Sinovision Journal Video: Asian American Film Lab puts “Beauty” to the Test

This year, the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout competition challenged filmmakers to explore the topic of beauty.

Lani Nelson, Sinovision Journal reporter.
Lani Nelson, Sinovision Journal reporter.

SinoVision Journal reporter Lani Nelson went to a screening for the top ten films followed by a panel discussion with innovators in the industry and brings you the story.

The Film Lab, Time Warner and the APEX group hosted a special screening of films from the 2015 72 Hour Shootout that focus on mainstream constructions of beauty and their consequences at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015.

Lia Chang in Hide and Seek, A Bev's Girl Film production. Photo: Bev's Girl Films
Lia Chang in Hide and Seek, A Bev’s Girl Film production. Photo: Bev’s Girl Films

Look Deeper: Beauty, Funny FacesBareThe Other WomanFinding YouPut It On,  Beautifully Something, Girl’s Knight, and our Bev’s Girl Films’ Hide and Seek were among the films screened.

 Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in a scene from Hide and Seek. Photo: Bev's Girl Films
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in a scene from Hide and Seek. Photo: Bev’s Girl Films
Panelists Blue Michael, Becky Curran, Lia Chang, Rick Guidotti and moderator Jennifer Betit Yen at a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo: Sinovision
Panelists Blue Michael, Becky Curran, Lia Chang, Rick Guidotti and moderator Jennifer Betit Yen at a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo: Sinovision

I participated in the panel discussion that followed the screening about the societal implications of mainstream beauty images with Rick Guidotti, award winning fashion photographer and advocate for those with genetic differences; Becky Curran, SAG-AFTRA Coordinator for Equal Employment and Diversity; and Blue Michael, Model and Founder of Blue Michael Cosmetics, moderated by Jennifer Betit Yen, Actor and President of the Asian American Film Lab.

Panelists Becky Curran and Lia Chang at a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015.
Panelists Becky Curran and Lia Chang at a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015.
Award-winning filmmaker Lia Chang being interviewed after a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo: Sinovision
Award-winning filmmaker Lia Chang being interviewed after a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo: Sinovision
Award-winning filmmakers Garth Kravits and Lia Chang being interviewed after a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo: Sinovision
Award-winning filmmakers Garth Kravits and Lia Chang being interviewed after a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo: Sinovision

AsAmNews.com: 72 Hour Shootout Films Tackle Mass Media & Beauty

Lia Chang. Photo by GK
Lia Chang. Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographerand the Arts and Entertainment reporter for AsAmNews.com. Chang recently received a Best Actress nomination at the 2015 Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout.  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, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media and a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age. She is the recipient of the AAJA 2001 National Award for New Media and the OCA 2000 Chinese American Journalist Award. Avenue Magazine named her one of the “One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans”. She is featured in Joann Faung Jean Lee’s book Asian American actors: oral histories from stage, screen, and television. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and FebOne1960.com Blog.

Film Lab Screening of 72 Hour Shootout Films at Time Warner Theater & Panel Discussion of Mass Media Constructions of Beauty

Rick Guidotti, Becky Curran, Jennifer Betit Yen, Blue Michael, Daryl King and Lia Chang attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by Lil Rhee
Rick Guidotti, Becky Curran, Jennifer Betit Yen, Blue Michael, Daryl King and Lia Chang attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by Lil Rhee

The Film Lab, Time Warner and the APEX group hosted a special screening of films from the 2015 72 Hour Shootout that focus on mainstream constructions of beauty and their consequences, which was followed by a panel discussion and a networking reception at the swank Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015.

Panelists Blue Michael, Becky Curran, Lia Chang, Rick Guidotti and moderator Jennifer Betit Yen at a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by David T. Kim.
Panelists Blue Michael, Becky Curran, Lia Chang, Rick Guidotti and moderator Jennifer Betit Yen at a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by David T. Kim.

