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Posted: Sun., Mar. 16, 2003, 7:07pm PT
 
Ten in the driver's seat for Chrysler competition
Top prize is $1 mil production, distribution deal
 
By DAVID ROONEY
The Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival has chosen 10 semifinalists for the Extreme Filmmaking phase of the yearlong competition backed by branded entertainment production company Hypnotic and Universal Pictures.

Top prize in the competition is a $1 million feature production deal with U and distribution via Focus Features.

Contestants are given an office on the Universal lot and mentored by industry execs while developing a feature project to be pitched in the concluding stage of the competition at the Toronto fest this fall.

The semifinalists each have 10 days in early May to cast, shoot, edit and premiere an original five-minute Chrysler-branded short featuring one of the auto company's 2004 models.

Art under pressure

"The Extreme Filmmaking Competition will put the filmmakers' production and directing skills to the test in a city where patience and time management are often challenged," said Bonita Stewart, director of Chrysler marketing communications. "It's going to be an exciting 10 days."

Selected semifinalists are Angelenos Kevin Burke, Victor Buhler, Ernst Gossner, Tanja Mairitsch, Scott Perry and Terry Rietta; New Yorkers Stephen Marro and Andrew Mudge; Paul Cotter from Chicago; and Jim Stedman of Austin, Texas.
 

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