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General Streaming FAQ

  • What is streaming?

    In this case, streaming simply means watching a video over your internet connection (instead of downloading a file to your computer). It’s immediate and available on demand with any device that’s connected to the internet. Anytime you watch a film on Netflix, or a video on YouTube, you’re streaming!

  • How do I stream a film?

    After getting a ticket, simply click the WATCH NOW button. This button appears on the confirmation page after purchase, in your confirmation email and on the film page. You can also access your film(s) on your My Streams page. You will be required to sign in with your member number, emails, or username.

    Currently you can stream through the following web browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Opera. For both PC and Apple computers, we recommend that you use the latest version of your browser.
    Note: Internet Explorer is not supported. For a complete list of compatibility, please click here.


    Hot Docs app on Apple TV (Generation 4 or higher only)
    On the Hot Docs website, cick on the “WATCH ON ROKU OR APPLE TV” button at the top of your stream page to access your 9-digit voucher code. Open the Hot Docs app and enter the code to stream the film.
    If you do not already have the Hot Docs app downloaded, search for "Hot Docs" in the App store and click "Get the App."

    Hot Docs App on Roku
    On the Hot Docs website, cick on the “WATCH ON ROKU OR APPLE TV” button at the top of your stream page to access your 9-digit voucher code. Open the Hot Docs Channel and enter the code to stream the film.
    if you do not already have the Hot Docs app downloaded, search for "Hot Docs" in the Roku channel store and click "Add Channel."

    Screen Sharing (Chromecast & Apple TV)
    You can stream films on Chromecast or Apple TV (all generations) by screen sharing your smartphone, tablet, or computer on the same Wi-Fi network. Instructions for screen sharing using your Apple TV using AirPlay can be found here. For information on screen sharing using your Chromecast, click here.

    If you have a laptop or nearby computer with an HDMI port, you can connect it directly to your television, using it as a second monitor. That said, connection details will depend on your setup. We recommend referencing your television’s manual for more information.

  • I am receiving the error message: "Your voucher has been redeemed by a different IP address." What do I do?

    You have continued watching your film on a different wi-fi network than the one you started on. Contact [email protected]

  • Can I use a VPN while streaming?

    No. If you pause the film and continue watching, you will receive an error. Turn off your VPN before you click WATCH FILM.

    If you receive an error after you started watching a stream with your VPN on, please contact [email protected].


Hot Docs at Home Streaming FAQ

  • How do I purchase a streaming ticket?

    Browse our current selection on Hot Docs at Home. When you find something you like, click the “Learn More” button. Once the film page opens, press the “Get Tickets” button to purchase your stream.

    Note: Members must sign in first to receive their member discount.

  • Do I need a Hot Docs account to stream films?

    Yes, you need a Hot Docs account. If you have purchased tickets online to Hot Docs Festival or Hot Docs Cinema, you should already have an account. You can sign in with your member number, email address or user name.

    If you do not have an account, you will be asked to create one to get tickets and stream films.

  • How long after I purchase do I have to stream a film?

    Unless otherwise indicated, all streams will be available for 48 hours from when the moment you begin watching.

  • Can I watch a film or event more than once?

    Yes. You can watch a film or event as many times as you like within your 48-hour window.

  • Do Hot Docs Members receive member pricing or free online tickets?

    Hot Docs members and Hot Docs at Home Monthly subscribers receive discounted pricing on all films and events on Hot Docs at Home. 

    Remember to sign in before purchasing. The special member pricing option will not appear until you are signed in.

    Members will not be able to utilize their free screening tickets to stream films.

  • Can I use a promo code to stream a film?

    Yes. Click the GET TICKETS button on the film page and enter the promo code when prompted. Once you have entered the promo code, your $0 ticket option be be available.

  • I have not received my confirmation email. What should I do?

    Confirmation emails are sent automatically once your purchase is complete. If you do not receive your email within a few minutes of completion, check your Spam and Junk Mail folders.

    If you still cannot find the email, stream by going either to the film page or to your My Streams and press the "Watch Now" button.

  • Are refunds or exchanges available?

    Once you have completed your purchase, refunds or exchanges are not available. Before completing your order, please ensure that you check your order is correct and that your browser and computer are compatible.

  • I am not currently in Canada. Can I stream a film?

    It is only possible to stream most of our films from inside Canada. Our Curious Minds courses and lectures are available worldwide and can be streamed from anywhere.


Hot Docs Festival Streaming FAQ

  • When can I begin streaming my films?

    Films will be available starting at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 28. You can stream by clicking the WATCH FILM button in your confirmation email or on the film page, or by going to the My Streams page.

  • How long after getting a ticket do I have to stream a film?

    If using tickets or a ticket package, films are available from April 28 to May 8. 

    If you have Hot Docs Unlimited Festival Pass, films are available until May 18.

  • Can I watch a film more than once?

    Yes. Once you begin watching you have 48 hours to view the film. During this 48-hour period, you can watch or restart the film as many times as needed.

  • I am not currently in Canada. Why can’t I stream a film?

    All films participating in Hot Docs Festival are geo-blocked to Canada You must be within the country to stream the films.

    With the shift to online, Hot Docs had to create new digital agreements with filmmakers and distributors, and those agreements included limiting Hot Docs Festival Online streaming access to Canada.

  • I am in Canada but am unable to stream and keep getting a message that says “Film not available in your region.” How do I fix this?


    Please contact [email protected].

  • Is closed captioning available on the films?

    We have endeavoured to ensure that as many films as possible have either closed or open captioning. Captions are indicated on the film pages with CC for closed captioning.

    Closed captions can be turned on or off while streaming the film. To turn them on, select English (CC) in the subtitle window at the bottom right corner of the video player.

  • Why are there numbers in the top left corner of my screen? Can I get rid of it?

    These numbers are an anti-piracy watermark.

    Hot Docs works with Festival filmmakers to enable anti-piracy measures to ensure that films stream with the highest level of security. The number is an unique visible watermark tied to your ticket and cannot be removed. Under Canada’s Copyright Act, unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted material is illegal.

  • How do I vote for the Hot Docs audience awards and $50,000 Rogers Audience Award?

    To vote, watch a film, then click on the stars on the film streaming page (1 - lowest, 5-highest) to cast your vote. Voting closes on May 8, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

    All official are eligible for the Hot Docs audience awards, which will recognize the top films as determined by audience poll. The winner of the Hot Docs Audience Award for feature documentary also qualifies for consideration for the Oscar for Documentary Feature without standard theatrical runs, provided the films otherwise comply with the Academy rules.

    Feature-length documentaries screening as part of Hot Docs Festival Online that have a Canadian director and are CAVCO-certified will be eligible for the Rogers Audience Award. The top five Canadian documentaries as determined by audience poll will each win a cash prize of $10,000 CAD.