Sundance ’16: Vimeo to fund female-led content

Vimeo is launching a three-part initiative that will see the company invest in at least five projects directed by women, as well as educational workshops and on-site features designed to highlight female voices. (Pictured: Wolfpack director Crystal Moselle)
January 21, 2016

Vimeo is launching a three-part initiative aimed at investing in female-led programming, educational workshops and on-site features designed to highlight women’s voices.

The “Share the Screen” program will this year invest in a minimum of five projects from female directors, who will also receive marketing support and global distribution on Vimeo on Demand.

Filmmakers are to be identified through a variety of Vimeo’s channels, including its traditional acquisitions pipeline, the Vimeo Originals development team, and the company’s in-house curation team, which runs the Vimeo Staff Picks branch.

Sam Toles

Sam Toles

“We are going to be investing in projects at all different stages – some will be original productions we’ll be funding, some will be titles completely ready for distribution – it really will vary by project,” Sam Toles, head of global content and distribution, told realscreen over email.

“The Vimeo team will also be taking a lot of meetings at Sundance this week and other festivals coming up throughout the year to meet with potential creators,” the exec added. Besides Sundance, Toles is also taking part in a session entitled “Platform Power Players” at the upcoming Realscreen Summit.

The company is not disclosing a total investment number because “it’s essentially uncapped,” explains Toles. “Budgets will vary project by project, so it’s not really possible to provide a per project number. Instead we are focused on the number of creators we want to get behind versus total investment.”

Other initiatives for “Share the Screen” include year-long educational seminars at the Sundance Institute’s various Artist Services workshops, as well as a “Share the Screen” spotlight on the Vimeo blog, and a continuously updated “Female-Directed, Vimeo-Approved” VOD collection. Initial titles in the collection include Crystal Moselle‘s (pictured) The Wolfpack, Lucy Walker‘s The Crash Reel and Penny Lane’s Our Nixon.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.