Media Room

Doc Ignite FAQs



What is crowdfunding?
How does it work?
How will the filmmaker use the money?
What are incentives?
Do I get a charitable tax receipt?
What happens if a film meets their crowdfunding goal early?
What happens if the film doesn’t meet their crowdfunding goal?
What happens if the film doesn’t get made?
How can I have my film included on the Doc Ignite site?
Where else can I support documentary films?
What makes Doc Ignite different from other crowdfunding sites?


What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the act of sourcing financing online from the public in order to support efforts initiated by people and organizations. In the case of Doc Ignite, this site is dedicated to supporting Canadian documentary film financing. Crowdfunding isn’t a loan, philanthropy or investment. The ownership of the project remains with the content creator. Crowdfunding is the fair exchange of financing for incentives, which allows filmmakers to finance their projects and get films made. There are wildly successful crowdfunding sites for all sort of projects (for example, check out our partnership with Kickstarter.com/hotdocs).


How does it work?

Doc Ignite offers a space for filmmakers to showcase their project, whether it be via clips, photos, stories and/or updates. Filmmakers share with the public what the funding will support. In turn, individuals have the opportunity to support the project by pledging an amount towards the documentary film project. Once you’ve pledged to fund a project you become a part of something greater, a community supporting a vision, sharing story, helping to make a documentary film. Supporters are eligible to receive some of the many incentives offered by both the filmmakers and Hot Docs, along with our sincere and grateful thanks for your contribution.


How will the filmmakers use the money?

Money raised on Doc Ignite will be put towards production or post-production expenses. Please view the filmmaker’s note on each campaign for specific details on how the money will be spent.


What are incentives?

Incentives are your reward for pledging to support a project on the Doc Ignite site. In order to get your reward (at the end of the campaign) you must provide correct contact information upon making your pledge so that Hot Docs and/or the filmmakers can reach you.


Do I get a charitable tax receipt?

Doc Ignite pledges are not donations but, instead, are a fair trade of financing for your selected incentive. Since you receive the gift of an incentive as a thank you for your pledge you are not eligible for a charitable tax receipt.


What happens if a film meets their crowdfunding goal early?

General awesomeness will ensue! Film projects will continue their campaigns until the stated end date. If filmmakers surpass their fundraising goals, they will post an update explaining how the additional funds will be spent.


What happens if the film doesn’t meet their crowdfunding goal?

Doc Ignite funds will be channeled to the filmmaker even if they don’t meet their goal. Projects featured on the Hot Docs Doc Ignite site have already raised a portion of their financing through traditional film industry avenues, such as broadcasters, funds and tax credits. This means that the success of the project doesn’t rest solely on the Doc Ignite campaign, but every little bit helps.


What happens if the film doesn’t get made?

The projects that are chosen for Doc Ignite have been carefully selected by Hot Docs based on the project, the production team, and the financing already in place. If it is determined that a project cannot be made before the funds have been transferred to the filmmakers, all pledged money will be returned to supporters.


How can I have my film included on the Doc Ignite site?

Hot Docs is accepting applications for Doc Ignite on an ongoing basis. Please note that currently only five projects per year will be selected. If you are interested in having your project featured please read the guidelines and complete the application form.


Where else can I support documentary films?

There are lots of other ways you can support documentary films and filmmakers. Donations can be made directly to Hot Docs or to one of our initiatives, such as the new Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund or the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds. In addition, there are a number of other crowdfunding sites that prominently feature documentary films, including Kickstarter.com/hotdocs.


What makes Doc Ignite different from other crowdfunding sites?

  • Hot Docs offers film, trailer, treatment and outreach plan consultation;
  • Hot Docs offers campaign consultation on campaign goal amount and filmmaker incentives;
  • Hot Docs offers direct incentives in addition to incentives from the filmmakers;
  • We’re all about docs! We only accept documentary film projects to the Doc Ignite site.

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