Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang and FOX Entertainment Japan’s Dan Smith Among Judges for 2013 72-Hour Shootout; Pre-Shootout Events


David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

New York, NY, March 22, 2013 — The Asian American Film Lab – (“Film Lab”), a non-profit working to increase diversity initiatives in film and television, is pleased to announce that Dan Smith, producer for FOX Entertainment Japan, Nicole Kassell and David Henry Hwang, the American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter who has risen to prominence as the preeminent Asian American dramatist in the U.S., will be among the judges of the 2013 72-Hour Shootout – competition (the “Shootout”). Returning judge, Marci Phillips, Executive Director of Casting for ABC, will also be on the panel, among others!

The Film Lab has launched a series of events geared towards preparing registrants for successful participation in the Film Lab’s annual, high-profile, global filmmaking competition ( The Shootout, now in its ninth year, has inspired hundreds of diverse filmmakers by helping nascent talent take brave steps towards a filmmaking career.

The Film Lab’s Shootout events will kick off on Thursday, April 11, 2013, when Erik Lu, Asian American Film Lab Board member and the founder of the Philadelphia production company Descendant Films, will be leading a hands-on, interactive workshop for 72-Hour Shootout participants entitled: ” A Live Working 72-Hour Shootout Set Workshop.”

This special, intensive Shootout workshop will include a crew member from each major department (producing, directing, cinematography, etc) conducting a mock 72-Hour Shootout with commentary from each department head. Participants will be “shooting” a scene during the workshop.

Film Lab Board member, Erik Lu, advised, “[E]xpect it to be a live set and every 5 minutes or so, we will give our suggestions, and at the very end, we will field questions. It’s going to move fast, and it’s going to be dense with information. We’ll have a short scene prepared for a couple of actors before you arrive, and guinea pig a random person from the audience, someone who is okay with being picked on, to direct it with our crew members listed below. We are going to make it very difficult for that person, but we are going to do our best to serve the director’s vision and make the scene the best we can with the zero budget resources we’ve got. That’s the focus — How do we work as a crew to tell the best story we can with practically no money? And everyone who attends can observe and participate, and if they’d like, also be on their feet with us.”

Particularly encouraged to attend are actors and writers who have not engaged in the technical aspect of filmmaking before and who wish to participate in the Shootout. In the workshop, Erik and his team will guide attendees through common pitfalls and explain the basic guidelines needed to create a successful Shootout film.

This workshop will take place in New York City. Those registered for the Shootout who do not live in New York City will have the option of obtaining written materials from the workshop. Because of the intimate, hands-on nature of this event, space is limited and RSVPs are required. To RSVP, please email David Dennis at

Pre-Shootout events will also include a Build-Your-Team Networking Party on May 16th at the Official Shootout Party Venue, THE WHITE RABBIT, and various online networking opportunities. For more information, people may contact the 2013 Shootout Coordinator at .

Additional upcoming Film Lab events include a staged reading and workshop of Raymond Yeung’s screenplay, “Yellow Fever,” at 6pm on April 4, 2013, in New York City. Raymond Yeung’s short film, RUB, was previously featured in the Asian American Film Lab. He is best known for his first feature film, CUT SLEEVE BOYS, which premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2006. The film won Best Feature at the Outfest Fusion Festival in Los Angeles, and earned a Best Actor Award at the Madrid Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. This romantic comedy was sold to twelve territories worldwide and had cinematic releases in Thailand, Taiwan, and in various cities across the United States. The DVD was launched in November 2007 and the film was broadcast on television on both Here! and Logo networks. Time Out, New York reviewed CUT SLEEVE BOYS as a “fun, rare look at Gay Asian life with refreshing insights into various queer subtleties, from the difference between cross-dressing and trans to the details of being a circuit queen.” Most recently, Ray was selected to participate in 2013 Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus Script Station. Actors include Adenike Thomas, Siying Chen, Austin Ku, Graham Powell, Jennifer Betit-Yen, and Perry Tsao. Please email for more information and to RSVP.

About Dan Smith
Smith’s entertainment career began while serving in the United States Air Force, where he worked in print media and edited and published many of the Air Force’s newspapers. Following his service, Smith turned to broadcast media, where he contributed news, entertainment and sports features through such diverse agencies as Associated Press Television News and BET Nightly News. His foray into producing started with the creation of ACTV, a community channel that started with local programming for U.S. military bases in Japan and quickly turned into producing original content for broadcast in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Among his early successes was the self-hosted reality show Black Life In Japan, which became a global cult favorite and earned him an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Smith then developed the entertainment program Access E, which aired in Japan and on several U.S. cable networks.

