout sponsor Bridging Cultures 101!


Best Editor will win a $260 Valued Pack of 4 VIP Tickets to BATSU! (NYC’s live Japanese game show experience, named “Critics Pick” -Time Out NY, “Voice Choice”-Village Voice, “One of the Best Things To Do In NYC”-CBS), The New York City Improv Face Off (competitive improv game show in Times Square, NYC)


Best Cinematographer will win a $260 Valued Pack of 4 VIP Tickets to BATSU! (NYC’s live Japanese game show experience, named “Critics Pick” -Time Out NY, “Voice Choice”-Village Voice, “One of the Best Things To Do In NYC”-CBS), The New York City Improv Face Off (competitive improv game show in Times Square, NYC)


 New York Women in Film & Television is partnering with Film Lab to sponsor the #72HrSO prize for Outstanding Female Content Creator. The winner will received a one year complimentary @NYWIFT membership and a #NYWIFT gift bag! 


Awards must be physically claimed by the award winner or his/her representative (that can be a friend, family member, fellow filmmaker, etc.) at the Shootout World Premiere Awards Ceremony and After Party in New York City (free to attend for registered competitors).