Look Deeper: Beauty, Funny FacesBareThe Other WomanFinding YouPut It On,  Beautifully Something, Girl’s Knight, and our Bev’s Girl Films’ Hide and Seek were among the films screened.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in a scene from Hide and Seek. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in a scene from Hide and Seek. Photo by Lia Chang

I participated in the panel discussion that followed the screening about the societal implications of mainstream beauty images with Rick Guidotti, award winning fashion photographer and advocate for those with genetic differences; Becky Curran, SAG-AFTRA Coordinator for Equal Employment and Diversity; and Blue Michael, Model and Founder of Blue Michael Cosmetics, moderated by Jennifer Betit Yen, Actor and President of the Asian American Film Lab.

Blue Michael, Becky Curran, Lia Chang, Rick Guidotti and Jennifer Betit Yen attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by GK
Blue Michael, Becky Curran, Lia Chang, Rick Guidotti and Jennifer Betit Yen attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by GK
72 Hour Shootout winners Toy Lei (BOXER), Grant Chang (FINDING YOU) and Lia Chang (HIDE AND SEEK) attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by GK
72 Hour Shootout winners Toy Lei (BOXER), Grant Chang (FINDING YOU) and Lia Chang (HIDE AND SEEK) attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by GK

It was such a treat for me and my filmmaking partner Garth Kravits  to have the opportunity to see our film, Hide and Seek on the big screen at the Time Warner Theater. We caught up with other 72 Hour Shootout filmmakers including Toy Lei (BOXER- Top Ten Film; Grand Prize Winner; Best Actress; and Best Action Film) and her team, Edmund Kwan and Diana Yanez, and Grant Chang (FINDING YOU- Top Ten Film; Best Actor, Best Director) and his team, Aimee Ng, Jake Manabat and Kerri Davidson at the reception.

#AAIFF2015: Top Ten Winning Films of the Film Lab’s 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition- Awards and Wrap Party

Daniel Cho, Eugena Oh, Sandy Lee, Architect, Systems Development at Time Warner, Inc., Roger Chu, Director, Corporate Human Resources at Time Warner, Inc., Lia Chang, Marissa Martin and a guest attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015.
Daniel Cho, Eugena Oh, Sandy Lee, Architect, Systems Development at Time Warner, Inc., Roger Chu, Director, Corporate Human Resources at Time Warner, Inc., Lia Chang, Marissa Martin and a guest attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015.

About the Asian American Film Lab
The Film Lab is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes ethnic and gender diversity through outreach, education and production. The Film Lab provides free or low cost programming ranging from screenwriting workshops to panels to seminars to screenings. The Film Lab produces the television series “Film Lab Presents” and a wide variety of online content on AAFL TV. The Film Lab management team consists of Jennifer Betit Yen (President and Board Member, founder of AAFL TV Production Arm), Huseina Sulaimanee (Treasurer and Volunteer), Daryl King (Secretary and Board Member), Cecilia Mejia (Unfinished Works), Youn Jung Kim (2015 72 Hour Shootout Coordinator), Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight), along with a dedicated Board, interns and event volunteers. Board members include James Kyson, Ed Wong and Aaron Woolfolk, among others.
www.asianamericanfilmlab.com

Peyton Worley, Christopher Bourne, Jennifer Betit Yen, Roger Chu, Director, Corporate Human Resources at Time Warner, Inc., Lia Chang, Sandy Lee, Architect, Systems Development at Time Warner and Rick Guidotti attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by Diana Yanez
Peyton Worley, Christopher Bourne, Jennifer Betit Yen, Roger Chu, Director, Corporate Human Resources at Time Warner, Inc., Lia Chang, Sandy Lee, Architect, Systems Development at Time Warner and Rick Guidotti attend a special screening of 72 Hour Shootout films and panel discussion at the Time Warner Theater in New York on October 7, 2015. Photo by Diana Yanez

2015-10-7 film lab_Photo by Lia Chang51

AsAmNews.com: 72 Hour Shootout Films Tackle Mass Media & Beauty

Lia Chang. Photo by GK
Lia Chang. Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographerand the Arts and Entertainment reporter for AsAmNews.com. Chang recently received a Best Actress nomination at the 2015 Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout.  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, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media and a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age. She is the recipient of the AAJA 2001 National Award for New Media and the OCA 2000 Chinese American Journalist Award. Avenue Magazine named her one of the “One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans”. She is featured in Joann Faung Jean Lee’s book Asian American actors: oral histories from stage, screen, and television. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and FebOne1960.com Blog.

Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999

(l-r) Bev Umehara with daughters Tami Chang, Karina Umehara, Lia Chang and Marissa Chang-Flores in San Francisco c1998.
(l-r) Bev Umehara with daughters Tami Chang, Karina Umehara, Lia Chang and Marissa Chang-Flores in San Francisco c1998.

updated 5/8/16

My film production company Bev’s Girl Films is named for my mom Bev Umehara who died seventeen years ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. I wrote this article shortly after her death, highlighting her achievements as an Asian American Union Activist.

Fun in the sun with mom and sister Tami in Lake Tahoe in 1970. Photo by Russell Chang
Fun in the sun with mom and sister Tami in Lake Tahoe in 1970. Photo by Russell Chang

When the paramedics brought my mother to UC-California Medical Center on October 2 with a brain aneurysm, the doctors said she wouldn’t make it through the night. They didn’t know my mother. She hung on while my sister Tami and I rushed from New York to the hospital, and we were able to hold her hands when she finally slipped away.  That was our mom, Beverly Umehara, a women warrior holding court even in the last hours of her 53 years of life.

Beverly Chang and Russell Chang, my mom and dad at the prom in San Francisco. circa 1963
Beverly Chang and Russell Chang, my mom and dad at the prom in San Francisco. circa 1963

My mother was a remarkable woman with an indomitable spirit and movie star looks. A social butterfly, she was the embodiment of energy, warmth, and vitality. Born in San Francisco on December 18, 1945, Bev (as her friends and family called her) was the eldest daughter of Nancy Chang, a beautician and Harry Kai Chong Chang, a merchant seaman. She grew up very poor in the vibrant SF Chinatown community.

My mom with her parents Nancy Chang and Harry Kai Chong Chang.
My mom with her parents Nancy Chang and Harry Kai Chong Chang.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about her career was that calling came relatively late in life, at 47, when she made a sudden transformation from a humble, hardworking secretary and mother of four, into a labor activist, a respected union leader, and a role model for rank-and-file workers, women of color, and for all Asian Pacific Americans.

My parents Russ and Bev on their wedding night in Las Vegas in 1963.
My parents Russ and Bev on their wedding night in Las Vegas in 1963.

I was fortunate enough to sit down with my mother in 1998, to hear her share the roots of her activist drive: “In 1992, as a secretary and assistant to the head of the California Labor Federation, I attended a reception announcing the formation of the first organization of Asian American trade unionists, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO,” she said. “There was a steering committee composed of over 40 Asian Americans of different unions from all over the United States, some rank-and-file,  and some in leadership positions within their unions.  APALA’s emerging mission was to increase the number of Asian American leaders in the labor movement, to advance the rights of immigrants, and to help Asian Pacific Americans who were trying to organize into unions and gain a voice in the workplace. I didn’t know anything like this existed and was impressed.  I had waited over 20 years for direction like this; I knew I had to be at APALA’s Founding Convention in Washington, D.C.”

Against all odds she made her way to that convention.  She described how enthralling it was for her to be with so many Asian American union activists, like steering committee chair Katie Quan, a leading organizer of garment workers; Kent Wong, a brilliant young labor activist at UCLA; Guy Fujimura, Secretary-Treasurer of the powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local in Hawaii; and Gloria Caoile, a leading Filipina activist and assistant to the head of AFSCME, a million-member union of government workers.

