The Film Lab's signature Unfinished Works program - ongoing since 1998! - is back on August 28th with a fabulous performance reading of Celena Cipriaso's (All My Children) new piece, in which a group of friends head into their thirties and struggle to balance the thin line between drunkeness and sobriety in New York City, one of the biggest drinking cities in the world. This event will take place "living room style," in a warm, welcoming and informal environment, to facilitate conversation and networking.
Film Lab's Actor Directory members will perform a table read of the work, followed by a constructive workshop of the piece by Unfinished Works Coordinator Lorna Nowve. This part of the workshop allows YOU, the audience member, to actually participate in the creative process, ask questions of and give suggestions to the author and actors. It is incredibly fun and empowering for all. Whether you just want to see a performance reading or whether you're a writer or actor looking to share, collaborate and hone your craft, this event is for everyone!
RSVP via Eventbrite with a Donate What You Can ticket to guarantee yourself a spot (our last event with Celena sold out and was standing room only) or just show up. Doors will open to ticket holders at 6:45pm and non-ticket holders can try to grab a space starting at 7pm. The Film Lab is a non-profit dedicated to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic diversity in film and television, producer of the annual 72 Hour Film Shootout and the tv series, Film Lab Presents, which airs Thursday nights at 11pm on NYCLife. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
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 Quarter-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. As a playwright, her work has been performed in various venues in New York City, throughout the Northeast, and in 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.
About the Moderator, Lorna Nowve:
Lorna Nowve has an extensive background in film and television production. She has worked as a screenwriter, producer, and development director for a number of independent production companies. She served as Associate Producer on the indie hit Untitled and the Paul Reiser/Steven Sater Untitled NY Pilot for FX. Her production staff credits include The Following, Bored To Death, Law & Order, Ocean's 11, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the upcoming feature, Now You See Me. Her projects in development include the music documentary, Women On The Side and Best Buds. Ms. Nowve produced the highly acclaimed screenplay reading series at the Nantucket Film Festival. The program brought together noted screenwriters and casts including Ben Stiller Amanda Peete, Jane Alexander, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Scott Cohen, Naveen Andrews, and Andy Richter. Ms. Nowve was a participant in the Sundance Producers Conference and served as a screenwriting mentor for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers. For more on Unfinished Works, click here. To contact Lorna: UnfinishedWorks@film-lab.org.
Directions to the Venue:
The Azure is conveniently located near multiple access points to the subway system and FDR Drive. Stations for subway lines 4, 5 and 6 are located at 86th and 96th Streets on Lexington Avenue. Bus service runs along 1st and 2nd Avenues and across 86th and 96th Streets. Wall Street-bound express bus #90 stops at 91st and 1st Avenue. Entrances to the FDR Drive are located at 92nd and 96th Streets. There is free street parking along both 91st Street and 1st Avenue (just make sure to follow all posted signs) and a (pay) parking garage on 91st Street, across the street from The Azure, between 1st and 2nd Avenues.
When & Where
The Film Lab
The Asian American Film Lab (“Film Lab”) is a 501c3 non profit dedicated to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic diversity through a production arm (AAFL TV) and monthly programs offered to the public including educational seminars, screenings, filmmaking competitions, performances, and more.
The Film Lab's television series, Film Lab Presents, airs Thursday nights on CrossingsTV and on AAFL TV online (subscribe for free to the youtube channel at www.youtube.com/asamfilmlab) for bold, innovative and deliciously diverse entertainment.
The Film Lab is run under the direction of President Jennifer Betit Yen. Board members include Aaron Woolfolk, James Kyson, Edwin Wong, Perry Tsao, and Daryl King as Secretary. The management team includes Nick Sakai (Industry Spotlight and Production Arm); Daryl King (Connections and Social Media); Lorna Nowve (Unfinished Works); and Huseina Sulaimanee (Treasurer, Grants & Fundraising).
