First-Ever espnW Film Fellowship, Presented By Walmart, Announced at espnW: Women + Sports Summit

Robby Klein for ESPN

Wanda Young, VP of media, digital and partnership marketing at Walmart, announces collaborative Film Fellowship.

DANA POINT, Calif. -- From the main stage at the sixth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit Thursday, Wanda Young, vice president of media, digital and partnership marketing, announced the first-ever espnW Film Fellowship program, presented by Walmart.

For the first time, espnW and Walmart will grant funding to a female filmmaker who seeks to bring a woman-centric sports story to life on screen and will chronicle her journey on espnW.com. During the nine-month fellowship, the chosen filmmaker will interact with development executives and receive mentoring from the ESPN community. Her completed film will debut next fall at the 2016 espnW: Women + Sports Summit.

"So many of the films and TV shows that America is watching today genuinely underrepresent how women are portrayed. ... We just want to have proper portrayal of what is real," said Young, of the impact the program will have.

Walmart is also a partner to the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), whose mission is to champion women and diversity in filmmaking. The espnW Film Fellow will serve as a judge for BFF's 10 Brands, 10 Stories Short Film Competition, and will participate in the 2016 Bentonville Film Festival in Bentonville, Arkansas, May 3-8, 2016 as a featured speaker.

"espnW spotlights stories in the sports world where women and girls are central characters, and we focus on elevating the voices of female storytellers in our industry," said Alison Overholt, espnW's editor-in-chief. "It is a breakthrough opportunity to do both with this program, by identifying and introducing a new female artist to the filmmaking community, then supporting the creation of her woman-centric sports film. We're honored to be sponsored by Walmart and to collaborate with BFF, both of whom have a proven track record of supporting female and diverse storytelling in the entertainment industry."

espnW will review proposals from filmmakers in the coming months and will announce the espnW Film Fellow and her project in February 2016, at the espnW Impact 25 Gala in New York City.

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