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Industry Professionals



You Got Questions?  We Got Answers!

  • Q: Can I enter more than one film? 
  • A: No, only one film/entry per person. However, if you have a friend who enters and makes a film, you are welcome to work on that film as an additional team member, actor or crew member.
  • Q: Can I submit my film online?
  • A: Yes!   By private download link, please.  But you also might want to snail mail us a copy as a back up (you don’t have to if you dson’t want to, though).  Make sure if you send us an online link, it’s PRIVATE (if you make your film public, it gets disqualified) and downloadable for us, not just viewable.
  • Q: How much does this cost?
  • A: Registration entry fee is $25 (early bird special) in March, $50 in April, $75 in May, and $100 in June, which goes towards supporting future Shootouts, Industry Spotlights and more programs to support and promote gender and ethnic diversity in film and television! Learn about our programs on
  • Q: Does my team have to be in New York? What about Canada?
  • A: The 72 Hour Shootout is open to participants from all over the world! In fact, we have received submissions from as far as Hong Kong! Just be sure you follow the rules and submit on time.
  • Q: I’m not Asian but I want to compete!
  • A: Cool!  Welcome!  If your film has a person of Asian descent in a Lead Role and you also have a person of Asian descent in a principal production position (Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Director of Photography or Editor), you can play with us. If your Asian friend or family member can do both, that satisfies the requirement. So grab your talented Asian buddy or buddies and put together a team!  And, yes, it counts if you’re just part Asian.
  • Q: I’m a triple threat. Can a person of Asian descent fill principal production positions and acting positions at the same time? For example if I write, direct and act will I be eligible to compete?
  • A: Yes. As an example, you can be the lead Asian actress as well as the director and the rest of your team can be Non-Asian.  We would love to see teams that are as diverse as possible (e.g., Asian American, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc.).
  • Q: What releases do I need?
  • A: Although not required in the final submission package, we expect filmmakers to have all the appropriate location, music and talent releases if requested. Please take a look at the The Rules and Registration on our website for the required documents that you will need to submit with your Shootout submission.
  • Q: What about music?
  • A: If you have rights to use an artist’s existing work, make sure to add them to your team roster and credit them in your film! Although not required, you may send us a copy of a written agreement!
  • Q: What about Creative Commons licenses? Do we still have to get in touch with the composer? 
  • A: You’re free to use anything under a Creative Commons license in your films, as long as the type of CC license they use lets you. The team leader is solely responsible for any agreements with artists on their team to use their work.
  • Additionally, we encourage your team to credit both and your team artist in your film!
  • Q:  Does every member of my team have to register or just the team captain?
  • A:  We strongly encourage ALL team members to individually register.  Only registered competitors gain free access to events, are eligible for certain award categories and can obtain the free video Survival guide series or a low cost hard copy survival guide.  Insofar as administrative and record keeping details go, only registered competitors are eligible for official Film Lab Shootout imdb credit and will receive notices regarding awards, prizes and screenings.  It is definitely better to be registered although you can volunteer to work on someone else’s registered team for free (but, again, you won’t receive notices of events, awards or prizes from Film Lab if you are unregistered).  For the free video survival video series, including writing, directing and editing how-to’s, click here.  Subscribe for more (it’s free!) at To order a hard copy of the survival guide, click here.  
  • Q:  I registered but now I want a refund…can I have one?
  • A:  We have a no refund policy for Shootout.  
  • Q:   I’m ready. Where do I get me a team?
  • A: If you’re in NYC, come to all of the pre-Shootout events that run every month.  They’re FREE if you’re registered for the Shootout and full of talented people who also are interested in diversity in film and in the Shootout.  Not in NYC?  No problem!  Friends are a good start. If your friends have already used up their fifteen minutes of fame, then try posting on our message board for cast or crew.  Use social media!  The Film Lab has a Facebook Fan Page for the 72 Hour Shootout you should join right now and commence to networking away online – and  Tweet @asamfilmlab with the hashtag #72HrSO to advertise your skills , look for team members and build buzz about your team. Please do not box yourself in by saying something like, “oh, I’m just an actor.  I can ONLY act.”  You’re literate, right?  That means you can write!  You’ve rehearsed a monologue for an audition haven’t you?  Isn’t that self-directing?  And, of course, there’s always Craigslist,, Facebook. Be resourceful!
