The Movies Sundancin' on January 20

Chrysler bankrolling DIY machinima contest, set to launch later this week. Winners announced in May.

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Despite receiving decent reviews, The Movies hasn't exactly been a blockbuster since it launched last November. But that fact hasn't stopped Lionhead Studios and Activision from inking an innovative deal for the PC game. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the movie-studio sim will be the centerpiece of a contest that will kick off later this week at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

According to the Reporter, January 20 will see the kickoff of the Chrysler in the Movies: Virtual Film Competition at Sundance in Park City, Utah. The competition will let owners of The Movies create shorts using the game's virtual-movie creation tools. The game lets players use 45 sets, hundreds of props, 7,000 scenes, and tens of thousands of costume combinations to create their own short films. To date, more than 30,000 of the films have been submitted online to The Movies' ongoing online film festival, which made no mention of the competition as of press time.

The winner of the Chrysler in the Movies: Virtual Film Competition will be announced at the US's biggest game convention, the E3 Expo, this coming May. The grand prize will be a Chrysler Crossfire luxury sedan, which retails for around $42,000.

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