Bev returned to SF committed to APALA’s agenda, and helped establish the San Francisco chapter of APALA where she was elected Chapter Secretary. She told me her knees were knocking when she made her first speech to the California Workers Assistant Program, but her passion drove her on, pushing her to continue to take on leadership roles.

In 1995, she was elected to APALA’s National Executive Board, and was appointed as president of the San Francisco Chapter.  As president, she led the San Francisco Chapter of APALA in forming lasting community-labor coalitions that worked against anti-labor, anti-affirmative action and anti-immigrant ballot initiatives on the  California ballot.  Under her leadership, the chapter recruited new Asian Pacific American union organizers, assisted workers seeking to form unions, participated in local community struggles, and engaged in non-partisan voter registration and “get out the vote” efforts.

Her colleagues on the National Executive Board were aware of Bev’s powerful work, and her evolution as a leader.  At the APALA national convention in August, 1999, she was  awarded the ART Takei Leadership Award, named after the pioneering Nisei activist who first became a union organizer in the 1950’s after learning about injustice in the internment camps.

As she stepped up to the podium to accept the award, she held the audience spellbound as she spoke from the heart saying, “I believe that I am currently living the vision.  While growing up as a third-generation Chinese American, Chinese daughters were not taught to have vision. This award is proof that progress has been made.  Not only am I a woman but I am an Asian American woman activist, and proud of it!”

Chatting with U.S. Representative Patsy Mink at the end of the evening, the congresswoman told my mother she should run for office; that she had what it took to be a true leader.  I believe that Congresswoman Mink was right: whatever the future would have held for my mother, it would have been bright.  And it would have involved workers, especially immigrants, who are exploited in the workplace.  I have lost my mother but she enriched so many lives that the Asian American community and the labor movement lost one of its leading voices and spirits.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits’ HIDE AND SEEK is an Official Selection of The 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival; screens 11/21

Lia Chang in Hide and Seek r

HIDE AND SEEK, my award-winning short film that I co-produced, co-wrote and star in with my Bev’s Girl Films’ producing partner Garth Kravits, will have its Philadelphia premiere as an Official Selection at The 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF15).

PAAFF'15 logo

The 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival will be held from November 12-22, 2015.  HIDE AND SEEK will screen as part of the Women’s Shorts program on Saturday, November 21, 2015. Click here for scheduling updates.

The producing team of Bev's Girl Films - Best Actress nominee Lia Chang and Garth Kravits for their debut short film, Hide and Seek (Top Ten Film for 72 Hour Shootout)
The producing team of Bev’s Girl Films – Best Actress nominee Lia Chang and Garth Kravits for their debut short film, Hide and Seek (Top Ten Film for 72 Hour Shootout)

Kravits also directed, edited and scored the film, in addition to sharing camera operator duties with Evan Daves. Daves and Alicia Manns also appear in the film.

Lia Chang in Hide and Seek. Photo by GK
Lia Chang in Hide and Seek. Photo by GK

Hide and Seek speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day.  To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own.  One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal. What face do you see when you look in the mirror?

Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in Hide and Seek. Photo by Evan Daves
Lia Chang and Garth Kravits in Hide and Seek. Photo by Evan Daves

Hide and Seek is a very personal film to me as I got my start in front of the camera as a model at the age of 15, before honing my craft in film, television and theater.

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits is an actor, singer, musician and composer and award winning filmmaker. On television, Kravits has guest starred on 30 Rock, The Blacklist, Nurse Jackie, Hostages, Tin Man and The Carrie Diaries and played opposite Keanu Reeves in the feature film Sweet November.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographerand the Arts and Entertainment reporter for AsAmNews.com. Chang recently received a Best Actress nomination at the 2015 Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout.  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, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media and a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age. She is the recipient of the AAJA 2001 National Award for New Media and the OCA 2000 Chinese American Journalist Award. Avenue Magazine named her one of the “One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans”. She is featured in Joann Faung Jean Lee’s book Asian American actors: oral histories from stage, screen, and television. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Hide and Seek, Look Deeper: Beauty, Funny Faces, Bare, The Other Woman, Finding You, Put It On, and Beautifully Something will been screened at Film Lab & Time Warner Screening on October 7; Panel on Media Constructions of BEAUTY featuring Rick Guidotti, Becky Curran, Blue Michael, Jennifer Betit Yen and Lia Chang to follow


