On 7 June 2012 the Vimeo Awards were presented at the second Vimeo Festival in New York. Hosted by the online platform, the event is a further example of the linking of online films with events in the real world (“IRL”).
At the Vimeo Festival cash awards in thirteen categories and further special prizes were given. The Grand Prize came with a grant of $25,000. Among the jury members judging the shortlist of finalists that had been compiled in advance were well-known figures from the worlds of film, television, music, sport and art, including Barbara London from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Eligible to participate were films shown anywhere in the world on any online platform, not just on Vimeo. An online premiere was one of the conditions for eligibility. Conversely, films that premiered at festivals were excluded. Vimeo’s creative director, Jeremy Boxer, expressly emphasized that this regulation was a reaction to festivals that exclude films that can already be viewed on the Internet. The empire strikes back!
Boxer proudly described how much attention the participants and award-winners received in the industry after the last Vimeo Festival. James Curran, for example, a young British filmmaker, received a call from Steven Spielberg, who hired him on the spot.
This February, likewise for the second time, the online platform VIDEOART.NET hosted its annual Video Art & Experimental Film Festival – with Vimeo as sponsor. The location for the event was the Tribeca Cinemas in New York. In keeping with its profile, the platform invited submissions in particular of artistic and experimental films. In contrast with the Vimeo Festival, however, the availability of a film online as streaming video was not a requirement. Like Vimeo, the Videoart.net festival also offered workshops and panels with industry representatives and artists, for example Shelly Silver. But it all took place on a more modest scale than the Vimeo Festival.
Videoart.net is a video-sharing website and online community for video art and experimental films. By its own account, the platform has helped to democratise the relationship between artists, curators, institutions, and the public worldwide. The immediate goal is to make video art available to a wider audience and to serve as an international forum for video artists, filmmakers and audiences. More than 1,000 videos are currently online on the site. Most of them are the work of emerging filmmakers and artists. The date has already been set for the next Video Art & Experimental Film Festival: 7 – 8 February 2013. Entry deadline is 1 August 2012.