Vimeo wants more women making films on its platform and is launching a new three-pronged initiative called “Share the Screen” at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, today to lend financial and other support to talented female filmmakers.
Just like in tech, women are woefully underrepresented in the film industry, especially in leadership positions. Women made up just 13 percent of all directors on top Hollywood films in 2014, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.
“When we look at the figures and we see just how imbalanced the scales are in terms of the content that we’re seeing from male versus female voices, we think it’s important because we can just imagine how much great content and great storytelling isn’t making it to audiences and isn’t making it to viewers and we want to be a part of helping close that gender equality gap,” Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor told TechCrunch.
Vimeo hopes to change the ratio by investing in at least five film projects in 2016, starting with the program’s first original short, Darby Forever.
Written by and starring Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant, Darby Forever takes viewers through a story about a shop girl in a bizarre little town and her search for love.
Vimeo also pledges to highlight more women throughout the site and will add a new “Share the Screen” spotlight on the blog as well as make available a “Female-Directed, Vimeo-Approved” VOD collection.
“Share the Screen” is part of a larger campaign put forth by the Sundance Institute to highlight women in the film industry. Sundance’s women’s initiative ensures women make up at least 25 percent of American directors at the film festival each year. While that number is still not quite equal, it’s at least higher than the measly 4 percent of women involved in the direction of the top 100 box office films.
But Vimeo believes there is hope. “Encouragingly we think there are more and more female film directors entering the industry every day,” said Trainor. “And the web offers it and Vimeo certainly offers it.”