Vimeo says it will fund a minimum of five movies by female filmmakers this year “to help close the gender equality gap.” The program, part of the video sharing site’s “Share the Screen” initiative, was rolled out today at the Sundance Film Festival.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that the traditional industry has allowed things to be out of balance for so long, in terms of equality of opportunity for men and women, but it’s very exciting that Vimeo can do something to help correct that imbalance,” CEO Kerry Trainor said.
Recent studies found that women directed only 6.4% of the feature films released in 2013 and 2014 and wrote only 13% of the films released in 2014.
“Hollywood still isn’t diverse enough,” Vimeo said in a statement, noting that its program aims to foster gender equality with a financial commitment to invest in female-led programming, educational workshops and onsite promotions spotlighting female voices. Vimeo officials said they couldn’t put a dollar amount on the program, because the budgets of the five female-driven films it will fund very from project to project, but said it will be in the “millions.”
“One of the best things about our platform is that it’s open to everyone, and we’re proud to say that we have many amazing female filmmakers building their careers on Vimeo,” Trainor said.
The five female-driven films it will fund this year mark “a significant increase from the two original titles funded in 2015,” the company said, noting that each of the projects will receive dedicated marketing support and global distribution on Vimeo On Demand. “As a supporter of Sundance Institute,” the company said, “Vimeo will also provide educational seminars throughout the year at various Sundance workshops, aligning with the Institute’s effort to create broader industry change with its own Women’s Initiative.”
In October, Vimeo announced a slate of original programming that included Darby Forever, a short film written by and starring Saturday Night Live vet Aidy Bryant.