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Vimeo offers program to promote crowdfunded films, seeks debut rights

Vimeo offers program to promote crowdfunded films, seeks debut rights
Vimeo's news was timed to coincide with the start of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Above, a man in Park City unloads a beer truck. (Michael Loccisano / Getty Images)

Online video site Vimeo is offering budding filmmakers help in promoting their films, in exchange for the opportunity to offer the content through its on-demand service.

The announcement, timed to coincide with the start of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, seeks to support filmmakers who raised at least $10,000 to finance their projects on such crowdfunding sites as Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Seed&Spark.

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The New York video company will offer free one-year Vimeo Pro accounts, providing video storage and and streaming and download services, to filmmakers whose projects are ready for distribution. These creators also can receive a marketing advance from a $500,000 audience development fund.

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"One of the things we hear from filmmakers is that raising money to shoot a film ... though crowdfunding is becoming easier and easier," said Greg Clayman, Vimeo's general manager. "The hurdle is letting people know it exists, and distributing it and getting it out in front of audiences."

The offer comes with strings attached: filmmakers must agree to an exclusive digital premiere on Vimeo On Demand, a service that enables content creators to price their videos for rental or sale, and distribute the content to be streamed or downloaded.

Vimeo reaches about 149 million users a month.

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