Sundance to Launch Virtual Contest

Anyone who loves movies and video games will get the opportunity to combine their passions by participating in Chrysler in the Movies: Virtual Film Competition, a contest set to be launched Jan. 20 at the Sundance Film Festival.

Entrants will create their own short film using capabilities built into Activision and Lionhead Studios' "The Movies," the video game that lets players design and run their own movie studio at various times in Hollywood's history. As part of the simulation, gamers can create movies and upload them for consideration to be included in a virtual film festival, complete with an online awards ceremony. More than 35,000 movies have been uploaded to Activision's online community since the game's November release.

Expanding this into a promotional initiative, shorts created as a CITM entry must include one of the Chrysler vehicles that already are part of the more than 7,000 scenes, 45 sets, hundreds of props and thousands of costume combinations available in "The Movies."

Sundance attendees can gain a competitive edge by visiting a Park City facility christened the Chrysler Studio, where lessons will be offered and celebrities and other mentors will be available to help create and submit their shorts, efforts sponsored by the Creative Coalition.

Dave Anderson Activision Inc.'s senior director of business development, said the competition and the Sundance Film Festival launch were a natural fit with the game's goal of inspiring creativity and delivering something "for everyone who has ever dreamed of making it in Hollywood."

The winning film will be announced during May's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, and the grand prize will be a Chrysler Crossfire.

Chrysler vp Jeff Bell said the competition is a "great way to support the craft of filmmaking while extending the Chrysler brand to a greater audience."

British developer Lionhead Studios devoted considerable attention to ensuring "The Movies" is replete with authentic detail. Players can micromanage every detail of launching a movie studio, right down to placating incorrigible actresses, dealing with directors who have gone over budget and planning the marketing campaign of a new movie franchise. Alternatively, they can jump right in to crafting their own creation.

The Creative Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization founded in 1989 by Alec Baldwin, Ron Silver, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon, Blair Brown, Stephen Collins and others in the entertainment industry.

Chris Marlowe writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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