Submissions Now Open For 2nd Vimeo Festival + Awards, $25,000 Grand Prize

By Megan O'Neill 

Today Vimeo is opening submissions for the second Vimeo Festival + Awards, the online video community’s celebration of the best in online video.  Creators are invited to submit videos in a variety of categories for the chance to win a $5,000 grant or a huge $25,000 grand prize grant.

Note that the prizes are grants and, as such, must go towards filmmakers making new works as the goal of the festival is not only to celebrate great works, but also to encourage more work to be created.

According to a press release, filmmakers are invited to submit works in one of 13 different judged categories starting today and going through February 20, 2012, covering topics from Animation to Narrative, Experimental, Documentary and more.  Four new categories are being recognized this time that we didn’t see at the last Vimeo Festival + Awards in 2010.  These include Fashion, Action Sports, Advertising and Lyrical.  Jeremy Boxer, the festival’s director, explained via Skype that the Lyrical category has been added for videos that are “an expression of daily life, be it time lapse, travel, or anything else that illustrates the world around the filmmaker in a poetic way that we didn’t feel like fell into other categories.”

Once submissions close, a pre-selection committee will go through all the videos and select 12 finalists for each category.  Then, expert judges and last year’s award winners, along with the Vimeo community and the community at large, will vote to determine the winners.  Vimeo has announced jury members for only a small selection of categories so far: Stacy Peralta for Action Sports, David Droga for Advertising, Nick Knight for Fashion and Phillip Bloom for Lyrical.  They plan to release the full jury list next month.

Boxer tells me that last year the Vimeo Festival + Awards saw about 6,500 submissions.  The most popular categories included Experimental, Documentary and Narrative.  They are expecting to see an even larger turnout this year, especially due to the fact that last year’s winners saw some pretty exciting opportunities open up as a result of their success.  Boxer says, “The extra attention that the Vimeo Awards brought last year’s winners has really changed their lives.  Some got jobs right off the bat and others got a profile that they didn’t have beforehand.”

Creators interested in submitting videos to the Vimeo Festival + Awards should note that it isn’t only Vimeo videos that are accepted.  Boxer told me, “We’re trying to celebrate the best of online video anywhere across the net,” so as long as your video premiered online between July 31, 2010 and February 20, 2012 it’s fair game, no matter where it premiered.  There is a $20 submission fee or, if you are a Vimeo Pro or Vimeo Plus member the submission fee is $5.  Find out more at

Do you plan to submit a video to the Vimeo Festival + Awards?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.