  • Q: I can’t find a scanner! How do I send you my signed submissions forms?
  • A1. You can copy and paste the info from the submission form to us in an e-mail with all the required information, make sure your team leader sends everything from their registered e-mail address. 
  • A2If one of your team members isn’t able to sign the forms by hand, please either copy/paste the Submissions information and send from the team leader’s registered e-mail.
  • A3If you aren’t able to find a scanner to scan all of your teammates signatures, please send the Word file to each of your team mates and have them fill out the file. This will allow us to verify accuracy should there be any issues with your teammates!
  • A4. Otherwise, you can also send the signed sheet by PDF using r-post or another PDF signature program.
  • Q:  What about using children or animals in my film?  How about violent films or films with nudity?
  • A:  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 filters apply. 
  • Q:  Are there delivery requirements for the file size and jazz like that?
  • A:  Yup.  Gotta make sure the “Delivery Specs” are met – scroll down to the bottom to download the PDF of the delivery specs.  Easy as pie.  Questions about ’em?  Ask the Shootout team anytime BEFORE the Launch Party (during the Shootout, you’re on your own, so ask your questions NOW!!!) via our Facebook Fan Page or via email (
  • Q: What about SAG-AFTRA?
  • A:  Many filmmakers ask us if they can use SAG-AFTRA actors.  If you would like to use union actors, you must contact SAG-AFTRA directly to find out how to become a signatory.  Please call Stephanie Perry at (212) 827-1553, Pearl Brady at 212-863-4207 or Olga Rodriguez at (323) 549-6818 and obtain their express, written permission in advance of shooting.  Please do this as early as possible.  **You can also attend a free workshop in NYC or LA (details here) or call 323.549.6064**Film Lab cannot authiorize the use of union actors.  Such authorization must come directly from SAG and, to be eligible for the coveted actor prizes, actors that are union will have to show us evidence SAG ok’d them to work on the film.
    Film Lab expressly disclaims any and all liability pertaining to the filmmakers’ actions and actors should seek recourse for any issues from the filmmakers themselves. 
  • Q:  Do I get free entry into all the events?
  • A:  Registered competitors (meaning: you registered and paid the fee) get free entry to all Film Lab sponsored events, like the Launch Party, Q&As, How-To’s, and Wrap Party.  Team members who are not registered do not get free entry.  We need everyone to RSVP for headcount purposes, free or not.  Please note that several of the screenings, including the world premiere at the Asian American International Film Festival, are sponsored by other entities who are in charge of ticketing and take all proceeds from the event.  For those events, Film Lab has no power to provide a free ticket.  The events in our power, though, we make free for our registered competitors!  Yeah.  Because we love you.
  • Q:  How and when will I know if I won an award?
  • A:  Be there live at the world premiere or listen in via live stream (live stream is free!).  All the winners are a secret until the premiere.  We encourage filmmakers to come and support one another and show solidarity even if they think they didn’t win.  The competition is about promoting and supporting diverse faces, stories and voices, not just winning on an individual level – although that’s always nice, too.
  • Q:  On awards, if I have multiple writers or directors and we win Best Writing or Best Directing, do all of them get an award?
  • A:  No.  In the event of multiple people in a single category, the prize will default to the registered team captain and she or he can figure out how to fairly “allocate” the award.  The reason for this is the most coveted awards for these categories are the network mentorships, however, we have to respect the time and generosity of our mentors who can only offer to mentor a single individual, not multiple people.  If you are going to have multiple writers and directors cool for you to collaborate like that, however, we strongly recommend you discuss how you will handle a win in that category BEFORE you make your film and win an award, to avoid hurt feelings or confusion.  Thanks!
  • Q:  OK, so the top films will get all sorts of cool screenings, the chance for televised broadcast and possibly go up on AAFL TV…but will you show off my film if I DIDN’T make Top Ten?
  • A:  Usually, AAFL TV will roll out the top 40-50 72 Hour Shootout films. To see just the top ten and individual award winners, subscribe for free at To be auto notified as we roll out the top 40-50 (maybe even 100 if you ask for more – depending on demand each year!), subscribe for free at Better yet, do both! Vote for your fav for the audience choice awards.  Tweet your choice for winner to us @asamfilmlab using #72HrSO.
  • Q: My question isn’t answered here – what should I do?
  • A: Send an email to the Shootout Coordinator at
  • We’ll get back to you as soon as we can and will post other FAQ’s. 

