Vimeo has offered a $10,000 advance to any film making its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival if the movie elects Vimeo as its first stop in its release on digital platforms, the company announced on Monday.
Any of the films can still open in theaters or on television’s video-on-demand, but Vimeo requires that the movie appear on its still nascent On Demand service before it could appear on iTunes, Netflix or any other digital platform.
Vimeo would have the rights exclusively for 30 days, at which point the films could also appear on other services. The film would also have to remain on Vimeo On Demand for at least two years.
Vimeo launched its On Demand service at the South by Southwest Film Festival earlier this year, and secured its highest profile offering to-date with one of the film that premiered there, Neil LaBute‘s “Some Girl (s).”
Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor said the service has added more than 2,000 films since South by Southwest and his company has once again used a major film festival to persuade the independent film world that its service is a vital and useful one.
“Now that we’ve introduced a platform, this is one of our first experiments with offering economics benefits to creators upfront,” Trainor told TheWrap. “We want to be the home for creators looking to go directly to their audiences.”
Vimemo will take 100 percent of sales until it recoups the advance, at which point the arrangement will revert to the platform’s natural revenue split – 90 percent for the filmmaker and 10 percent to Vimeo.
Filmmakers can control the price the film is sold for and what countries it is available in.
Trainor noted that video on demand distributors are becoming a part of the conversation in dealmaking at major film festivals, and he hopes Vimeo can join that conversation.
They do offer something many others don’t: “We represent flexibility and control.”