First, "Documentary" is one of several categories, and the one and only cash prize goes only to what is judged the best video of all categories. The only other awards are exposure on Vimeo's website. Also, buried in the rules is the small matter of a $20 entry fee ($5 for Vimeo Plus paid subscribers). Many top awards charge entry fees -- usually quite higher than this, and often when no cash prizes are awarded. But those are usually established prestigious awards, and this is the "first annual" go-around for Vimeo.
Deadline for submissions is July 31. Winners will be announced by October 9.
The contest is accompanied by a "jam-packed two-day festival," Oct. 8-9 in New York. It will include panels, parties, and screenings of winning entries, but details so far are scarce.
Here are the guidelines for Documentary entries:
Short films/videos that seek to document compelling actuality or realityDocumentary judges include Doug Pray, Lucy Walker and Morgan Spurlock.
Maximum Length: 20 minutes
Description: Short films/videos that seek to document compelling actuality or reality
Requirements: Your submission must be a short documentary piece that exemplifies the art of non- fiction storytelling.
Submissions may include a variety of storytelling methods: presenter led or narrated, fly on the wall, point of view, ambient or personal stories, etc.
Your Submission should be a complete idea that is presented in a clear, innovative and original way.
Judging criteria: We are looking for creative excellence in pieces that push the boundaries of documentary filmmaking.
The grand-prize winner for all categories "will receive a grant from Vimeo to create a new, original work. The winner will be invited to premiere their work at the Vimeo Festival and Awards in 2011 as well as on the homepage of Vimeo.com."
Winners of individual categories "will be promoted heavily on Vimeo.com's homepage as well as on the Vimeo Festival and Awards Site."
Submit your video here.