The Film Lab began in 1998 as a collaborative of New York-based Asian American filmmakers whose goals were to hone their craft and to share their knowledge, experience and resources. The membership has since grown to comprise professionals, artists and other talented individuals of all ethnic backgrounds, who all share the common goal of creating great film and promoting Asian American filmmakers and other filmmakers of color, 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 annual 72 Hour Film Shootout filmmaking competition, in conjunction with Asian CineVision and the Asian American International Film Festival, the Asians on Film Festival in Hollywood, and the New York Indian Film Festival. The Film Lab launched its own production arm in August of 2013 to create and share diverse stories showing the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan face of US society today. The Production Arm’s goal is to show the United States as it truly is – diverse and cosmopolitan, through multi-ethnic and multi-cultural viewpoints and stories. The Asian American Film Lab is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
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”). Our departments break down into (1) Unfinished Works; (2) Industry Spotlight; (3) Connections, which includes the 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition; and (4) the Film Lab Production Arm, AAFL TV.
(1) Unfinished Works
The Film Lab's Unfinished Works program constitutes its longest running program, ongoing for 15 consecutive years. Unfinished Works allows writers to workshop, in a structured and constructive environment, unfinished plays, screenplays and television scripts. It also serves as a bridge between actors, writers and directors of color, particularly Asian Americans. Writers are welcome to bring in a director for the table read and absolutely must cast a certain number of roles from the Asian American Film Lab’s actor members. To submit a screenplay for a free reading and workshop, writers need only email UnfinishedWorks@film-lab.org with their name, email, telephone number, logline, synopsis, and a brief statement of why they feel Unfinished Works will be useful to developing and improving their screenplay.
Also under the umbrella of our Unfinished Works Department, we are putting together an online Actor Directory for actors of all colors, which casting directors can search by gender, age range, type, languages spoken, and more. We aim to encourage casting of multi-racial actors in all contemporary American films and television shows.
(2) Industry Spotlight
The Film Lab's Industry Spotlight program features industry professionals who wish to promote and encourage diversity in film and television and includes filmmaking how-to seminars on everything from cinematography to sound, casting workshops, film screenings, and more. Sample events have included (1) a seminar with victim advocate, Maneesha Kelkar, on how to use film as a vehicle for social change, (2) a filmmaking how-to seminar presented by J.P. Chan; (3) a production workshop presented by the staff of the Descendant Films Production Company; (4) a cinematography lecture and Q&A with Eric Lin; (5) a free casting workshop with casting director Caitlin Jones of Liz Lewis Casting for actors of color; (6) A panel on online strategy for creative including Michael Nixon, Al Thompson of ValDean Entertainment, Shaun Sato of Dayside Productions, and Jeremy Readlead, an actor and writer for MTV and the Cartoon Network.
(3) Connections and the 72 Hour Shootout
Connections includes social networking events, such as our annual Holiday Gala, as well as the now well-known 72 Hour Shootout (“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. 2013 marked the 9th year Asian CineVision partnered with the Film Lab 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. The top ten Shootout films also screen at the Asians on Film Festival in Los Angeles, California and at The New York Indian Film Festival. 2013 marked the first year of formal collaboration between SAG-AFTRA and the Film Lab in which SAG-AFTRA waived requirements for advance paperwork and filing for Shootout competitors, allowing SAG actors to freely participate in the Shootout.
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).
(4) The New Film Lab Production Arm
In August 2013, the Film Lab launched a new production arm to create and promote diverse, original content. Four pilots were green lit, with filming on the first beginning August 12, 2013. The goal of the Production Arm is to create and share diverse stories showing the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan face of US society today. The Production Arm’s mission is to show the United States as it truly is – diverse and cosmopolitan, through multi-ethnic and multi-cultural viewpoints and stories. Beginning in March 2014, the Film Lab began airing the televised series "Film Lab Presents," hosted by Jennifer Betit Yen, on NYCLife, which continued for three seasons and then moved to air on CrossingsTV and other networks.