Need step-by-step guidelines?  Ok!  Here you go:

STEP ONE – Read the Rules!


Register and pay your entry fee your team online!

Although a majority of the work is restricted to the Competition Period, there is some prep work you are allowed to do. As stated in the Rules: “Only the following work can begin prior to the Competition Time Period: Organizing Crew, Organizing Cast, Securing Equipment, Scouting/Securing Locations.” We also recommend you prepare your releases and other submission forms during this time (Talent, Location, Music, etc.), fill out your Submission Documents including the Participants Agreement which all of your team members are required to sign. 


At the LAUNCH PARTY, the THEME WILL BE ANNOUNCED! RSVP via our Facebook Page, meet and recruit editors, directors, actors and camerapersons and editors.

For the next 72 hours following the theme announcement, you will putting your five minute film together, directing your actors, editing it and cleaning up the mess you made! 

STEP FOUR – (Slate your Short a.k.a. POST-PRODUCTION)

Now that your film is finished, here’s how to prep it for us.  

2. Slate before your film: your team’s name, date, title, and running time*

3. At the beginning (or end!) of your film, you must include:

“This film was made possible in part by the support of the 72 Hour Film Shootout presented by the Film Lab –” 

* Please note that the above credits and slate do not count toward the time limit.

  • Video files should be in High Definition and match the delivery specs below (scroll down for a link to the PDF).


Due to the volume of entries expected, you may only send your short to us one (uno) and only one way!

If you send us more than one e-mail you will only make everything more complicated for us, our judges and your team!  

This year, we we can accept your short film three ways, please have your team leader decide on only one submission method:

(a) Vimeo (downloadable video):  

Upload your complete film to Vimeo then fire up a new email:

  • Include in the subject line: 72 Hour Film Shootout Entry – Your Team Name
  • Make sure it’s the private downloadable video and include password in the email.
  • Complete the your submission form with all required information, including team members information to Make sure your team leader submits this information correctly.  

(b) Online File Transfer Service:

Bundle your video and submissions documents via the web file transfer services YouSendIt, or WeTransfer

  • in the subject line type: 72 Hour Film Shootout Entry – Your Team Name
  • Don’t forget to send a PDF copy of your signed Submission Formsalong with your completed short. 
  • address your docs and video to

(c) Old School Overnight Mail

All teams choosing the old school submission method (we highly recommend the new school email submission method via an unlisted vimeo or wetransfer link instead) must send their Film and submission documents via US Postal Service, FedEx, DHL, Airborne or UPS delivered packages.  THIS YEAR, THE SHOOTOUT ENDS ON A SUNDAY (NO MAIL SERVICE) SO KEEP THAT IN MIND!  IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED YOU NOT USE SNAIL MAIL AND THAT YOU SUBMIT ELECTRONICALLY INSTEAD OR YOU’LL LOSE A DAY!

It is also recommended that teams use OVERNIGHT carrier. Filmmakers may opt to use non-overnight delivery services to save money, however this is done at their own risk. 


  • 2 (two) Data DVDs (+R/-R) and/or USB Flashdrives of the finished film for overnight mail carrier. 
  • Your Signed Submission Documents

 Our Submissions Address is:

72 Hour Film Shootout 
c/o AAARI-CUNY, 25 W. 43 Street, #1001, New York, NY 10036

Filmmakers using SAG-AFTRA talent must download the appropriate forms from our FORMS page, complete them and send them via email PDF to no later than July 1.

** If we do not have your signed Submission Documents, we will not accept, judge, or screen a team’s submission, even if only one member fails to sign. **

Important Notes Regarding Online/Old School Submissions:

NO DROP-OFFS (including messenger service) WILL BE ACCEPTED. 

Only works that are received by the above deadline via the aforementioned official mail carriers will be admitted into the competition.


After you’ve turned in your films, the Asian American Film Lab will sort through all entries and the judging process will commence.  


This year our Award Ceremony will be taking place at the Asian American International Film Festival in NYC. Stay tuned for more details!!! 

Don’t forget to download the