Vimeo is partnering with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for an initiative that will see the VoD website offering festival films a US$10,000 advance in return for their first digital window.
All of the feature length films enjoying world premieres at this year’s TIFF will be eligible for the offer. Vimeo will pay the upfront minimum guarantee in return for digital exclusivity for 30 days, or as soon as it recoups its $10,000 advance.
Filmmakers will have the flexibility to have a theatrical or a TV run before their digital windows, since Vimeo is mainly looking to compete with VoD rivals such as iTunes and Netflix. After the $10,000 is recouped, Vimeo will offer filmmakers and content owners a 90/10 split on future returns, which it says is favorable to the 70/30 typically offered by iTunes.
Filmmakers are free to set their own prices for their films, and can take their work to other digital platforms after the 30-day exclusivity period, although Vimeo will keep the films in its catalog for up to two years.
“Direct digital distribution is gaining momentum every day as both an alternative and a complement to traditional film distribution,” said Vimeo’s CEO Kerry Trainor in a statement.
“Vimeo is focused on empowering filmmakers with the highest quality platform to control the distribution and monetization of their content – in any territory, on any device, at any time, and across a wide range of price points. Our partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival allows us to test the addition of financial support to the power of the Vimeo on Demand platform.”
Initially, the partnership is only open to films having world premieres at this year’s TIFF, although Vimeo does not rule out extending the venture – which it sees as something of an experiment at the moment – in future.
In all, 146 films are set to have world premieres at this year’s TIFF, which kicks off later this week and runs from September 5-15. TIFF doc world premieres include Midway, The Dog, Tim’s Vermeer, Finding Vivian Maier, Filthy Gorgeous, Made in America, InRealLife, When Jews Were Funny and Hi-Ho Mistahey!
“Premiering your film at the Toronto International Film Festival now comes with the additional benefit of Vimeo’s distribution offer,” said TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey. “For any independent filmmaker trying to connect with an audience – and who isn’t? – this is a terrific new opportunity.”