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Who We Are

The Film Lab is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to the promotion and support of gender and ethnic parity in film, television and online entertainment media programming. Through our education and outreach programming, we connect filmmakers, provide seminars, screenings, opportunities to workshop scripts, and more. AAFL TV, our production arm, provides a platform for entertaining and innovative content that reflects the wonderful diversity and cosmopolitan makeup of the United States and includes the television series Film Lab Presents, hosted by Jennifer Betit Yen and whose editors and directors have included Ryan Hayward, Jatin Chhugani and Jodi Lin, among others.  We also run the famous 72 Hour Shootout, an annual, high-profile filmmaking competition organized with the support of film festivals from New York to Los Angeles, through which we work to ensure that stories and voices too often silenced in mainstream media are heard - not just as whispers, but as shouts to the world.  Shootout filmmakers have access to mentorships and free educational and networking programming throughout the year.
 
Our Team

Jennifer Betit Yen, President  

Jennifer Betit Yen is an actor, writer and "recovering" attorney.  As an actor, Jennifer has performed on stage for East West Players in Los Angeles and at the Snapple Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Source in New York City (Backstage Magazine, the New York Times). Jennifer has appeared on TV in shows such as New Amsterdam (NBC), Search Party (TBS), Royal Pains (USA), Dirt (FX), and America's Most Wanted (FOX), among others, and provided voiceover talent for Random House and Reading Rainbow, among others, voicing the character of Avery in the series The Beacon Street Girls. She is the author of the blog "Ethical Is Beautiful.  Be Beautiful."  Jennifer is an avid kickboxer and a graduate of Cornell University and Boston University School of Law.  She is the author of several books for children, an article entitled 'Is My Baby Defective™? Fetal Genetic Testing as Part of a Public Health Care Plan' published by Suffolk University Law Review and the co-author of the Boston Bar Association White Collar Crime 2005 CLE Seminar presentation, entitled 'Issues with Debarment/Exclusion.' Jennifer has experience newscasting and hosting and produced and acted in the web series La La Land in Los Angeles, which won an Accolade Award for Best Television Pilot.  Jennifer launched the AAFL TV Production Arm and began hosting the television series FILM LAB PRESENTS in 2014.  She is the writer and producer of the movie "The Opposite of a Fairy Tale," which has been screened by the Museum of Chinese in America, the Asian American International Film Festival, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the Desert Film Society, Palm Springs, and many more.  http://www.jen-yen.com

Tyler Ham Pong, 72 Hour Shootout Coordinator

Born in Ottawa, Tyler Ham Pong first appeared onstage as Lorenzo in "The Merchant of Venice" at the National Arts Centre in Canada. He would later move to New York City to further his acting career where he wrote and starred in "Moony Mercury" at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and the Manhattan Repertory Theatre. In 2011, he won the Best Actor Award at the 72 Hour Shootout for his film "Sawaru," encouraging his involvement in the Asian American Film Lab and future Shootouts.  Tyler relocated to Los Angeles to pursue various film and television roles while continuing to create his own content. He won numerous accolades for his screenplays, "Dreamer In Exile," and "Breakup Brody," including an Award of Excellence at the Canada International Film Festival in 2011. He also won the Best Screenwriter Award in 2014 from the 72 Hour Shootout for "Case File 69." One of his most recent films “Leap” screened at numerous festivals, including the FirstGlance Film Festival and Chelsea Film Festival. It was also selected for Amazon Prime Video’s first ever online film festival, All Voices Film Festival.  Tyler's film "The Real McCoy" won Best Actor and Grand Prize at the 2019 72 Hour Shootout, a milestone in his relationship with the competition. This year, he is honored to coordinate the 2020 72 Hour Shootout, and help promote diversity in media.  Aside from acting and filmmaking, Tyler is currently a travel host for Visit the USA, and has been an Associate Producer on several reality TV shows. He is based in Los Angeles and is the proud owner/operator of Kill the Pig Productions.  No actual pigs have been killed.

