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Interactive/Short Stream Guidelines

This grant supports emerging documentary filmmakers with auteur driven stories from underrepresented and marginalized communities from around the world. One successful applicant per year will receive a $10,000 CAD grant from this Fund established by the R&M Lang Foundation in 2013.

Please read the below guidelines and our FAQs before applying. Questions? Contact Olena Decock at [email protected].

The Fund seeks to support documentary 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:

  • 35 years of age or under (the Theatrical Stream is open to emerging filmmakers of all ages)
  • An emerging filmmaker from anywhere in the world (i.e. three or fewer professional directing credits)
  • 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:

  • Primarily for release online or as a web doc/interactive project
  • Short to mid-length works (i.e. 5 to 40 minutes)
  • Low-budget films (i.e. under $100,000 CAD)
  • Majority owned by the applicant
  • In a late stage of development, or in early/mid production

We will not accept:

  • Submissions from producers
  • Film project proposals that are school, institute or university course work
  • Projects that are features, an episode within a TV series, web series or fiction pieces
  • Projects at a rough cut stage or projects that will be finished by Hot Docs 2017
  • Projects that already have a broadcaster attached


Submissions for the Fund will include the following elements:

  • Primary contact information for Director applicant
  • Production company information
  • Title, genre, duration, language, format, production country
  • Co-production information, if applicable
  • Logline (2-3 sentences)
  • Synopsis (750 words)
  • Topic Summary (750 words)
  • Treatment (500 words)
  • Status Report of Project (500 words)
  • Intended Audience (500 words)
  • Applicant Statement (500 words)
  • Grant Impact (500 words)
  • Proposed Production Schedule/Timeline (500 words)
  • Budget Summary
  • Financial Strategy (500 words)
  • Footage Links and description
  • Key creative and production personnel credits (200 words) and biographies (200 words)

Required Supporting Documents

To complete your application, you must prepare and upload all required documents via the online application. Hot Docs reserves the right to request additional information.

Documentation (if applicable) must be submitted in English or with accompanying English translation.


Copies of signed financial commitments from all sources of confirmed funding to date.


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


The successful applicant will receive a grant of $10,000 CAD, which could reflect up to 100 per cent of the project’s production budget.

Eligible costs include standard industry production and post-production expenses.

  • Finishing costs (e.g. captioning, versioning, prints) are NOT eligible
  • Marketing, distribution and community engagement costs may be eligible as a portion of the grant (maximum 20 per cent). A detailed engagement and distribution strategy should be included with this request.

To inquire about exceptions, please contact Olena Decock at [email protected] before applying.


In addition to the production grant, the successful recipient will be provided with a Hot Docs Fellowship, which includes travel, accommodation and accreditation to the annual Hot Docs Festival and enrollment in the documentary Channel Accelerator program and mentorship initiatives.


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.

Applications are now open, with a final deadline of November 30, 2017.


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