Underground Film Journal

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Vimeo And YouTube Host Contests For Filmmakers

By Mike Everleth ⋅ June 21, 2010

The two top user-generated online video websites, Vimeo and YouTube, are both concurrently sponsoring contests for filmmakers. The contests are running independently of each other and it just appears to be a coincidence that they’re happening at the same time. Regardless, these are two good opportunities for a couple lucky filmmakers to get their work noticed and promoted.

Vimeo is sponsoring an actual video festival that will run for two days in NYC in Oct. It’s called the Vimeo Festival + Awards. Entering a video into the fest is just like any other film festival, meaning there’s a $20 entry fee. However, somewhat confusingly, there’s also a place to “nominate” a video for free. The problem is that the rules page doesn’t say if a “nominated” video becomes considered a “submission,” if the filmmaker will then have to pay the twenty bucks.

Also, although the title of the festival includes the word “awards,” i.e. plural, so far Vimeo has announced only one award to be given out: A Grand Prize of $25,000 given to the best video across all categories. The categories are: Narrative, Documentary, Music video, Remix, Original series, Animation, Motion graphics, Experimental, and Captured. Jurors who will pick the winning film include filmmakers David Lynch, Doug Pray, Morgan Spurlock, Roman Coppola and more.

One other thing about the Vimeo Festival is that they are considering videos not just uploaded to their website. You have to become a Vimeo member to submit a video, but you can submit any video found on any of their competitors’ website or even mail a video in.

YouTube is going a slightly different route with their YouTube Play biennial competition. Instead of a film festival, they are curating an art event in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum. Winning films will screen at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC in October, as well as Guggenheim museums in Berlin, Bilbao, and Venice.

Unlike with Vimeo, there is no fee to submit to YouTube Play, although, you do have to upload your video to their website for consideration. YouTube Play is not breaking their competition into specific categories; plus there are also no prizes nor awards. While a jury of film, video and art professionals will be judging videos for inclusion in the screening, that panel of experts has yet to be announced. However, heading up the jury will be the Guggenheim’s Nancy Spector.

The deadline to submit to both contests is coincidentally the same date: July 31.

For more info, rules and details, and to submit, please visit the two websites:

Vimeo Festival + Awards

YouTube Play

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