Win Playboy film contest, your film plays at Sundance! But not really.

From Brooks Barnes the New York Times Arts Beat blog:

New Route to Sundance

Playboy on Wednesday is announcing a competition intended to give budding film directors a new spotlight at the Sundance Film Festival – along, of course, with the bunny itself. The adult entertainment and publishing company will operate its contest, called the Playboy Shorts Series,, a social networking site that aims to foster artistic collaboration.

By "at the Sundance Film Festival" the contest producers really mean "at an event in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival." The "New Route to Sundance" headline implies that winning films will be part of the official Sundance program. They won't.

A quick check with the Sundance Institute last week confirmed that the contest isn't sponsored or endorsed by the Festival. I'm sure Talenthouse and Playboy aren't at all disappointed with the "New Route to Sundance" headline, which implies that the fest is involved. This is confusing at best and deliberately misleading at worst.

Just a word of warning folks – read the fine print on contests like these.