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Grant of up to $30,000 CDN available from Hot Docs Theatrical Stream

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Finance & Funding 12th Sep 2017 Hot Docs

The Theatrical Stream of the CrossCurrents Doc Fund supports a new range of filmmakers with auteur driven stories from underrepresented and marginalized communities from around the world.

Applications Open: July 19
Applications Close: September 22, 11:59 PM EDT

Note: The guidelines have been updated. Please read thoroughly before applying.

Please read the below guidelines before applying. Questions? Contact Heidi Tao Yang at htyang@hotdocs.ca.

The Theatrical Stream grants a total of $30,000 CAD per project. This can reflect up to 50 per cent of the project’s production budget.

In addition to the production grant, the successful recipients will be provided with a Hot Docs Fellowship that includes travel, accommodation and accreditation to the annual Hot Docs Festival and enrollment in the Emerging Filmmakers Lab and mentorship initiatives.

The Fund seeks to support projects where its contribution provides for maximum impact, especially those that target broad audiences, reach across a range of communities, and encourage understanding and appreciation of unheard voices.

Applicants must be:

  • An emerging filmmaker from anywhere in the world (with three or fewer professional directing credits). Please refer to our FAQs for details on professional credits.
  • The primary rights holder of the project
  • The director attached to the film project
  • In good standing with Hot Docs by application date

Note: Professional credits include any commercial (distributed theatrically, on broadcast, DVD or via viable/curated digital platforms like iTunes, Netflix, Hulu) or festival-run short, feature-length or series project (fiction or documentary) where you held the role as director.

Projects must be:

  • Low-budget films ($300,000 CAD amount max)
  • Feature length works (50-90 minutes)
  • Majority owned by the director applicant
  • In production

We will not accept:

  • Submissions from producers
  • Film project proposals that are school, institute or university course work
  • Projects at a rough-cut stage or projects that will be finished by Hot Docs 2018


Applicants will be informed of the Selection Committee’s decision approximately three months after the submission deadline. The length of the evaluation period will be determined by the volume of submissions received.

Decision Criteria
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Overall adherence to the Fund’s aims, especially regarding the relationship of the filmmaker with the subject matter of the project
  • Filmmakers must demonstrate how they are storytelling from within the underrepresented community, as opposed to looking in from the outside
  • Strength, style and originality of the subject matter and the treatment
  • An assessment of the grant’s total financial and professional impact on the project’s realization
  • Vision and ability of the filmmaker
  • Feasibility of the project with respect to its budget, financing, schedule and scope
  • The film’s strategy to access meaningful audience engagement
  • Illustration of a digital/online engagement and distribution strategy


Successful applicants will receive a conditional commitment letter from the Fund. The applicant must provide copies of signed financial commitments from all sources of confirmed funding to date, and a detailed development or production budget. The conditions will have to be met before an agreement will be entered into. If the conditions have not been met within 30 business days of the date of the commitment letter, the Fund may rescind its commitment. Recipients of the Fund will be required to provide Hot Docs with annual project status reports.

The drawdown schedule will be more clearly described in the Agreement.

Fund Recognition

CrossCurrents Doc Fund support is to be acknowledged with a prominent logo on the end credits of the film as well as on publicity and all promotional materials related to the production. More specific credit requirements will be described in the Agreement.

Read the full article at Hot Docs

grants, film grants, Hot Docs Theatrical Stream

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