Deal Maker 2017 Bnr By Joseph Howarth

Hot Docs Deal Maker Submissions

Hot Docs Deal Maker is a one-on-one pitch-meeting program for filmmakers seeking financing from the international marketplace.

Submissions now closed.

Hot Docs Deal Maker will take place May 1 to 3, during the 2018 Hot Docs Festival.

Questions? Please contact industry programmer Madelaine Russo.


Selected projects will participate in a series of 15-minute pitch meetings at the Hot Docs Festival. All team members must be registered with an All-Access pass to participate in the meetings.

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 broadcast channels and slots

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

All selected projects will be listed online. Project info will also be published in a downloadable PDF available to All-Access passholders.


Projects can be:

  • In development or production
  • Any genre of documentary or factual (we especially encourage high art and culture, smart science, smart history)
  • From any country or territory

You can submit up to TWO projects per production company. We accept:

  • Feature-length docs
  • Television docs
  • Limited or long-form series
  • Series
  • Interactive work
  • Cross-platform media


Applicant Information:

  • Personal contact information
  • Short bio and previous credits

Project Information:

  • Working title
  • Format
  • Estimated length (in minutes)
  • Proposed delivery date
  • Language
  • Country of production
  • Estimated budget
  • Confirmed financing and financing sources
  • Stage of project
  • “I am looking for:” the following funding opportunities
  • Genre of project
  • In which territories is your film NOT available? (if applicable)
  • Status report (a brief description of rights, access to interview subjects, stage of production, partnerships/financing pending, etc.)
  • Top-line credits
  • Logline
  • One-page synopsis

Trailer (not mandatory, but recommended):

  • Trailer URL
  • Password


Submissions now closed.

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 from the international marketplace. Deal Maker participants meet with commissioning editors, film funds, foundations, and other Decision Makers over three days of sessions. Projects selected for the Hot Docs Forum pitch to a roundtable of these experts, as well as to a room of over 200 key international decision makers and accredited observers. The Hot Docs Forum is held over two mornings (the first two mornings of Deal Maker) and Deal Maker meetings are held in the afternoon and the following day.

All 19 selected Forum projects are automatically enrolled in Deal Maker, meaning that selected Forum pitch teams have guaranteed pre-scheduled meetings with attending decision makers.

The Deal Maker programmer tracks all applying Forum projects and may invite unsuccessful projects to apply to Deal Maker. To increase one’s chance of being selected for Deal Maker, we recommend apply to the Forum and then to Deal Maker.


All pitch-team members representing selected projects at Deal Maker must be registered with Hot Docs All-Access Passes. If a pitch-team member is not registered with an All-Access Pass, that individual will not be able to participate. Only one member of the team is required to purchase an All-Access Pass to apply to the program, but all other attending team members must then register if the project is selected.

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 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 attend the Hot Docs Festival for the duration of Hot Docs Deal Maker (May 1-3, 2018). Failure to do so may result in your project being withdrawn.

The decision of the Deal Maker Selection Committee is final. Due to the volume of applications we receive and review, feedback is not guaranteed for unsuccessful applicants.

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

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

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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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Signature Partner

  • logo documentary-Channel

Presenting Partners

  • logo Bell-Media
  • logo Netflix
  • logo Rogers
  • Logo Samsung

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate-Ontario
  • logo telefilm