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Hot Docs and Netflix are supporting the next generation of filmmakers through their funniest non-fiction tales.

This short documentary initiative that will give five filmmakers the chance to bring to film their funniest real-life stories. Netflix will support each creator with $20,000 USD and will provide mentorship and career development support by their documentary team. The five selected It's Funny Because It's True projects will premiere globally on Netflix's social channels later this year.

Selected Projects

  • Lonia & Bronia
     (D: Julia Pelka & Paulina Skibinska | Poland)

    Lonia and Bronia are identical twin sisters. They are like lovebirds. After 50 years of separation, they finally have time to hang out together, starting with a crazy Warsaw city tour set to a musical rhythm.
  • My Partner Lives in My Phone
    D: Lily Ahree Siegel & Hugh Clegg | UK

    A filmmaker investigates her sexuality and lack of intimacy while in a long-distance relationship.
  • The Nugget King
    D: Darcy Waite | Canada

    A simple tweet turned Cody Bondarchuck into the person now known to the world as the Robin Hood of Chicken Nuggets. His meme has been translated into different languages, and even caught the interest of Elon Musk and Tom Hanks.
  • Paradise of Cats
    D: Carolina Fusilier | Mexico

    After piecing together a surrealist jigsaw puzzle of Remedios Varo’s image of a paradise of cats, a couple begins to encounter mysterious cats being born in their front yard. 
  • Prom Night Flex
    D: Leon Lozano | USA

    A teen ends his senior prom night by recording the most embarrassing video of his life, only to have it accidentally played for the entire class the next day.


Applicants must:

  • Be the exclusive rights holder of the proposed project.
  • Be in good standing with Hot Docs Funds by application date.
  • Be an emerging or sophomore filmmaker with three or fewer professional directing credits. Have demonstrated commitment as a content creator. The applicant has contributed essential creative direction for successfully completed audio-visual work. This may include as director, producer or other creative leadership roles such as cinematographer, editor, animator and/or production designer for one of the following:
    • A documentary or fiction film (short or feature) released commercially, screened at an international film festival, or broadcast on television or VOD service.
    • A documentary or fiction series broadcast on television or VOD service.
    • A music video, web-show, advertising campaign or other content storytelling medium which has garnered measurable commercial success such as awards, high-yielding audience engagement metrics, sequels or follow-up commissions.
We encourage applicants from all relevant creative backgrounds to apply. To discuss any questions about your personal eligibility or demonstrated commitment as a content creator, please contact [email protected].

Eligible projects must:

  • Be a short between 5-7 mins
  • Be delivered by July 2022
  • Be humorous, lighthearted, or comedic in tone or style
  • Be a high quality documentary suitable for online release to both local and international audiences. Proposals that are school, institute or university course work, TV or web series, or fiction pieces are not eligible.
  • Be in concept or development as of January 2022. Projects currently in production, post-production or are completed are not eligible.

It’s Funny Because It’s True is a new initiative between Hot Docs and Netflix, who previously joined forces in 2018 to launch the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project. This five-year initiative invests in core funding and professional development programs for Canadian filmmakers and was awarded the 2021 Business / Arts Community Impact Award.

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