April 11, 2002

A Girl's Guide to the Galaxy

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Most people like to play the lottery to get a shot at a million dollars. Most people usually play with the hopes of never having to work again. Not so for Cornell alum and Ithaca native Catherine Tingey ’96. She’s playing for a million, and if she wins the plan is to work long-hard hours, spend a lot of money on film, and live out a life-long dream.

Tingey’s not playing any ordinary lottery. It’s the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival in which she is currently competing as a quarterfinalist for a million bucks to turn her 12 and a half minute short, A Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy, into a full length feature film. The 25 films competing are currently available online at chryslermdff.com, where registered visitors may view and vote on their favorite flicks in minutes.

The game will move from a virtual arena to a geographic one after April 14, when the ten finalists are announced. These aspiring filmmakers will be shipped off to Cannes and face perhaps the toughest week of their existent and future careers. While tourists are enjoying the charming beaches of the Riviera, these chosen few will script, cast, shoot, and edit a five-minute short film in just 12 days.