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Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge Force Unveiled

AtomFilms, Spike TV and Lucasfilm have joined forces to launch the "Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge." The trio unveiled details today (March 14, 2007) at the Challenge's website www.starwars.atomfilms.com and issued an immediate call for submissions. Challenge award recipients will be unveiled online, on-air on Spike TV and at the Star Wars Celebration IV fan event in Los Angeles, May 24-28.

The Challenge is new phase in a long-running partnership between Lucasfilm and AtomFilms to celebrate the best in fan made videos and animations. Past programs have produced such Internet classics as STAR WARS GANGSTA RAP, PINK FIVE and PITCHING LUCAS.

This year, Spike TV comes aboard as a television partner to provide on-air exposure for the Challenge's top submissions, to be judged by George Lucas, staffers at Lucasfilm and AtomFilms, as well as the voting of online viewers. This Challenge also demonstrates the emerging collaborations between the MTVN Ent. Group's digital and television properties.

"I'm very happy we're continuing this event, which we began in 2002, because out of the current crop of young moviemakers it's quite possible we'll find some of tomorrow's best writers, producers and directors," said Lucas.

"STAR WARS is an institution and Spike TV is thrilled to join forces with Lucasfilm and AtomFilms," said Kevin Kay, gm, Spike TV. "As television partner for the Challenge, Spike will extend STAR WARS fans' devotion beyond the digital arena by celebrating on-air this incredible movie franchise and showcasing content from its passionate fans."

"Our long-running user-generated-content partnership with Lucasfilm has been a great success for STAR WARS fans and moviemakers alike," said Scott Roesch, gm, AtomFilms. "This year, we're excited to present the Fan Movie Challenge, an expanded program that offers several new elements including great on-air exposure from our new partners at Spike TV."

The initial phase of the Challenge culminates at Lucasfilm's Star Wars CELEBRATION IV convention in Los Angeles, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the release of STAR WARS. Challenge award recipients will be announced and screened during the festivities. Spike TV will give viewers a front-row seat to all the action with on-air programming, partially featuring some of the Fan Movie Challenge's best entries.

Previously called the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, the name of this long-running program was changed to reflect the fact that most of the submissions are shot, edited and submitted digitally. Steve Sansweet, director of fan relations for Lucasfilm Ltd., said, "There really isn't any 'film' being reviewed anymore. Just as with the STAR WARS movies themselves, our annual competition has proudly entered the digital age."

In addition to the introduction of Spike TV as television partner, there are several new elements to the Challenge:

* An award category for "fan fiction" will be offered for the first time, in addition to parody, documentary and other categories.* Fan movies also will be available for viewing at the official STAR WARS site: www.starwars.com, beginning later this spring

To see past fan-movie favorites:STAR WARS GANGSTA RAP: www.atomfilms.com/film/gangsta_rap_se.jsp

PINK FIVE: www.atomfilms.com/film/pink5.jsp

PITCHING LUCAS: www.atomfilms.com/film/pitching_lucas.jsp

SPIKE TV (www.spiketv.com) is available in more than 91.6 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. A unit of Viacom, MTV Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

AtomFilms is a broadband entertainment network licensing and developing original content in partnership with filmmakers and animators. Since pioneering the online video category in 1998, AtomFilms has attracted a loyal audience of millions of users with its consistently outstanding short-form programming. The network compensates filmmakers and animators based on revenues generated from its advertising and distribution businesses. AtomFilms is a service of MTV Networks, following MTV's Sept. 2006 acquisition of Atom Ent.

Lucasfilm Ltd. (www.lucasfilm.com) is one of the world's leading movie and entertainment companies. Founded by Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound; LucasArts; Lucasfilm Animation; and Lucas Licensing. Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses.

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