Sheng Lin, Official Film Lab Photographer

Sheng Lin is a photographer and advocate for domestic violence victims.  Sheng is currently working on his Masters degree in Social Work.  Check out his work and follow him on Instagram @ChinatownVibes.

Daryl King, Secretary

Daryl King, a Brooklyn native,went to high school in New York, and graduated from Columbia University in 2010.  A gifted writer and organized thoughtful artist, Daryl has been inspired by Rei Kawakubo’s playful rebellion against strict and stark subjectivity.  Perfection is part of the requirement and qualifications of art and architecture, which is the reason why, as Daryl puts it, you find him "residing in the wake of the wave of life, taking ideas and inspiration from what has already been practiced.  That designer, above many others, has used subversive tactics to enlighten her crowd. Personal memories and events are necessary for something to be displayed and deemed knack."  Daryl first joined the Film Lab team as a volunteer seeking funding for the Film Lab's annual 72 Hour Shootout and soon moved on to assisting with Grants and Fundraising generally.  For more on Connections, click here.  To be added to the Film Lab mailing list, email your name and area of interest to Daryl at Connections@film-lab.org, attn: Daryl King.

Cheryl L. Davis, Legal Advisor, Advisory Board Member and Unfinished Works Volunteer

Cheryl L. Davis, in-house counsel for the Author's Guild, is a multi-talented woman, having received a WGA Award and a Daytime Emmy nomination for her work on As the World Turns. She writes for Law & Order: SVU and received the Kleban Award (as a librettist) for her musical “Barnstormer,” about Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman flyer. Her play Maid’s Door won seven Audelco Awards and was a finalist for the Francesca Primus Prize, and her play Carefully Taught received an Honorable Mention in the Kilroys 2017 List. Her play The Color of Justice (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA), received excellent reviews in the New York Times and Daily News, and tours regularly.  Her musical Bridges, commissioned by the Berkeley Playhouse, premiered in 2016 and received three nominations from the San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle.  Her commissions include: Disney Theatrical Group, ClearChannel Entertainment, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Birmingham Children’s Theatre.   Her work has been read and performed internationally, including the Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Kennedy Center.  She volunteers to moderate some of the Unfinished Works programs, Film Lab's longest running workshop series for screenwriters and actors, ongoing since 1998.  

Ray Lanuza, Unfinished Works Volunteer and AAFL TV Production Crew Staff

Ray Lanuza is a well known sound designer, gaffer and grip who has worked on multiple AAFL TV productions.  A respected audio engineer, he has worked on multiple projects with everyone from Arianna Huffington to the Harry Potter movie crew.  Ray and his girlfriend Jill live in Queens, New York.

Georges Bridges, Unfinished Works Volunteer and Check In Event Coordinator

Georges Bridges volunteers for the Film Lab as a check in person.  During the day, he works as a building concierge and doorman.  Georges is also a model and has appeared in several fashion shows.  He is delighted to appear as Film Lab's spokesperson and representative for such events as the Asian American Arts Alliance Town Halls.

Constance Allison, General Administrative Support

Constance Allison is a nurse and enjoys luaus.  She loves theatre and tv and is a loyal volunteer for SAG-AFTRA.  She is also the very proud grandma to two amazing grandchildren.  She is a caretaker of the land and is grateful for Mother Nature.  Aloha ‘Aina.

Luana Sandoval, Social Media Coordinator and Administartive Support

Luana Sandoval is from Germany.  She is an actor and a enjoys handling and coordinating the Film Lab's social media.  Her especial focus is Instagram.