Mass Media Constructions of Beauty: The Consequences of Allowing Judgment Based On What We Look Like Rather Than Who We Are
A Special Film Lab/Time Warner/Turner/HBO Event

Hide and Seek posterHide and Seek, a short film that I star in and co-produced with Garth Kravits, will be screened at Mass Media Constructions of Beauty, presented by Film Lab, Time Warner and the APEX group, during a special screening of films from the 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking competition, on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at the Time Warner Theater in New York. The films that are being shown have themes that focus on mainstream constructions of beauty and their consequences. Some of the other films that will be shown include Look Deeper: Beauty, Funny Faces, Bare, The Other Woman, Finding You, Put It On, and Beautifully Something.

The Time Warner Theater is located at One Time Warner Center, 10th fl. Screening Room (58th St. between 8th & 9th Ave. Columbus Circle) in New York. The event is from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Click here to RSVP.

https---img.evbuc.com-https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F15218473%2F49855550916%2F1%2ForiginalI will also be on a panel moderated by Jennifer Betit Yen, Actor and President of the Asian American Film Lab, that features Rick Guidotti, award winning fashion photographer and advocate for those with genetic differences; Becky Curran, SAG-AFTRA Coordinator for Equal Employment and Diversity; and Blue Michael, Model and Founder of Blue Michael Cosmetics. We’ll address the societal implications of mainstream beauty images.  A networking reception follows the discussion.

Rick Guidotti
Rick Guidotti

Rick Guidotti, an award-winning former fashion photographer, has spent the past fifteen years working internationally with advocacy organizations/NGOs, medical schools, universities and other educational institutions to effect a sea-change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic difference; his work has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals as diverse as Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and Life Magazine. He founded Positive Exposure, an innovative arts, education and advocacy organization, working with individuals living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral differences.  His photographic exhibition, Positive Exposure; The Spirit of Difference, premiered at the People’s Genome Celebration, June 2001, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in DC. and continues to exhibit in galleries, museums and public arenas internationally.

Blue Michael
Blue Michael

Blue Michael was born a raised in NYC from Puerto Rican parents. As a performer in Lower Eastside of Manhattan, he picked up the natural talent of Makeup Artistry. After many years of working with other brands he decided to start Blue Michael Cosmetics. A brand that mirrors his true belief in #BYourBeautiful “Let us celebrate You”.

Jennifer Betit Yen
Jennifer Betit Yen

Jennifer Betit Yen is an award winning actress, writer, producer, and a “recovering” attorney.  She is the President of the Asian American Film Lab, a nonprofit dedicated to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic diversity in media, the CEO of MyJennyBook, a company providing multimedia stories for children, and is currently in production on a film entitled “The Opposite of a Fairy Tale,” designed to draw light to the issue of elder abuse, funded by a grant from the Ms. Foundation.  As an actor, Betit Yen has appeared in productions at East West Players and Lodestone in Los Angeles and at the Manhattan Theatre Source and Snapple Theatre in New York.  Her television credits include Royal Pains, Dirt, Film Lab Presents, The Beacon Street Girls, Reading Rainbow, and America’s Most Wanted, among others.

Becky Curran
Becky Curran

Becky Curran is coordinator of EEO & diversity for SAG-AFTRA. Since joining SAG-AFTRA in April 2014, she has assisted with several diversity and inclusion efforts within the entertainment and news media industries. Curran graduated with a bachelor’s of science in marketing degree from Providence College in 2006, then moved to Los Angeles where she worked for one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, Creative Artists Agency (CAA). After CAA, she worked at CBS Television Studios in casting. Curran also served as the marketing director and co-founding board member of the Catalina Film Festival.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographerand the Arts and Entertainment reporter for AsAmNews.com. Chang recently received a Best Actress nomination at the 2015 Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout.  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, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media and a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age. She is the recipient of the AAJA 2001 National Award for New Media and the OCA 2000 Chinese American Journalist Award. Avenue Magazine named her one of the “One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans”. She is featured in Joann Faung Jean Lee’s book Asian American actors: oral histories from stage, screen, and television. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and FebOne1960.com Blog.

