Vimeo regularly spotlights notable works through its long-running Staff Picks initiative, in which the company’s in-house curation team has recognized over 13,000 of the platform’s most eye-catching films over the past 10 years.
Now, the ad-free video host is widening its scope with a revamped Best Of The Year Awards, whereby an external panel of industry leaders will — for the first time — select the seven best Staff Picks of 2018. The illustrious lineup of 21 judges includes Tony winner Alan Cumming (pictured above), Spider Man: Into The Spider-Verse writer/producer Phil Lord, and New York Times journalist Jada Yuan.
Winners will be announced in a total of seven different categories: action sports, animation, comedy, documentary, drama, eye candy, and travel. Three jurors will be responsible for picking a winner in each category, and will assess films based on originality, storytelling, and craftsmanship. The seven winning filmmakers will receive a cash prize, physical trophy, and a ‘Staff Picks Best Of The Year’ badge online.
While Vimeo has handed out Best Of The Year awards since 2016 as determined by its in-house team, this marks the first year that it has courted outside experts. And this year — as in years’ past — the Staff Picks team has narrowed down the roughly 1,200 Picks to 93 finalists for jurors to choose from.
Winners will be announced and screened at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn on Jan. 17. You can check out the full rundown of this year’s finalists — as well as the full roster of judges — right here.