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Pitch team meeting decision maker
Photo by Joseph Michael Howarth

One-on-one pitch meetings for projects in development, production or post-production that are seeking financing from the international marketplace.

Projects at all stages—development, production and post-production—can apply to Deal Maker.

Deal Maker 2024 took place April 30–May 2. Applications are closed.

Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker share an application process. When applying, you can choose to apply for both or for Deal Maker only.

Questions? Contact [email protected]

$45.00 CAD must be submitted along with the Project Entry Form. All major credit cards are accepted.

You will receive a confirmation from our offices within three weeks of your submission.

Please note: Applications for Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker are only accepted online. Please do not send anything by post or email to the Hot Docs office.


Projects that apply for both Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker will be notified of their application status in early March 2024.

To participate in Deal Maker, each pitch team member must be registered with a Hot Docs industry pass. Selected projects will receive details about registration. 

All chosen projects must accept the invitation to participate within the timeframe allotted and pay the registration fee.


Selected projects will participate in a series of pitch meetings with the decision makers with whom they have matched.

Projects will be selected on the following criteria:

  • Exceptionally compelling, exclusive and illuminating material
  • Brilliant storytelling
  • Creative and exemplary craft
  • Commercial and international appeal
  • Suitability for decision makers' mandates and key requirements, and relevance to buyer mandates

Selected participants will request meetings with participating decision makers. Decision makers will then review requests and accept those projects that are appropriate for their mandates. The Hot Docs industry team will also provide some curated matchmaking.

All selected projects will be listed on the Hot Docs website and announced in a press release. Project info will also be published in a downloadable PDF available to industry pass holders.


Projects can be:

  • In development, production or post-production
  • Any genre of documentary or factual (we especially encourage high art and culture, smart science, smart history)
  • From any country or territory
Please note: Projects must have not yet closed financing. 

You may submit an unlimited number of projects, but a separate application must be submitted for each. We accept:

  • Feature-length docs
  • Television docs
  • Limited or long-form series


Applicant Information:

  • Personal contact information
  • Short bio and previous credits

Project Information:

  • Primary contact information
  • Title, genre, duration, language, format, date of principle photography, projected date of release, production country
  • Type of support sought (commission, acquisition, pre-buy, co-production, and/or distribution)
  • Stage of production
  • Short synopsis (approximately 350 words)
  • One-page treatment (approximately 850 words)
  • Short status report (approximately 500 words)
  • Committed market partner information (if applicable)
  • Confirmed financial sources (if applicable)
  • Top-line budget
  • Financing scenario
  • Key creative and production personnel biographies and filmographies
  • Trailer, teaser, or clips sent via a single streamable link of film footage or visuals (still or moving), no more than 10 minutes total runtime. Trailers/clips can be password protected, but must remain active until teams are notified of the application results.

If you are also applying to Hot Docs Forum, you will need to provide:

  • Other forums and buyers pitched (if applicable)
  • Co-production partner information (if applicable)
  • Short description of the outreach and engagement strategy (approximately 300 words)
  • Short description of the distribution strategy (approximately 300 words)
  • Description of the digital media component/cross platform strategy (approximately 300 words) images, sketches or screen grabs may be submitted to support this description


Thank you for your interest! Applications for the 2024 Hot Docs Deal Maker are closed.

Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker share an application process. When applying, you can choose to apply for both or for Deal Maker only.

What is the difference between Hot Docs Deal Maker and Hot Docs Forum?

Hot Docs Deal Maker is a one-on-one pitch meeting program for film teams seeking financing and distribution from the international marketplace. Deal Maker participants meet with broadcasters and online platforms (commissioning editors and acquisitions executives) as well as film funds, foundations, distributors, and sales agents. Projects only enrolled in Deal Maker do not participate in a live roundtable pitch.

Taking place over two days, projects selected for Hot Docs Forum are pitched to a roundtable of leading commissioning editors, film fund representatives, financiers, programming executives, sales agents, distributors, and delegates from around the globe.

All Forum projects are automatically enroled in Deal Maker, meaning they are guaranteed meetings with attending decision makers.


Project updates can be made after a project is selected for Deal Maker, and before it is reviewed by buyers. Hot Docs accepts no liability for project inaccuracies in the Deal Maker Project Catalogue (PDF) or other published material.

The scheduling of meetings is at the discretion of the Hot Docs Industry Programs Department.

If your application is successful, you agree to participate in the duration of Hot Docs Deal Maker. Failure to do so may result in your project being withdrawn from the market.

Deal Maker projects are chosen by a selection committee. The decision of the selection committee is final. In the event that a selection committee member is attached to a submitted project, they will recuse themselves from deliberations for that project.

Due to the volume of applications we receive and review, feedback is not guaranteed for unsuccessful applicants.

Hot Docs' Industry Programs Department will not take rights or liabilities of selected projects.

Hot Docs' Industry Programs Department reserves the right to change these guidelines or processes at any time and without notification.

Projects participating in Hot Docs Deal Maker are required to acknowledge the program’s support through the placement of Hot Docs’ logo in the project’s final credits.

Application to, and participation in, Hot Docs Deal Maker implies unconditional acceptance of these guidelines.

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