About the Asian American Film Lab
The Film Lab is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes ethnic and gender diversity through outreach, education and production. The Film Lab provides free or low cost programming ranging from screenwriting workshops to panels to seminars to screenings. The Film Lab produces the television series “Film Lab Presents” and a wide variety of online content on AAFL TV. The Film Lab management team consists of Jennifer Betit Yen (President and Board Member, founder of AAFL TV Production Arm), Huseina Sulaimanee (Treasurer and Volunteer), Daryl King (Secretary and Board Member), Cecilia Mejia (Unfinished Works), Youn Jung Kim (2015 72 Hour Shootout Coordinator), along with a dedicated Board, interns and event volunteers. Board members include James Kyson, Ed Wong and Aaron Woolfolk, among others.

www.asianamericanfilmlab.com

HIDE AND SEEK named among Top Ten Film Winners of Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout; Lia Chang receives Best Actress nomination

Hide and Seek final copyMy Bev’s Girl Films producing partner Garth Kravits and I are now award-winning filmmakers. Our debut indie short Hide and Seek was named among the top ten films of the Asian American Film Lab‘s 11th Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout filmmaking competition, at the sold-out World Premiere screening at Cinema Village East during the 38th Asian American International Film Festival in New York on July 25, 2015.

11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth is a very talented actor, singer, composer and musician, so I knew we were more than up to the challenge of  writing, shooting, editing, scoring and delivering our 5 minute short film, within 72 hours of learning the theme – Two Faces – at the Shootout launch party on June 4th.

Lia Chang, Lori Tan Chinn and Garth Kravits at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Lori Tan Chinn and Garth Kravits at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

A worldwide filmmaking competition celebrating gender and ethnic diversity in film, Shootout teams compete for cash and prizes and the chance to have their films screened at the prestigious Asian American International Film Festival, the only festival of its kind on the East Coast, as well as at the Asians on Film Festival in Los Angeles, California.

Alicia Manns, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits on the set of Hide and Seek, A Bev's Girl Production, as part of the Asian American Film Lab's ‪#‎72HRSO‬ filmmaking competition. ‪#‎twofaces‬
Alicia Manns, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits on the set of Hide and Seek, A Bev’s Girl Production, as part of the Asian American Film Lab’s ‪#‎72HRSO‬ filmmaking competition. ‪#‎twofaces‬

I seized upon the idea to play a character with two very different personalities.

Garth Kravits and Evan Daves on the set of HIDE AND SEEK on June 5, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Evan Daves on the set of HIDE AND SEEK on June 5, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Best Actress Nominee Lia Chang in Hide and Seek of “Bev's Girl Films” (Top Ten Film
Garth Kravits and Best Actress Nominee Lia Chang in Hide and Seek of “Bev’s Girl Films” (Top Ten Film)

We co-produced, co-wrote and co-starred in Hide and Seek. Making the film was an exhilarating ride. No stranger to multi-tasking, Garth shared camera operator duties with Evan Daves, composed the original score by singing his vision of the soundtrack over the phone to guitarist Tyler Kent in the last two hours before our deadline, directed and edited the film. The cast also features Evan Daves and Alicia Manns.

Lia Chang during a photo shoot in the 90's with Guardian Angels, on the streets of New York.
Lia Chang during a photo shoot in the 90’s with Guardian Angels, on the streets of New York.

At the World premiere screening, filmmakers learn for the first time whether they have made the Top Ten winners, and individual prizes are awarded in numerous categories. You could feel the collective breath being held.

