Vimeo continues to invest in original programming — announcing three new projects involving women in front of and behind the camera — although the IAC-owned video site is still mainly interested in using the originals lineup to promote its premium-content platform, rather than viewing them as a significant revenue stream.
The three new productions, which bring Vimeo’s originals to 13 titles to date, are: “Marina Abramovic in Brazil: The Space In Between” (pictured above), a feature-length documentary from artist Marina Abramovic; “555,” a short-form comedy series from John Early (“Other People,” “Search Party”) and Kate Berlant (Netflix’s “The Characters”); and a stand-up comedy special from South African comic Loyiso Gola.
The trio are part of Vimeo’s Share the Screen program aimed at providing opportunities for female filmmakers and talent (Gola’s special is directed and exec produced by Trina DasGupta). In addition, Vimeo wanted to take an international focus, as two of the projects are set outside the U.S., said Sam Toles, global head of content acquisition and distribution. He noted that 70% of Vimeo’s traffic comes from outside the U.S.
The goal, as with the previous originals Vimeo has greenlit, is to showcase creators who have found a home on the platform and have a unique concept. “It’s very much us supporting the community, and highlighting Vimeo as a destination for high-quality content,” Toles said. “If we ultimately make a larger investment in original content, we want to have an impressive set of data to make decisions about where it makes sense to make investments.”
IAC is currently searching for a new CEO for Vimeo, after Kerry Trainor announced his exit in June. IAC CEO Joey Levin has assumed the role of interim chief exec.
Separately, Vimeo last week announced a pact with Lionsgate to sell TV shows globally, with the studio to offer nearly 80 series through Vimeo, including “Orange Is the New Black” and “Mad Men.” “The TV store is really to encourage companies to do large shows on a global basis, day-and-date,” Toles said.
Prices have not yet been set for the new originals but Vimeo titles are typically $5 to rent and $10-$15 to own. The three originals are:
- “Marina Abramovic in Brazil: The Space in Between” (October 2016): The artist travels through Brazil in search of personal healing and artistic inspiration, experiencing sacred rituals and revealing her creative process. Vimeo’s first original film from Latin America comes from Elo Company. Produced by Jasmin Pinho and Minom Pinho and directed by Marco Del Fiol.
- “Loyiso Gola: Live in New York” (November 2016): The two-time Emmy-nominated comedian brings his frank and outspoken comedy to the U.S. from South Africa, where he is the star of hit political satire show “Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola.” The special, Gola’s first outside of South Africa, is executive produced by Trina DasGupta and Gola. DasGupta also directs the special, which is produced by her Single Palm Tree Productions banner.
- “555” (January 2017): An anthology of eerie fables set in the cinematic underbelly of Hollywood, starring Kate Berlant and John Early as they morph into different characters that “trace the border of comedy and hell.” Directed by Andrew DeYoung, created and executive produced by Berlant, DeYoung, Early and Abso Lutely Productions.