Vimeo is making an effort to give more women the opportunity to get behind the camera. The video-sharing website is kicking off a new program for female filmmakers, offering them both financing, educational workshops and on-site promotions for the films they helm.
"We’re putting our money where our mouth is," said Sam Toles, Vimeo’s head of programming. He explained the impetus behind the program: "It’s apparent to us that there is a huge disparity in the number of women content creators. All the data shows that this business skews heavily male. We want to try to be proactive and do something to change that."
Toles and Vimeo hope that the "Share the Screen" initiative will be part of effecting that change. Variety notes that the program "will invest in a minimum of five projects from female voices in 2016." Last year, they supported two original works.
The titles selected by Vimeo will receive international distribution via video on demand.
"Share the Screen" launches February 18 at midnight ET with "Darby Forever," a new short film written and directed by "Saturday Night Live" cast member Aidy Bryant, who also stars in it. Bryant plays a fabric-store employee with lofty ambitions. Natasha Lyonne ("Orange Is the New Black") and Retta ("Parks and Recreation") co-star. You can watch a trailer of "Darby Forever" below.
Variety reports that Vimeo will also curate a VOD collection with films from Lucy Walker, Melanie Laurent, Crystal Moselle and others called "Female-Directed, Vimeo-Approved."
"As we ramp up our investment in content, having this as a guide post reminds us to remain focused on equality," commented Toles.
Hopefully other platforms will adopt similar programs to encourage diversity in storytelling. Because at this point, unfortunately these "guide post[s]" seem necessary.