Chrysler, net drive fest

Segment added titled 'Best of Canada'

The Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival has partnered with Canadian broadcaster the Movie Network to create a north-of-the-border addition to next year’s contest for aspiring filmmakers.

The network will sponsor a segment called “Best of Canada,” featuring the top 10 Canadian submissions to the 2003 Million Dollar contest, which this year was open only to U.S. residents. Those 10, along with 25 quarterfinalists for the overall contest, will have their shorts shown in eastern Canada on the Movie Network’s MFEST channel beginning in March.

Short film submissions to the contest are due Dec. 14, from which the quarterfinalists will be selected and sent to the Sundance Film Festival. A lengthy winnowing process will ultimately name five finalists who each write a feature film script and supporting materials, with the winner selected at next September’s Toronto Film Festival. This year’s winner, Jeff Wadlow, is prepping to shoot his project next spring.

Vivendi Universal unit Hypnotic runs the Chrysler festival with major backing from the carmaker. The winner receives a deal to direct a feature with a $1 million budget through Universal Studios, with Chrysler partly financing and owning the resulting pic.

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