After producing the acclaimed one-hour documentary Fandemonium — Chasing Michael Jackson (Shirarezaru Nanoka Kan) for Fox Television, Smith went on to create the hit weekly entertainment show Fox Backstage Pass, which recently filmed its 200th episode. Smith currently produces original programming for the Fox Television, Fox Movies Premium, Fox Sports and National Geographic channels in Japan.

About David Henry Hwang
DAVID HENRY HWANG was awarded the 1988 Tony -Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His play Golden Child, which premiered at South Coast Repertory, received a 1998 Tony – nomination and a 1997 OBIE Award. His new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony – nomination in 2003. Yellow Face won a 2008 OBIE Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Chinglish, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk Nomination. Other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), The Sound of a Voice and Bondage. He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins. As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine). Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate, and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with composer/performer Prince. He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and is a 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow. He is currently the Residency One playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre Company, which has recently revived two of his earlier plays, and will premiere his newest work, Kung Fu, in 2013-14.

About Asian American Film Lab and the 72-Hour Shootout
The Asian American Film Lab (Film Lab) began in 1998 as collaborative of New York-based filmmakers whose goals were to hone their craft and to share their knowledge, experience, and resources. The membership has grown to comprise professionals, artists, and other talented individuals who all share the common goal of creating great film and promoting Asian American filmmakers and the visibility of their stories and characters in film and television. The Lab now runs monthly programs to promote gender and ethnic diversity in film and television.

The Film Lab is run under the direction of President Jennifer Betit Yen. Board members include screenwriter and director, Aaron Woolfolk, actor James Kyson Lee, actress and director Bea Soong, producer Erik Lu, attorney Peyton Worley, and advisors cinematographer, Eric Lin, and Director of Asian CineVision, John Woo.

The Film Lab’s programming includes filmmaking workshops with industry professionals, screenwriting contests, and film competitions, including the annual 72-Hour Film Shootout (the “Shootout”). This annual competition, now in its ninth year, has inspired hundreds of filmmakers by helping nascent talent take brave steps towards a filmmaking career.

The Shootout is a high-profile worldwide short film competition where filmmaking teams have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit, and produce short digital films up to five minutes in length and based on a common theme. The Shootout theme will be announced May 31, 2013, at a launch party in New York City and simultaneously on the internet. The Shootout will culminate on July 27, 2013, with a theatrical screening of the top ten finalists, an awards presentation, and a wrap party. 2013 will be the 9th year Asian CineVision will partner with FilmLab to promote the Shootout at the 36th annual Asian American International Film Festival (“AAIFF”). AAIFF is New York’s leading festival for independent Asian and Asian American film and video, and the first and longest-running U.S. festival of its kind.

As an integral part of AAIFF, the Shootout celebrates the creativity and genius of the directors, their casts and crews as they share stories by, about and for Asian Americans and other filmmakers of color with the world. AAIFF has played a vital role in discovering and nurturing such acclaimed talent as Wayne Wang (THE JOY LUCK CLUB), Ang Lee (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Mira Nair (THE NAMESAKE), Zhang Yimou (HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS), Christine Choy (WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN?), Steven Okazaki (THE MUSHROOM CLUB), Jessica Yu (PING PONG PLAYA), and Justin Lin (FAST FIVE).

The Asian American Film Lab is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Membership and a ll contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

David Henry Hwang Articles:
Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins Set for Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season
Signature Theatre’s Revival of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Set for Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, May 9-12, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night at Signature Theatre
Signature Theatre extends David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad starring Ruy Iskandar and Yuekun Wu through March 24, 2013
Ruy Iskandar and Yuekun Wu Set for Signature Theatre’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad, February 5 – March 17, 2013
Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge Star in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish at South Coast Repertory, January 25 – February 24, 2013
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child; Extended Run Ends December 16, 2012
Signature Theatre’s Production of Golden Child by David Henry Hwang has been extended through December 16, 2012
Greg Watanabe, Julyana Soelistyo and Jennifer Lim Lead the Cast of Signature Theatre’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, October 23-December 2, 2012
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Berkeley Rep’s Production Photos of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Starring Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge, Extends through October 21, 2012
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space
Click here for other articles on David Henry Hwang.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Paper Dolls at the Tricycle Theatre Extends through April 28, 2013
Orville Mendoza is currently appearing as Sergeant Lombardi in Classic Stage Company’s Passion through April 19, 2013
NAATCO Presents A Dream Play at Here, March 22 – April 13, 2013
Phylicia Rashad to Helm August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum at The Music Center, April 24 – June 9, 2013
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. She is a Signature Theatre alumni who was in the cast of Sam Shepard’s Chicago, during his Signature 1996-1997 Playwright-in-Residence Season.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2013 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at


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