And the winner is… Zombie in a Penguin Suit? According to the Vimeo Awards rules, this is entirely possible. The videos everybody emails each other are once again eligible for their very own version of the Oscar.
Now, of course, online videos can establish credibility, generate cash, and even launch careers. It can be hard to attract attention, though, from Hollywood executives who don’t spend their days trolling online for the next great directorial talent. That’s why Vimeo created the Vimeo Festival + Awards to recognize the most creative and original content online, and the filmmakers responsible for it.
Starting now through February 20th, 2012, aspiring filmmakers can submit their video for contention in one of 13 categories, including Animation, Music Video, Narrative, and Experimental. The only stipulation is that the film cannot have appeared online anywhere before July 31st, 2010 (films that didn’t appear on Vimeo are eligible). The overall grand prize winner for Best Video will receive $25,000, with the winners in all other categories taking home $5,000—more than enough to start funding a sequel.
Not all of the jury members have been announced yet (the full list drops in January), but so far Vimeo has lined up legendary skateboarder and filmmaker Stacy Peralta for Action Sports, leading creative executive David Droga for Advertising, and British fashion photographer Nick Knight for Fashion–all new categories.
Anyone who doubts that the recognition from such an award begets any further recognition need look no further than Casey Pugh; his Star Wars: Uncut won Best Feature presentation at the 2011 Vimeos, and later went on to win an Emmy for Best Interactive Media.
For an idea of what the festival is all about, check out this video of musician/comedian Reggie Watts giving a State of the Internet address at the award show earlier this year.