Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Celena Cipriaso, Eva Nagorski, Olivia Briggs, Simone Barros, Caissie St. Onge set for 11th annual 72 Hour Shootout™ Filmmaking How-To Workshop: Writing the Best Script on April 16


The Asian American Film Lab is presenting the 11th annual 72 Hour Shootout (“Shootout”) filmmaking competition, June 4-7, 2015. Register at!

Win a FREE 72 Hour Shootout registration! Subscribe to (it’s free and you get a weekly shot of entertainment delivered to your inbox) and all those who subscribers between now and June 4 will be entered into a raffle for a free Shootout registration!!

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The Shootout is a worldwide competition, celebrating diversity and artistic self empowerment, in which filmmaking teams are given a common theme at the start and then have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit, and complete short films up to five minutes in length.  Teams compete for cash and prizes, as well as the chance to have their films screened at the prestigious Asian American International Film Festival, organized by Asian CineVision, the only festival of its kind on the East Coast, and at the Asians on Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, and, for the first time ever, at the acclaimed New York Indian Film Festival, now in its 15th year.  Competitors will also compete for televised broadcast on the Film Lab series, Film Lab Presents and on AAFL TV!  2015 judges include ABC’s Marci Phillips, playwright David Henry Hwang, the famous stuntman Lane Leavitt, producer Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, film festival programmer Scott Eriksson, talent agent David Elliott, and producer Aseem Chhabra, among others!  Both ABC and NBC will be providing mentorship prizes!

In connection with the Shootout, the Film Lab is hosting several pre-launch events including a writing the best script workshop, in addition to a team-building and networking event to help Shootout registrants put their Shootout teams together.


Join television writer, Celena Cipriaso, as she moderates a panel of veteran writers to explain the in’s and out’s of succesful writing for the screen.  Writers from “All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “The Late Show with David Lettermen,” and “VH1’s Best Week Ever” will lead this workshop on how to write the best possible script for your 72 Hour Shootout film! How do you write strong storylines and create genuine, loveable characters under a time crunch? Free for REGISTERED Shootout competitors only (registration automatically RSVPs you). This workshop is free to all registered 72 Hour Shootout competitors.  All others may purchase a “Donate What You Can” ticket (minimum $5 donation).   Among the panelists:

Eva Nagorski has written for NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Las Vegas” and “Deadline,” and she is the author of “The Down and Dirty Dish on Revenge” (St. Martin’s Press). She also wrote and produced the award-winning short film, “solidarity.”, screened in festivals worldwide, including the New York Film Festival. Other published works include her one-act play, “The Coat Rack,” which was published in Polish (translator: playwright Janusz Glowacki). She has worked for advertising agencies such as Ogilvy (as Senior Writer/Creative Director), OgilvyEntertainment and Deep Focus. As a freelance journalist, she worked for American and Polish publications. In addition, she has produced promotional videos, worked as a producer for not-for-profit foundations, and acted as a special coordinator for companies such as Smithsonian Networks. She was the Screenplay Competition Director of theNantucket Film Festival for over a decade, and previously, in Poland, she was co-director of the first nationwide screenplay competition, ‘Nowy Scenario.’

Olivia Briggs is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and filmmaker, currently living and working in her hometown of New York City. Briggs graduated from Oberlin College with Honors in Theatre, spent six years working in the independent film circuit in Los Angeles, and then earned an MFA from NYU Tisch in Dramatic Writing. She has produced several short films, as well as a feature documentary entitled “The Workshop”. Most recently, Briggs has produced two of her original plays Off-off Broadway, wrote and developed a new scripted series for The Fashion One Network, and is currently working with Tokyopop Media on the script for a new action-packed comedy feature. Awards include: Finalist AMC One-hour Pilot Division – Austin Film Festival, 2014, Best Original Play – Thespis Theater Festival, 2014, Jane Chambers Best Student Play Award, 2012, Best Comedy Short – Malibu Film Festival, 2011, Best Screenplay – Flint Film Festival, 2008, and Best Music Video – End of the Pier International Film
Festival, 2008.

