Vimeo Festival and Awards Release Shortlist, Add Judges

The first annual Vimeo Festival and Awards approaches, with today bringing the announcement of the submissions shortlist, determining the top 20 videos in nine categories.

In addition, the original panel of judges has been expanded dramatically from the first announcement of David Lynch and Morgan Spurlock. The panel now includes Brick writer/director Rian Johnson, Next New Networks creative director Fred Seibert, music video director Roman Coppola, pioneering videoblogger Ze Frank and rapper M.I.A. (whose latest music video was available on Vimeo).

Videos selected include Mike Relm’s Iron Man 2 remix (that director Jon Favreau liked so much that he had Relm make a TV spot):


The web series Compulsions (which originally premiered on Dailymotion) and a remake of Seinfeld:


And one of my favorite random virals from the last year, the He-Man/4 Non Blondes mash-up Fabulous Secret Powers:


This shortlist includes submissions from 20 different countries and was drawn from more than 6,500 entries. The top 5 finalists will be announced on Sept. 21, with one of them going on to receive a $25,000 grant to create a new original work, to be premiered at the 2011 Vimeo Fest.

It’s an eclectic mix of content, to be sure, but the range of categories offers a good representation of Vimeo’s roots as a video community for artistic and experimental content, a market that YouTube (s GOOG) may be trying to get in on.  However, Vimeo’s worked hard for years to cater to filmmakers, both known (like Jason Reitman) and unknown: 13 percent of the site’s uploads were in HD in 2008 (months before YouTube even had the option available), and they also recently integrated Creative Commons licensing).

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Can Online Video Show Us the Future of Newspapers?