Back in March, Vimeo handed out its first ever physical Staff Pick award to a short filmmaker at SXSW. In addition to a shiny new piece of hardware, Danny Madden’s film Krista immediately premiered on Vimeo’s Staff Picks and was given the chance to shine through all the internet clutter on its way to an online audience.
The win provides a nice bridge from the festival circuit to online distribution for filmmakers and now Vimeo has announced that it will be expanding these efforts by partnering with many other festivals around the world to present more in-person Staff Pick Awards as part of the official awards ceremonies.
"It always feels like the real birth of the film once it goes on Vimeo— from then on, it's for everyone, everywhere, and that's the main reason to make these things."
The good news for filmmakers is that the company won't just be focusing on big-name festivals, but is placing a focus on finding unknown niche talent at smaller festivals too. In the past, even with a festival win, your film may not have been seen by wider audiences until months or years later, so what’s really great about this award is that it provides you with a platform to get to audiences immediately.
You get a festival award and a Vimeo Staff Pick all in one, which is a pretty sweet deal.
As Madden put it, “Years ago, Vimeo and SXSW were the first to champion the work I'd done, and they've been looking after us since. To have them give Krista the first Staff Pick Award at that festival was warm and encouraging, and seemed to validate years of experimenting with different sorts of movies. And, of course, it always feels like the real birth of the film once it goes on Vimeo—from then on, it's for everyone, everywhere, and that's the main reason to make these things. An immediate platform to put questions into the world.”
The next award will be given out this month at the Cannes Film Festival short film corner, but Vimeo has also announced that it will be awarded at Animafest Zagreb, Palm Springs Shortsfest, New Orleans Film Festival, and the Hamptons International Film Festival—with more festivals to come. Over the course of it all, No Film School will be interviewing the winners of the award to get some insights on the short filmmaking process.
So keep an eye out for the new award when submitting your short to festivals this year, because it's worth adding to your target list.