Simone Barros graduated from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University receiving the Martin Scorsese Filmmaker Grant and Tisch Dean Craft Award. The Cleveland Public Theater produced her play, “Fail” in the AtTenTion Span ten-minute play festival and presented a staged reading of her two-act play, “Dating Godfrey.” She has written for Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and CBS daytime drama “As the World Turns.” Her other work includes the ten-minute play “The Forest Court,” award winning short film “Falling in the Night,” and feature screenplay “Just Another Pop Star” workshopped with filmmaker Spike Lee. Simone Barros worked in New York for thirteen years on the production and editing staff for various film and television productions including, A&E Television Networks, Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show,” Spike Lee’s film, “25th Hour,” VH-1’s “Say It Loud: Black Music in America,” PBS documentary “New York: A Documentary Film”  and “Reading Rainbow.” Simone was recently awarded the New York University Tisch East Alumni Council Microgrant for producing ten Tisch alumni writers work in the 10×10 Tisch Alumni Reading Series.  She currently teaches film and television production, screenwriting and cinema studies at the Cleveland Institute of Art in
the Media Arts department at Cuyahoga Community College.  Upcoming projects include the dynamic travel documentary series, “All the World
Over” exploring the cultural diversity of the African diaspora and shattering notions of race.

Caissie St.Onge is an Emmy-winning television writer and producer who has worked for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Rosie O’Donnell
Show and Best Week Ever. She’s written comedy for lots of people but her two favorites are Joan Rivers and Paul F. Tompkins. Currently she is the co-Executive Producer of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and in her spare time she writes young adult novels.

About the Moderator:
Celena Cipriaso has written for ABC’s All My Children and is currently co-writing two screenplays with Civilian Studios. Her pilot “Evolved” was a Finalist in the Creative World Awards, and her spec of The Walking Dead, “Little Children” was a Semi-Finalist in the Creative World Awards and also in the top 10% of the Austin Film Festival TV competition. Her pilot “Sober City” had a staged reading produced by the Asian American Film Lab, and “Evolved” was part of a night of staged readings produced by F*ck It Club in NYC.As a playwright, her work has been performed in  in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. She’s also freelance journalist that’s written for CNN, The Root, Slate, Draft, Arts America, Film Buff, Bitch, Intel, and Women on Writing.

The Azure Lounge
333 E. 91 Street
New York, NY 10128
All others can RSVP here

The Shootout is intended to create opportunities for women and filmmakers of color, with a focus on Asian Americans, to demonstrate their talent, help them gain exposure in the entertainment industry, and impact the visibility of diverse stories and characters in film and television. 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.  As recent reports from SAG show, Asian Americans are the only racial group whose representation on network television has actually declined over the past year, even as their population increases.

FILM LAB PRESENTS, the TV Series, Returns! Special Shootout Themed Shows start April 17 on CrossingsTV and then Friday nights in May! Click here for more!

April 21, 2015, 6-7:30pm, AARI-CUNY, 25 W. 43 Street NYC
Join us for a fresh, fun screenplay reading and workshop, moderated by Lorna Nowve, featuring a new work by writer and Cornell graduate Justin Samuels. Actors are welcome to bring headshots and resumes for Justin! More details here. Moderated by Lorna Nowve. Email for more information.

May 5, 9:15pm at Theatre 2, Village East Cinema, 2nd Ave @ 12th street, NYC
The winning films of 2014 will screen at the prestigious New York Indian Film Festival along with a special bonus film: Being Bhaijaan! The 2014 AND 2015 Shootout Coordinators will moderate a filmmaker Q&A as well! For info, click here.

