reprinted from a Tribeca press release:
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL AND ESPN ANNOUNCE CREATION OF TRIBECA/ESPN SPORTS FILM FESTIVAL
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FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND SPORTS FILM INITIATIVE TO CREATE UNPRECEDENTED PLATFORM FOR SPORTS FILMMAKERS; WILL LAUNCH AT 2007 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
New York, New York (December 6, 2006) ESPN Inc. and Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival, will launch The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, a multi-platform showcase for independent sports films, it was announced today by John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content and Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder. In a multi-year arrangement, The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will be programmed and operated by the Tribeca Film Festival with on-air support from ESPN, the worlds leading sports media brand. Targeted at both the film industry and sports film fans, the Festival will feature a complete program of film screenings, live events, online interactivity, and media extensions. An advisory board, comprising leaders in sports and film, is currently in formation.
"ESPNs collaboration with the Tribeca Film Festival demonstrates our continued commitment to serving sports fans by extending the discussion about sports overall, said Skipper. "Independent film has grown exponentially in the last few years, and sports-themed films have grown with it. The Tribeca Film Festival has captured sports films like no other film festival and has proven to be creative, smart and passionate about nurturing films of all kinds. Together, we hope to inspire filmmakers to make sports-themed films with this new platform in mind and thereby raise the level of the genre.
"This brings together sports and film in an exciting new way, said Robert De Niro, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder.
The inaugural Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will debut at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival (April 25 May 5, 2007) and feature premiere screenings of sports-related narrative and documentary feature and short films, industry events and will include user generated online content curated by the festivals programmers.At the core of the festival will be the premiere screenings of independent feature films that will be seeking commercial distribution. The festival will also feature "Sports Saturday, where all the independent sports films will screen and special interactive community events will take place with opportunities to meet sports stars, filmmakers and actors.
"Filmmakers have long been captivated by the compelling storytellinginspiredbysports, said Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder. "By combining forces with ESPN, the worlds leading sports media brand, we will not only serve passionate sports fans but build new audiences for sports filmmakers and their films, on a national and international basis, at the festival as well as on a year-round basis.
Since its inception in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival has screened 29 films about sports ranging from basketball to surfing to wrestling. Selections have included: "Step into Liquid," "Shaolin Soccer, Lipstick & Dynamite, "Rize, "Through the Fire, Blue Blood, "Freedom's Fury, "Goal!The Dream Begins, and "Once in A Lifetime.With todays announcement, future sports films and filmmakers now have an unprecedented venue to showcase their work.
ESPN will dedicate television, radio, print and online resources to support and promote the festival.
Films in the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will be accepted through the Tribeca Film Festivals normal submission procedures. Information about the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival including film clips and background, as well as content related to the intersection of sports and film will be available on the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival website, www.tribecafilmfestival.org/espn.html.