New York-based video-sharing website Vimeo announced on Thursday plans to help aspiring filmmakers get their movies off the ground through a $500,000 Audience Development Fund.
The company will take to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Seed&Spark and Indiegogo to search for projects to license. Creators of films that are ready for distribution and have raised $10,000 on their own will get access to the fund as well as a free one-year Vimeo PRO account to market their films, in exchange for the rights to premiere the movie on Vimeo on Demand, a paid distribution platform which launched at SXSW in 2013.
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This isn't the 10-year-old company's only foray into the world of independent film. In September, the site offered filmmakers at the Toronto International Film Festival a $10,000 advance to distribute their movies through the site.
It was also announced this week that 13 films that premiered at TIFF will get their digital debut on Vimeo on Demand. The films will live exclusively on Vimeo on Demand for 30 days, or until the site has regained their investment. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the first film will be available on March 21.
It's possible this fund could help the IAC-owned site, which has a subscription base of more than 400,000 people, and 149 million monthly unique viewers start swimming in the same waters as Netflix or Amazon when it comes to developing original programming.