Gudger Goodyear, Chief Morale Officer

Gudger Goodyear, the Film Lab's Chief Morale Officer, is a rescue dog from Tennessee who attends most Film Lab events in return for kibbles and bits.  He has appeared in many of our AAFL TV productions but assures everyone he is not a diva.  He enjoys peanut butter, cuddling and posing on the red carpet.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS OF THE FILM LAB

Jennifer Betit Yen, PRESIDENT

Jennifer Betit Yen is an actor (Royal PainsFilm Lab PresentsThe Beacon Street GirlsInterrogation, The Martini), screenwriter (The Opposite of a Fairy Tale) and writer/producer (La La Land, My Not So subConscious, The Opposite of a Fairy Tale).  She is also a recovering attorney. She has received shout outs by The New York Times and Backstage Magazine for her work as a stage actor in New York City. Her film The Opposite of a Fairy Tale, a fictional take on elder abuse, sold out at MOCA and was an official selection of the 39th Annual Asian American International Film Festival, the Palm Springs Desert Film Society, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation NY Shorts Showcase, at the NYC Conference on Elder Abuse, and screened at WOMANKIND and with HBO.  It became available on iTunes on June 30th.  A graduate of Cornell University and Boston University School of Law, Jennifer worked in business litigation for six years and is currently playing the lead in a new crime drama television pilot.  She writes the blog "Ethical is Beautiful.  Be Beautiful" and enjoys boxing and baking pies.

Daryl King, SECRETARY

Daryl King, a Brooklyn native,went to high school in New York, and graduated from Columbia University in 2010.  A gifted writer and organized thoughtful artist, Daryl has been inspired by Rei Kawakubo’s playful rebellion against strict and stark subjectivity.  Perfection is part of the requirement and qualifications of art and architecture, which is the reason why, as Daryl puts it, you find him "residing in the wake of the wave of life, taking ideas and inspiration from what has already been practiced.  That designer, above many others, has used subversive tactics to enlighten her crowd. Personal memories and events are necessary for something to be displayed and deemed knack."  Daryl first joined the Film Lab team as a volunteer seeking funding for the Film Lab's annual 72 Hour Shootout and soon moved on to assisting with Grants and Fundraising generally.  

Aaron Woolfolk

Aaron Woolfolk is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He shot his first feature film The Harimaya Bridge in Kachi Prefecture, Japan and San Francisco. The film had a nationwide theatrical release in Japan in the summer of 2009, and had an independent release in the United States in 2010. For his first film, the short Rage! Aaron won a Directors Guild of America award. His short films Eki and Kuroi Hitsuji won several awards, screened in international film festivals, and played on cable television. Aaron was the recipient of an ABC Talent Development Grant, and was later a Walt Disney Studios/ABC Entertainment Writing Fellow. With The Harimaya Bridge, Aaron became the first African American to make a feature film in Japan, and one of the few Americans to direct a movie in the Japanese film industry. Aaron is a veteran of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). He taught junior high school English in Kachi Prefecture. Aaron collaborated with playwright Tim Toyama in writing the play Bronzeville for The Robey Theatre Company, which developed the play and presented the world premiere in association with The Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles in the spring of 2009. Aaron and Toyama received a nomination for an Ovation Award in the category Best Playwriting for an Original Play.

James Kyson

Voted by TV Guide as €œHollywood's 25 Hottest€, James Kysonfinished Hawaii Five-O on CBS, and a 4-year run on NBC's Heroes as Ando€™. A native of NYC, James graduated from Bronx H.S. of Science, then went on to study communications & broadcasting at Boston University, and New England Institute of the Arts. After a stint in a hip-hop rap group in college, and trying out improv comedy, James moved to LA on a one-way ticket & a single suitcase, where he began his training in music, dance, and acting. His first ever Television audition landed him on CBS's J.A.G€. Other TV credits include "CSI", NBC's "Las Vegas", "The West Wing", "Heist", as well as ABC's "Threat Matrix", and FOX's "All About the Andersons."  

Gudger Goodyear, Chief Morale Officer

Gudger Goodyear, the Film Lab's Chief Morale Officer, is a rescue dog from Tennessee who attends most Film Lab events in return for kibbles and bits.  He has appeared in many of our AAFL TV productions but assures everyone he is not a diva.  He enjoys peanut butter, cuddling and posing on the red carpet.

 
The Film Lab also has a dedicated Advisory Board and a staff of administrative volunteers and interns, who can be contacted via the group email info@film-lab.org.