Paola Freccero, SundanceChannel's senior vice president of film programming, is leaving the network tobecome an independent consultant specialising in business development projectsin the entertainment industry.

She will remain at SundanceChannel until the end of the year and following her departure Christian Vesper,vice president of acquisitions at Sundance Channel Entertainment, will fill intemporarily until a permanent replacement is announced.

Through her new venture,Freccero will consult to Sundance Channel on special projects.

In a statement president andchief executive officer Larry Aidem said: "Although I both respect and admirePaola's desire to do something different at this relatively early stage of herlife and career - i.e. before the ravages of age and/or internecine corporateinfighting transforms her into a risk-averse, bland, uncreative, tenuredstaffer whose greatest excitement is the first glimpse of the (annual) OfficialCompany Holiday List - the good news for SUN is that we will continue tobenefit from Paola's film programming acumen, deep rolodex and first-ratecreative instincts."

In her role as SundanceChannel senior vice president of film programming, Freccero oversees theacquisition, programming and scheduling of Sundance Channel's film line-up,which includes independent American and international features, documentaries,and shorts.

She also supervises SundanceChannel's weekly documentary destination, DOCday and handles acquisitions forSundance Channel Home Entertainment, the home video division of the Channel,which launched in 2002.

Freccero has been in hercurrent position for the past three years and joined Sundance Channel in 1999as a publicity consultant. Shortlythereafter, she was appointed vice president of international, spearheadingSundance Channel's business development activities overseas.

Prior to joining SundanceChannel, Freccero served as artistic director of the Nortel Palm SpringsInternational Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Short FilmFestival.