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ESPN Sets Sports Film Festival

ESPN will team up with the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival to launch a multiplatform showcase for independent sports films.

The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will be programmed and operated by Tribeca Enterprises’ Tribeca Film Festival with on-air support from ESPN, the two parties said.

The inaugural event will debut during the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival April 25-May 5 in New York, and it will feature premiere screenings of sports-related narrative and documentary feature and short films, industry events and user-generated online content created by the festival’s programmers.

“Independent film has grown exponentially in the last few years, and sports-themed films have grown with it,” ESPN executive vice president of content John Skipper said in a prepared statement.

: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,” he added. “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.”