A Time Warner, Film Lab & NYIFF Industry Panel and Light Luncheon: DISTRIBUTION: TRADITIONAL & CREATIVE
May 6, 12-2pm at I Time Warner Center, NYC 10019
Come join Time Warner, the Film Lab and NYIFF for this informational on getting distribution for your film or TV show. For more info, visit us online at

May 13, 6:30-8:30pm in NYC

You are ready!  You’ve registered!  You’ve accepted the challenge!  You’re going to create a bold, beautiful, brilliant film for this year’s 72 Hour Shootout and you’re sure to win fame and accolades…all you need is…a team!  Looking for actors?  A writer?  A director?  A sound gal?  A PA?  Well, c’mon out and meet other folks also looking for team members!  Actors should bring multiple copies of their headshots and resumes!  Everyone should bring business cards and be ready to network up a storm.  Free for REGISTERED Shootout competitors only (registration automatically RSVPs you).  For information and to RSVP, click here


June 4, 6-8pm hosted by THE KOREA SOCIETY, 950 Third Avenue in NYC

Join us live or online from anywhere on the globe you happen to be creating your Shootout film!  At 8pm EST, we’ll be announcing the TOP SECRET THEME of the 2015 72 Hour Shootout, the theme upon which all the films must be based.  As soon the theme is announced, the clock starts ticking and you have 72 hours within which to complete your short film.  RSVP here!

You already know the focus this year is LOOK DEEPER.  But what will the true theme of this year’s Shootout be?  The Launch Party will include prizes, drinks and all sorts of fun so join us in person if you can!


June 4-7 in NYC

In just one weekend, some of the world’s most brilliant filmmakers tackle racial inequality in their industry, with amazing results. All over the world, multi-racial teams work together with a common goal. In that brief span they laugh, love, cry, fight, discover, and learn until, finally, they see. Then they share that vision with us. The result is a staggering body of work, hundreds of short films to date, which entertain, encourage, and challenge viewers to go on their own journeys.   After a decade of Shootouts, which have inspired thousands of filmmakers and audience members, it’s your turn to become part of the legacy.


July 25 at The Asian American International Film Festival in NYC

Come out and see the world premiere of the top ten most incredible films of the 2015 72 Hour Shootout!  Enjoy prizes from our sponsors, network and collaborate with fellow artists.  Find out who won the awards, including mentorships from NBC, ABC and so much more!  Tickets to the screening must be purchased through Asian CineVision.

The Wrap Party is for ALL who participated in this year’s Shootout and will be an extravagnaza of prizes and celebration. The Wrap Party is free for REGISTERED Shootout competitors only (registration automatically RSVPs you).  All others can RSVP here in June. Of course, it’s not really a wrap, because the winning films will go on to screen at many other festivals and on AAFL TV!

For further information about the Film Lab and the Shootout, including viewing past winning films, please visit us or email Shootout Coordinator, Youn Jung Kim, at  For free access to videos and updates, subscribe at  Filmmakers can also network on the Shootout Fan Page (!  For photos of the West Coast Shootout premiere, visit

The Asian American Film Lab Management: Huseina Sulaimanee (Treasurer), Youn Jung Kim The 72 Hour Film Shootout Coordinator), Daryl King (Secretary), Jennifer Betit Yen (President), and Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight Coordinator). Photo by Lia Chang

The Asian American Film Lab Management: Huseina Sulaimanee (Treasurer), Youn Jung Kim (The 72 Hour Film Shootout Coordinator), Daryl King (Secretary), Jennifer Betit Yen (President), and Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight Coordinator). Photo by Lia Chang

About The Asian American Film Lab

The Asian American Film Lab (Film Lab) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic diversity in film and television through free monthly educational and outreach programming and the acclaimed annual 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition (  This annual competition has inspired hundreds of filmmakers by helping nascent talent take brave steps towards a filmmaking career. The Film Lab was formed in 1998 by 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 all filmmakers of color, with a focus on Asian Americans, and the visibility of their stories and characters in film and television.

