Free money: Vimeo offers $500K to low-budget filmmakers

Alexandre Rockwell's critically acclaimed 'Little Feet' is one of 13 critically acclaimed films premiering on Vimeo on Demand this year

As revealed last year in our interview with Vimeo's CEO Kerry Trainor, the YouTube rival is keen to get creatives selling their video content through the Vimeo on Demand service - and has been putting its money where its mouth is.

Last year, Vimeo offered a $10,000 cash advance to film-makers at the Toronto Film Festival, asking only that they agree to exclusively releasing them on Vimeo for 30 days, and screening details of the chosen films were revealed this week. And it seems that was only the start. Today Vimeo is offering film-makers who have successfully raised $10,000 or more through crowdfunding platforms access to tools and funds to bring their projects to market on Vimeo.

Specifically, creators of distribution-ready films are being given access to a $500,000 'Audience Development' Fund to help them market their projects.

Supporting filmmakers

Sold out at the Toronto Festival, 'Ladder to Damascus' from Syrian auteur Mohamad Malas will also get its general release via Vimeo in 2014

Vimeo's curation team will review qualifying films on leading crowdfunding platforms, including Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Seed&Spark, and select projects to receive an advance. The chosen filmmakers will also be given a free Vimeo Pro account.

"Vimeo is committed to empowering filmmakers with the world's best platform for direct distribution," said Greg Clayman, Vimeo's general manager of audience networks. "While crowdfunding has changed the game in getting films made, Vimeo is taking the next step supporting filmmakers to get their work seen and purchased on Vimeo and across the web."

Qualifying filmmakers interested in having their work considered for the Audience Development Fund can email for more information.

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