MMO Machinima Movies Make Money, Marvel Molyneux

Among those who make animated short films using overdubbed footage from games (machinima), Blizzard's World of Warcraft already gets a lot of play. Now, there's an official contest sponsored by Blizzard, Xfire, and a number of other companies for WoW-based machinima. It doesn't seem to be in honor of anything in particular; the three open categories are Dance, Comedy, and Drama.
Five prizes will be awarded for each category. An additional ten prizes will be awarded for special categories including Best Music, Best Dialog, Best Action Scene, Best Pun or Line, and Best Editing and Special Effects. A special prize will also be awarded to a selected movie among all valid contest entrants. Entries must be submitted by January, 21st 2006.

The combined prizes reach a total value of over $10,000, and are mainly made up of PC components and accessories from the sponsor companies. There's also an Xbox 360 in there for good measure. So, if you're into that kind of thing, get to it.

Speaking of machinima, one politically-infused movie made with Lionhead's The Movies has been getting a lot of attention lately. French "director" Alex Chan made a film entitled The French Democracy offering a look at the current riot situation in his home country. In response to the attention he's been getting, Chan said "I did not expect such a reaction to my little 'home-made' movie, but I have spread some human values that are important to me." The Movies designer Peter Molyneux weighed in as well, saying "Alex's film, which is absolutely terrific, really demonstrates the potential power and impact that these films can have."