Film Submission FAQ
Can I re-submit my film from last year?
No. Hot Docs does not accept re-submissions. If you have specific questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If my film is selected to screen at another Canadian film festival, is it still eligible for submission to Hot Docs?
Yes, as long as it is not a festival in Toronto. A Toronto premiere is the minimum requirement for all submissions and it means that your film must not have screened publicly or been broadcast before a Toronto audience prior to the festival.
Do you accept series?
Hot Docs exhibits one-off documentaries and omnibus feature docs. If your submission is part of a series, it will be considered but must be able to be screened on its own.
How many films can I submit?
You can submit as many films as you like. However, each submitted film must have its own screener, completed submission form, fee, supplemental materials, and meet the eligibility requirements. DO NOT put multiple projects on the same screener.
**Do you accept rough cuts? **
We strongly encourage filmmakers to submit finished versions of their films whenever possible. If you would like to submit a rough cut, please contact email@example.com. Please note that the Festival will only accept one cut per film for programming consideration. If needed, Hot Docs will request an updated version and will contact those applicants directly.
What is your preferred submission format?
DVD is the preferred submission format, with English subtitles or transcript (if applicable). We accept all regions and both NTSC and PAL.
If I am including my film in The Doc Shop, do I need to be aware of any special specifications for my DVD in order for it to be digitized?
The main specification issue with your DVD submission is whether or not it has subtitles. To simplify our digital transcoding process, please create your DVD with the English subtitles burned in as the only track. Do not submit films that have DVD menus. Please also check your DVDs in a commercial player before sending.
Can I send you my film already digitized?
Yes. The file must be a MP4 file. Please The Doc Shop for further instructions. For festival programming consideration, we still require two DVDs to be sent to our office to complete your entry.
How do you decide if a film is Canadian or international
Our general rule is that any film with 51 per cent or more Canadian financing is considered a Canadian film. (If you feel your film is an exception to this rule, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to explain your film’s unique situation). The filmmaker’s country of birth and residence are also determinants.
How do you determine country of production?
Country of production is generally determined by financing and birth place/permanent residence of the filmmaker(s). In distinguishing between Canadian and international entries, our general rule is that any film with 51 per cent or more Canadian financing is considered a Canadian film. For international productions please list only countries where 25 per cent or more of the financing was generated. The location of your documentary bears no relation to its country of production, unless significant financing originated in that country or it is the filmmaker’s place of birth/permanent residence.
What is a Toronto premiere?
A Toronto premiere is the minimum requirement for all submissions and it means that your film must not have screened or have been broadcast publicly in Toronto prior to the Festival. Private, non-publicized screenings do not affect your premiere status. If you feel your film is an exception to this rule, please contact email@example.com to explain your film’s unique situation.
What are tags?
Tags are keyword descriptors used to help search for your film within a database structure. These are useful if you will be including your film in either of our markets, The Festival Doc Shop market or The Doc Shop Online. They are used on such websites as YouTube to enable keyword-based searches so that users can find work of a similar theme or by the same author.
When will I find out if my film has been selected?
We will contact you via email by end of March 2013. Please note that the primary contact listed on your entry form will be the only person contacted and Hot Docs will not disclose a film’s status over the phone.
If my film is not selected, may I speak with a programmer for notes or comments?
Due to the overwhelming amount of submissions we can not provide notes or comments on films not selected for the Festival.