January 22, 2016

Vimeo Launches 'Share the Screen' to Help Support Female Filmmakers

Aidy Bryant-Darby Forever
We've talked quite a bit about the gender gap in the film industry, and the uphill battle that female filmmakers face getting their stories on screen. 

To combat this, Vimeo is launching what they are calling Share the Screen, an initiative that they "hope will help close the gender gap that is so pervasive in the entertainment industry." With the presence that Vimeo has on the internet, they hope to do much more than just bring about awareness. Here's more from Andrea Allen:

We intend to foster equality by investing in female-led programming, educational workshops, meetups, interviews, and more that spotlight and support female voices in the Vimeo community.

Gender inequality in filmmaking isn’t simply a woman’s problem: it’s everyone’s problem. When diverse voices are given equal consideration and weight, more informed artistic decisions are made, better stories are told — and it’s also the right thing to do as human beings.

Andrea also mentions that Vimeo has worked to support female filmmakers in unofficial ways as well, and is releasing Aidy Bryant's short film Darby Forever as a Vimeo Original (you might recognize her from SNL):

The goal of this endeavor is not to just highlight famous filmmakers, however. As Andrea mentioned in the comments:

We’ll be investing in female-led projects over the next year, and some of those will absolutely be from creators who haven’t had as much exposure as they deserve. We don’t want to rule any female creator out simply because they are or are not yet well known.

As she says above, gender inequality is everyone's problem. The industry will be better off when there are much more diverse stories being told. As Robert Redford recently said at Sundance, life experience is probably the most important part of being a storyteller, and those voices who aren't heard as often already have a different set of life experience coming into filmmaking.

Vimeo hasn't laid out all of the details yet, but they will be looking for a minimum of five projects from women filmmakers this year, and once those projects are picked, they will offer them for sale or rental. Here's more from Wired:

Under the initiative, announced today at the Sundance Film Festival, Vimeo will bankroll at least five projects from women filmmakers this year. It will identify burgeoning directors through its current acquisitions pipeline, the team behind its original series, and the in-house group that handles the platform’s Staff Picks. Staffers also will meet with female filmmakers during Sundance in a bid to find candidates.

In the future, Vimeo will likely expand this to other underrepresented groups. This initiative is a huge step in the right direction, especially for a company with such a large user base.      

Your Comment

4 Comments

Sigh...

Announcing this defeats the ENTIRE purpose. Now you will have a bunch of female filmmakers signing up for Vimeo and since they are only funding 5 projects...most will be left out.

How much is a Vimeo account these days?

January 22, 2016 at 11:47AM, Edited January 22, 11:49AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1767

It's not limited to 5, that's just the minimum. It should be noted that the original programming aspect is a small part of the program. As they say, they are also working on:

"educational workshops, meetups, interviews, and more that spotlight and support female voices in the Vimeo community."

January 22, 2016 at 12:21PM

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Joe Marine
Editor At Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Workshops, meetups, and interviews don't make dents. Those already exist.

If you felt like you wanted to fund 5 kids from Uganda to go to college, how would you go about picking the kids?

Would you see how they are doing in school? Would you learn about their family lives? Would you let the teachers decide?

Would you walk into a full classroom and yell "I'm going to pay for 5 of you to go to college!"?

Most of those are fine answers, one of them is not.

It's a marketing move and it's a little gross.

January 22, 2016 at 12:52PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
1767

I call PR on this. Its a marketing stunt, nothing more. I don't see how gender has anything to do with filmmaking.
Don't get me wrong, I think that this is a great initiative and I hope its a success.
Just don't create victims when there aren't any.
Why aren't there more male kindergarden teachers - scandal...

January 26, 2016 at 6:29AM, Edited January 26, 6:29AM

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Ben McAllister
Compositor
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