The Film Lab is run under the direction of President Jennifer Betit Yen. Acting and Advisory Board members include Aaron Woolfolk and Edwin Wong, among others.  For a complete list of staff and management, please visit

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Related Articles

11th annual 72 Hour Shootout™ Filmmaking How-To Workshop: Writing the Best Script on April 16; Enter to Win a Free 72 Hour Shootout Registration 
Photos: Traveling through the mouth of the Dragon with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s James Hong, Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, George Cheung, Al Leong, Jeff Imada, James Lew, Gary Goldman, Eric Lee, Joycelyne Lew
Lia Chang, James Hong, Peter Kwong, George Cheung, Al Leong, Gerald Okamura, Jeff Imada and James Lew to attend BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Screening at JANM on April 8 
11th annual 72 Hour Shootout™ Filmmaking Workshops on March 19 and April 16; Enter to Win a Free 72 Hour Shootout Registration
Filmmakers Can Register for the 11th annual 72 Hour Shootout™; Youn Jung Kim named Shootout Coordinator 
Asian American Film Lab Receives Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Community Benefit Grant
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Advantageous, Oh Lucy!, Meru, Umrika, The Chinese Mayor, The Stanford Prison Experiment Among 2015 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners
Sundance Film Festival Premiere Photo: Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS Featuring Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim, Jeanne Sakata, Jennifer Ikeda and Matthew Kim, Screens at 2015 Sundance Film Festival through Jan. 31
Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS Featuring Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim, Jeanne Sakata, Jennifer Ikeda and Matthew Kim, Screens at 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 26-31 
2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup
Jan. 25: 11th Annual Asian American Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City at Club 301 – The Funn Networks Space
Click here for other film articles.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
A Sumptuous View of Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Ashley Park, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More in Lincoln Center Theater’s Revival of The King and I
Joe Mantegna receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Film and Television from The Riverside International Film Festival
Hamilton tops Lucille Lortel Award Nominations along with Into the Woods, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Invisible Hand, The Nether and The Fortress of Solitude
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
Sinatra: An American Icon Exhibit on View through September 4 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
“Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men” on view at Museum of the Moving Image through June 14; Required Viewing: Mad Men’s Movie Influences Film Series Screenings through April 26
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Exhibition on view at New-York Historical Society through April 19; Photos of An Evening with Amy Tan
“Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong,” – Retrospective of Disney Legend at MOCA through September 13
Dining out at élan with Artist Arlan Huang; New Paintings on view at Trestle Gallery through March 27 
Award Winning Actor Raul Aranas Talks THE BLACKLIST, NAAP’S OLIVER!, Songwriting and the Zen of Cycling
George Takei & Broadway Bound ALLEGIANCE Create Indiegogo Campaign as Endowment for the Japanese American National Museum
Photos: David Byrne, Alex Timbers, Jaygee Macapugay, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Guettel, Sarah Saltzberg and More Celebrate Jose Llana’s Lincoln Center American Songbook Debut
Signature Theatre Company’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton To Step Down After 2015-16 25th Anniversary Season
Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, Inc.: 2015 Collaboration Award recognizing Women Working with Women Open Call
LA Times Critic’s Choice FIGARO at A Noise Within; April 4, 5, 9, 10, 19, 30, May 1 and 10
Jon Tenney, Tessa Auberjonois, John de Lancie, Emily Ruth James and Kwana Martinez Set for World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s MR. WOLF at South Coast Repertory, April 12-May 3
East West Players’ Honors Paula Madison of Madison Media Management LLC and “Fresh Off The Boat” Executive Producers Nahnatchka Khan and Melvin Mar on April 20
Photos: Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Spring Exhibition, CHINA: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, May 7–August 16
Tony Award® Nominees Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed to star in Rajiv Joseph’s GUARDS AT THE TAJ, helmed by Amy Morton, at Atlantic Theater Company, May 20-June 28
World Premiere Musical HAMILTON Transfers to Broadway; Previews begin July 13
Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
Photos: John W. Kuo, Jessica Hagedorn, and Neal Katyal Receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards
Suzan-Lori Parks’ FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS, PARTS 1, 2 & 3 is the 2015 Winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History 
THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016 Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
THE WIZ Turns 40- Photos from Original Broadway Production and BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebration Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on