Hello everyone and welcome to Film Lab’s 2023 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition Launch Party, hosted by Maze 32. Thank you all for being here. I’m going to give you a little hint as to the theme of this year’s Shootout, which Andy will announce at 8 and upon which all the films must be based. I’m going to start with a personal passion. If you ever look me up, you’ll find in just a few moments that I am an animal lover and a proponent of the humane treatment of animals, both in terms of supporting legislation protecting them from abuse to making personal choices like not eating them or wearing them. It is important to me personally to make protect those creatures who cannot protect themselves and I belong to several animal welfare organizations, including one that shares news and action items to help animals. On its face, this has nothing to do with Film Lab or the 72 Hour Shootout, where we focus on racial and gender parity in film and TV, with special emphasis on Asian Americans and building cross racial coalitions to combat all forms of racism. However, early this year, the two worlds collided in a way. Film Lab had commissioned a project called DiscrimiNATION to raise awareness about the anti-Asian violence that swept our country post-COVID, resulting in a series of heartbreaking stories. One of the animal welfare groups I belonged to started deluging my inbox with grisly and barbaric animal abuse videos, including those of live animals being cut up while they screamed in agony. The videos certainly raised awareness but they also gave me nightmares and made me feel helpless. Also early in 2023, the nation was riveted by a new situation of police brutality against a young black man named Tyre Nichols. A video of the brutal beating, during which he cried for his mother and which resulted in his death, began to circulate online. As part of Film Lab’s commitment to fight all racism, our social media team shared news about his murder to raise awareness and we shared the video of the mind numbing video of that horrible beating. However, some psychologists started to go public advising people NOT to watch the video. One explained, “It is important to bear witness and to acknowledge what happened, but that doesn’t mean an obligation to watch the video itself,” … there are ways to lift the spirit, the name and the incident without sharing the trauma.” All of these violent videos, these violent stories, shared for the best possible reasons – to shock us into awareness and galvanize us to take action – carry a great risk when used too much. They can desensitize us into antipathy, numb us into inaction ... and they can make us feel angry and powerless. And there is nothing more dangerous than people who feel angry and powerless. There is nothing we can do to help the immediate victim in any of these tapes. We may also become so desensitized or traumatized that we are unwilling or unable to take those important actions or even redirect our anger at those who shared the video with us. So, there’s the million dollar question and the question we will ask the filmmakers of this year’s 72 Hour Shootout – you – to address, at least on some level, in this year’s theme: how do we make people aware of the magnitude of the problem of, for example, racial trauma based a thousand daily micro-aggressions, without desensitizing them? How do we motivate people to positive, construction ACTION? Without causing yet more trauma? How do we create transformation based on the need and desire for peace, without fear? Don’t worry. You have until 8pm to figure that out. Now, I’m going to introduce you to the fearless leader of this year’s Shootout who is going to answer your last minute questions, take away your fears and announce the all-important theme. You know her as Film Lab’s provocative and super smart Unfinished Works Coordinator. She is also the coordinator of this year’s Shootout! Please put your hands together and give a warm welcome to the incredible and fabulous Andy Lee!