What?! In the darkness of the theater after the eighth film played, I sat there in shock as our title credits for Hide and Seek appeared on the screen. I was so overwhelmed that I had tears streaming down my face.

Hide and Seek speaks to the societal challenge that women, and especially women of color, endure every day.  To look in the mirror and to hope to see a face other than your own.  One that is closer to what magazines, television and movies define as beautiful or even normal. What face do you see when you look in the mirror?

Because of competitions like the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout, we had the invaluable and rare opportunity to tell our fully realized story with an Asian American woman in the lead role. Hide and Seek is a very personal film to me as I began my life in front of the camera as a model at the age of 15, before working in film, television and theater.

The icing on the cake was to be recognized with a Best Actress, Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout of 2015 nomination.

Film Lab President, actor Jennifer Betit Yen, Lia Chang and Shootout Coordinator, videographer and vocalist Youn Jung Kim at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by GK
Film Lab President, actor Jennifer Betit Yen, Lia Chang and Shootout Coordinator, videographer and vocalist Youn Jung Kim at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by GK

After all of the winners had been announced and we filed out of the theater, men and women shared how they had been moved or touched by our film. They found it to be inspirational and self-affirming.  They related to the character’s feeling of being invisible, being unhappy with her looks and uncomfortable in her own skin, and having the need to embrace another form of beauty or attractiveness other than her own.

Award-winning filmmakers Lia Chang and Garth Kravits doing interviews on the Red carpet for #AAFLTV and Live at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Red Carpet Awards Ceremony and wrap party at The Azure in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of 72 Hour Shootout/Facebook
Award-winning filmmakers Lia Chang and Garth Kravits doing interviews on the Red carpet for #AAFLTV and Live at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Red Carpet Awards Ceremony and wrap party at The Azure in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of 72 Hour Shootout/Facebook

Check out our movie in the link below.

This year’s 72 Hour Shootout judges included Emmy nominated director Rodrigo Garcia, ABC Executive Director of Casting Marci Phillips, playwright David Henry Hwang, agent David Elliott, stuntman Lane Leavitt, and director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan. Several of the judges were in attendance at the premiere and awards ceremony and judges David Henry Hwang and Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, who could not appear in person, gave remarks via video and congratulated the filmmakers.

Click below to see all of the winners.

#AAIFF2015: Top Ten Winning Films of the Film Lab’s 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition- Awards and Wrap Party 

Garth Kravits, Lia Chang, FINDING YOU’s Grant Chang (Top Ten Film; Best Actor and Best Director) and co-star Jake Manabat at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015.
Garth Kravits, Lia Chang, FINDING YOU’s Grant Chang (Top Ten Film; Best Actor and Best Director) and co-star Jake Manabat at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015.

 For more information, check out www.asianamericanfilmlab.com

Lia Chang at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by GK
Lia Chang at the 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout World Premiere Film Screening at Village Cinema East in New York on July 25, 2015. Photo by GK

The top 40 72 Hour Shootout films can be viewed on the Film Lab’s online channel AAFLTV (subscribe for free at YouTube.com/asamfilmlab and many will also be featured on the Film Lab’s TV series, “Film Lab Presents.”

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a 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, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Behind the Scenes of the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hour Shootout with Lia Chang, Garth Kravits, Evan Daves and Alicia Manns in HIDE AND SEEK

Alicia Manns, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits on the set of Hide and Seek, A GK film production, as part of the Asian American Film Lab's ‪#‎72HRSO‬ filmmaking competition. Photo by Evan Daves ‪#‎twofaces‬
Alicia Manns, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits on the set of Hide and Seek, A GK film production, as part of the Asian American Film Lab’s ‪#‎72HRSO‬ filmmaking competition. Photo by Evan Daves ‪#‎twofaces‬

I took the plunge into indie filmmaking with my producing partner Garth Kravits of GK films, an actor, singer, composer and musician, as part of the Asian American Film Lab’s 11th Annual 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition. This year’s theme is Two Faces and our film is called Hide and Seek. Also featured in the cast are Evan Daves and Alicia Manns.

