By Sahil Patel
Give Vimeo some credit, it’s serious about helping independent filmmakers find distribution and make money online. After offering filmmakers at the Toronto International Film Festival a $10,000 advance to exclusively sell and distribute their work on Vimeo, the company is now opening its doors to those who have used crowdfunding platforms to finance their film projects.
Specifically, Vimeo is launching the Audience Development Fund, a new program that has set aside $500,000 to help market crowdfunded films. The only requirements are that these films have been completed and ready for distribution, and that they raised at least $10,000 on platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed & Spark.
From this pool, Vimeo will review the projects and select which ones it wants to lend additional marketing support to. Filmmakers who receive a grant from Vimeo can then use it to market the films both on and off the video site. The company will also give these filmmakers a Vimeo Pro account for free for a whole year.
In exchange for all of this, Vimeo will have exclusive rights to a “digital premiere window” for distribution on Vimeo On Demand.
As you know, Vimeo Pro users have full access to the Vimeo On Demand service, which gives filmmakers the tools to directly sell and distribute their work on every screen Vimeo is available on. Monetization features available to Pro users include the ability to set their own price, viewing format (stream or download), and which geographies they want to make the film available in. The company also recently opened up in-player transactions, giving Pro users the chance to sell their films from within the Vimeo player, wherever it’s embedded on the web.
Filmmakers interested in submitting for the Audience Development Fund can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.