This year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has tipped its hat to online video by adding the ever-so-viral “Sh*t Girls Say” its short film lineup. “Sh*t Girls Say” was released last year, and has spawned multiple parodies and has helped the Canadian-based creators get leads in Hollywood.
The presence of “Sh*t Girls Say” at TIFF exemplifies online video’s popularity in the film festival circuits and the opening of doors for directors who otherwise could not get an opportunity in Hollywood. AFP reported that the French online video site Dailymotion, which recently had a major facelift, is taking advantage of this trend and partnering up with the organization Eye on Films to roll out free previews and subscriptions of films worldwide. Most of the films will be from first-time directors and independent producers.
According to their website, Eye on Films says it is “a unique, global network of film professionals, which guarantees the circulation of a selection of first feature films in festivals partners in Europe and third countries.”
Alba Gautier, Senior Manager of Movie Conent & Partnerships for Dailymotion France, told NMR that Dailymotion that they are proud to work with Eye on Films and “participates in the promotion of new filmmakers.”
“Dailymotion offers free, online advance screenings (from 6 pm to midnight, for example) a few months before theatrical release to raise awareness around a movie, initiate word of mouth, get media interest on movies not always covered by traditional press, etc. We already organized two advanced previews last year and did 6,000 views in a few hours – excellent scores for this kind of movies in France.”
Gautier hopes that the model will be launched worldwide when the company is ready to roll it out.
While its business model focuses on distributing films from emerging directors to theaters and festivals, using online video’s growing popularity opens these new creative endeavors to a much wider audience.
Dailymotion isn’t the only online video site courting independent film creators worldwide. Recently, YouTube held the “Your Film Festival” during the Venice Film Festival where directors worldwide submitted their work for a chance at a $500,000 production grant to work with acclaimed director Ridley Scott’s production company. Spanish director David Victori’s 13-minute piece, “The Guilt,” won first prize.
Whether it’s making funny viral videos like “Sh*t Girls Say” or creating emotional, riveting pieces like “The Guilt,” Dailymotion, YouTube, Vimeo and other online video sites have given directors the chance to create and show off their work instantly. The international film industry has a vast resource in these directors and should take advantage of this booming opportunity.