Garth Kravits and Evan Daves on the set of HIDE AND SEEK on June 5, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Evan Daves on the set of HIDE AND SEEK on June 5, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The Shootout is a worldwide filmmaking competition celebrating gender and ethnic diversity in film in which filmmaking teams are given a common theme at the start and have 72 hours to write, shoot, edit, and complete short films up to five minutes in length.

Garth Kravits and Alicia Manns on the set of HIDE AND SEEK on June 5, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Alicia Manns on the set of HIDE AND SEEK on June 5, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan at the 72 Hour Shootout Launch party at The Korea Society in New York on June 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan at the 72 Hour Shootout Launch party at The Korea Society in New York on June 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Teams promote gender and ethnic diversity in media and compete for cash and prizes and the chance to have their films screened at the prestigious Asian American International Film Festival, the only festival of its kind on the East Coast, as well as at the Asians on Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. Judges include Emmy nominated director Rodrigo Garcia, ABC Executive Director of Casting Marci Phillips, playwright David Henry Hwang, agent David Elliott, stuntman Lane Leavitt, and director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan.  Several of the judges were in attendance at the Launch Party to witness the start of the competition and wish the filmmakers luck.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

THE 2015 72 Hour Shootout world premiere and wrap party is on Saturday, July 25, 2015, at Cinema Village East, 181-189 2nd Avenue in New York at 2:00 PM during The Asian American International Film Festival.

Check out the world premiere of the top ten most incredible films of the 2015 72 Hour Shootout! Enjoy prizes from sponsors, network and collaborate with fellow artists.

Asian American Film Lab president Jennifer Betit Yen and 72 Hour Shootout coordinator Youn Jung Kim at the 72 Hour Shootout Launch party at The Korea Society in New York on June 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Asian American Film Lab president Jennifer Betit Yen and 72 Hour Shootout coordinator Youn Jung Kim at the 72 Hour Shootout Launch party at The Korea Society in New York on June 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

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. Click here to buy tickets.

The Wrap Party is for ALL who participated in this year’s Shootout and will be an extravaganza of prizes and celebration. The Wrap Party is free for REGISTERED Shootout competitors only (registration automatically RSVPs you). All others can RSVP 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!

Film Lab management team- Cecilia Mejia (Unfinished Works), Daryl King (Secretary and Board Member), Jennifer Betit Yen (President and Board Member, founder of AAFL TV Production Arm), Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight), Youn Jung Kim (2015 72 Hour Shootout Coordinator), Edwin Wong (Board Member), director Berth Bay-Sa Pan and guests at the 72 Hour Shootout Launch party at The Korea Society in New York on June 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang
Film Lab management team- Cecilia Mejia (Unfinished Works), Daryl King (Secretary and Board Member), Jennifer Betit Yen (President and Board Member, founder of AAFL TV Production Arm), Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight), Youn Jung Kim (2015 72 Hour Shootout Coordinator), Edwin Wong (Board Member), director Berth Bay-Sa Pan and guests at the 72 Hour Shootout Launch party at The Korea Society in New York on June 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

About the Asian American Film Lab
The Film Lab is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes ethnic and gender diversity through outreach, education and production.  The Film Lab provides free or low cost programming ranging from screenwriting workshops to panels to seminars to screenings.  The Film Lab produces the television series “Film Lab Presents” and a wide variety of online content on AAFL TV. The Film Lab management team consists of Jennifer Betit Yen (President and Board Member, founder of AAFL TV Production Arm), Huseina Sulaimanee (Treasurer and Volunteer), Daryl King (Secretary and Board Member), Cecilia Mejia (Unfinished Works), Youn Jung Kim (2015 72 Hour Shootout Coordinator), Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight), along with a dedicated Board, interns and event volunteers. Board members include James Kyson, Ed Wong and Aaron Woolfolk, among others.

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.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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