Media Room

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions pertaining to eligibility and application for the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund.

Applicant Eligibility

Am I eligible to apply?

In order for an applicant to be eligible for support, the applicant must:

  • Be the primary rights holder of the project;
  • Be the director or producer attached with the film project.

In all cases both the director and producer must:

  • Hold citizenship, primary residence and work primarily in Africa. A complete list of funded countries can be found in our FAQ section;
  • Have at least one previous professional credit to their name.

In order for a project to be eligible for support, the project must:

  • Be produced and shot in Africa;
  • Be either a feature or broadcast length documentary (shorts, series and fiction pieces are not eligible);
  • Be of high quality and suitable for theatrical release and/or television broadcast to audiences both locally and internationally.

What does ‘previous professional credit’ mean?

The director and producer on each project must have at least one previous professional credit to their name.

Professional credits include having previously worked on one of the following: a documentary or fiction film commercially released either locally or internationally, a documentary or fiction film and/or series broadcast on television either locally or internationally, a documentary or fiction film that has screened in at least one African or international film festival.

Eligible professional credits include but are not limited to: producer, director, associate producer, executive producer, DOP, editor, etc.

The Fund will occasionally consider an applicant that does not meet these requirements, provided a senior producer is meaningfully attached to the project as confirmed in writing.

I live outside of Africa for part of the year. Am I still eligible?

Applicants, including students who live and work outside of Africa for more than two months per year must be approved on a case by case basis and should be in touch directly with the fund administration for approval at Lisa Plekhanova.

Which countries do you fund?

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund currently funds the following countries. The list of eligible countries is subject to change.

Algeria
Angola
Benin
Botswana
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Ivory Coast
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
South Sudan
Sudan
Swaziland
Tanzania
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Project Eligibility

Is my project eligible to apply?

In order for a project to be eligible for support, the project must:

  • Be produced and shot in Africa;
  • Be either a feature or broadcast length documentary (shorts, series and fiction pieces are not eligible);
  • Be of high quality and suitable for theatrical release and/or broadcast to audiences internationally;
  • If there is a registered production company associated with the project that company must be registered in an African country;
  • The director of the project must hold citizenship, live and work primarily in Africa;
  • The producer of the project must hold citizenship, live and work primarily in Africa.

My project is a co-production with a non-African company. Is it still eligible?

African projects with international co-production partners are eligible to apply to the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund if the following conditions are met:

  • The African partner must be the primary partner and primary rights holder of the film;
  • The director on the project must be a citizen of an African country who primarily lives and works in Africa;
  • There must be an African producer on the project who is a citizen of an African country and who primarily lives and works in Africa;
  • A co-production agreement must be submitted with the application.

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund will enter into an agreement only with the African partner and all grant funds must be spent in the African region of production.

Application

How do I apply?

After completely reading the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund guidelines, please complete the application form. This form must be fully completed before the application deadline along with any required supporting documents listed on the form.

In which language can I apply?

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund applications will only be accepted in English. All supporting materials must also be in English, copies of original letters or agreements if in a language other than English should be accompanied by an English translation. Footage/trailers if in a language other than English must be accompanied by either subtitles or transcripts in English.

At this time the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund can offer only minimal application support in the French language.

What is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the current round of grants is 5:00 pm EST, on August 22, 2014. Future funding cycles will be announced after the current call has closed.

How should I submit my trailer/footage?

Whenever possible, trailers and sample footage should be sent via an online link such as Vimeo or YouTube. Both Vimeo and YouTube. allow for free password protected uploads of videos. Please include the URL of your video on the application form. If you decide to password protect the video please ensure that you have included the password on the application form. Videos should be live and available to our selection committee for eight weeks after the application deadline.

Where this is not possible DVDs can be forwarded to:

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund
Attn: Stephanie McArthur
110 Spadina Avenue, Suite 333
Toronto, ON
M5V 2K4
Re: [insert project name]

Materials postmarked with the deadline date but received after the deadline will not be accepted.

How will I know you have received my application?

All applicants will receive confirmation that their submission is complete and has been received by our staff within four weeks of applying. Please do not contact our office to confirm your application within those four weeks.

What supporting documents do I need to provide?

There are three types of supporting documents that you may be requested to provide.

  • Proof of Ownership of Content
  • Government Issued Incorporation Documents
  • Signed Copy of Co-production Agreement

It may not be required or possible to provide these documents with your application. If you cannot provide them or do not require them please explain on the form in the space provided.

Proof of Ownership of Content - Please provide option agreements, or project chain of title agreements (when applicable).

An OPTION AGREEMENT is:

  • An agreement that demonstrates you optioned a book or piece of existing intellectual property to make a film (in the case where your project is based on a book or a piece of intellectual property).
  • An agreement that demonstrates you optioned the life rights for a character in a film (in the case where your project is entirely based around the life story of a central character/ subject).

A CHAIN OF TITLE AGREEMENTS is a series of documentation which establishes the proprietary rights of a film (ie. authorship rights, contributions), which defines who the owner of the proprietary rights is in the intellectual property of the film.

A CHAIN OF TITLE AGREEMENT is:

  • Copyright on music (in the case where music is a central focus of your story, and obtaining rights to that music is imperative to the project).
  • Trademark clearances (in the case where a “brand or “logo” is a central focus of your story, and obtaining rights to that trademark is imperative to the project).
  • Talent agreements, including DOP, or releases from subjects, characters, life rights (in the case where the participation of the central character is imperative to the project).
  • Proof of Errors and Omissions Insurance (in the case that the subject matter of your story increases your chances of risk or liability and protection against this is necessary).

Government issued incorporation documents of Production Company - Please provide documents supporting the history of corporate ownership or company chain of title agreements. If you are applying in association with a production company, you should be able to provide one of the following official documents to prove the existence of your company as a registered business. If you cannot provide one of the following documents you have the option of explaining why, as we are aware that different incorporation standards exist within each region.

GOVERNMENT ISSUED INCORPORATION DOCUMENTS OF A PRODUCTION COMPANY are:

  • A certificate of incorporation (a legal document relating to the formation of a company or corporation). It is a license to form a corporation.
  • Any documentation issued by the state government that indicates the existence and recognition of your production company.
  • A company chain of title (an agreement indicating the transfer of ownership of a production company into your current holding).

Signed copy of Co-Production Agreement - Please provide a Co-Production Agreement only if the project is a co-production.

When will I know if my application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by our staff via email approximately three months after the application deadline. A public announcement of all successful projects will be made shortly thereafter.

You still haven’t answered my question.

If you have read through our guidelines and FAQ and we still haven’t answered your question, please feel free to get in touch with Lisa Plekhanova.

  • If you have read through our guidelines and FAQ and we still haven’t answered your question please contact Lisa Plekhanova.
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