Each day this week, we will be sharing one of the five documentary finalists in Vimeo's first-annual video contest, along with commentary from the program directors and judges. To kick things off, here is a piece titled Last Minutes With Oden, by Eliot Rausch, Lukas Korver and Matt Taylor of Phos Pictures. Even if you're not a pet person, this documentary will break your heart. It's only six minutes long and well worth the watch.
Vimeo Festival co-director Jeremy Boxer shared his thoughts:
This film is one of those rare shorts that you can guarantee an emotional response from anyone who sees it. It is a superbly crafted piece that leads with its heart and soul.
The story is about the unique bond between a man's love for his dog and the pain that goes with losing your best friend. It is also about redemption and transformation of the lead character, Jason Wood. Through his love for his dog, Oden, Jason was able to grow as a man and a human being. It is a testament to those moments in life that should be recorded.
Through the filmmaker's perspective we are able to see a real example how the new generation of small, high-quality cameras have enabled a new type of personal filmmaking that perhaps would have not been possible in the past. These cameras have been able to elevate what is captured as part of life into cinema. This film is not to be missed.
Advisory: Some of the language in this video is not suitable for all audiences. Sensitive viewers should note the video contains scenes of a dog being euthanized.
This coming weekend, the first annual Vimeo Festival and Awards will take place in New York City. If you've ever explored Vimeo, you've probably noticed that the site hosts an extraordinary amount of creative work. Festival co-directors Boxer and Blake Whitman recognized the wealth of talent hosted by the site — especially after receiving more than 6,500 submissions to the contest.
"The quality of all the work just blew us away," they explain in an e-mail. "We were truly humbled by the overwhelming amount of talent out there." An illustrious panel of 27 judges — including Vincent Laforet, M.I.A. and David Lynch — helped narrow the submissions to five finalists in each of nine categories, such as "narrative" and "experimental." Winners will be announced Oct. 9. There will also be one overall winner, who will receive a $25,000 grant to make a new film.
Who do you think should win? Check back for more videos and commentary.