The breakdown of the conventional media publishing model has led filmmakers to some unusual sources for funding. The most obvious alternative is Kickstarter, where hopeful directors can collect thousands of small donations to bankroll projects. Other large companies such as Netflix and Amazon have offered lucrative deals for original content in the vein of traditional distributors.
But now, even unlikelier names are offering up money. Vimeo, the YouTube alternative frequently used for independent short films, is offering $10,000 to films willing to premiere exclusively on Vimeo.com for their first month of release. We know that many students who visit the New Media Center use Vimeo to distribute their video projects, so although this initial deal only applies to films appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival, this is a smart idea that could give a much-needed financial boost to aspiring filmmakers.
We’ll see if Vimeo extends this deal after TIFF. If they continue putting fund up for independent films, we could see a new (and more accessible) player in the film distribution world.