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Landmark Theatres (as in our own Hillcrest Cinemas, La Jolla Village, and The Ken) is joining forces with Porsche and ReelzChannel on the My Daily Magic Short Film Contest. It's an opportunity for budding filmmakers (aka anyone who owns a video camera) to have one of their shorts exhibited on ReelzChannel and Landmark screens nationwide.

All you have to do is write, produce, direct, and edit a short film that "captures everyday magic." Just make sure the film contains no nudity, profanity, drugs, alcohol, firearms, tobacco, license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses, street addresses, reckless or unlawful behavior, copyrighted materials owned by others, or brand names or trademarks. I assume it's okay if one of your characters drives a Porsche and subscribes to ReelzChannel.

We live in a politically correct (read: litigious) world, so the above list of "dont's and be carefuls" isn't all that surprising. What's more dismaying, particularly when one considers the high caliber of art and independent films that generally populate Landmark screens, are the judging specifications:

• Criteria 1: Video Quality and Overall Appeal (40%) • Criteria 2: Adherence to Creative Specifications (40%) • Criteria 3: Originality and Creativity (20%)

Do you smell the formula for a Hollywood formula brewing? Isn't an emphasis on playing by the rules and looking good over showing personal expression and artistic execution the reason a glorified toy commercial like Transformers is the biggest grossing film of the year?

Why not wow the "qualified panel of judges" by submitting a film that's displays 100% formal finesse (rent a tripod!) and 100% originality. In the words of Billy Wilder, "If you got what it takes, eventually someone will take what you got." The entry form is here.

Can't wait to see your short film at The Ken. After all, anything is better than another Stella Artois beer commercial.

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