What is The Doc Shop?

The Doc Shop is Hot Docs’ market service which allows officially selected films to be digitally screened on-demand by hundreds of international buyers, broadcasters, sales agents, programmers and distributors in a secure, password protected environment during the Festival (onsite) or after the Festival (online).

What is the difference between The Festival Doc Shop and The Doc Shop Online?

The Festival Doc Shop is an onsite digital facility available only for the duration of the event (10 days), and is accessible only by registered delegates of the Hot Docs Festival. The Doc Shop Online is a year-round Internet site that is accessible only by registered members that are buyers, distributors, sales agents and festival programmers.

When will my film be available online once I submit it and how long will it be online?

If you submit only to The Festival Doc Shop, your film will be available from the first Friday to the last Saturday of the Hot Docs Festival, an 8-day period.

If you submit only to The Doc Shop Online, your film will appear online one week after the Festival and will be available for one year.

If I am submitting my film to the Festival is it automatically included in both markets?

No. All entrants must choose to be included in The Festival Doc Shop and The Doc Shop Online. The following options are available on the submission form:

The Festival Doc Shop: If selected, I want this submission to be included in the The Festival Doc Shop at the festival, allowing the film to be viewed by attending buyers, broadcasters, sales agents, programmers and distributors.

The Doc Shop Online: If selected, I want this submission to be included in the digitally secure and password protected Doc Shop Online, allowing the film to be viewed for a 12-month period by international buyers, broadcasters, sales agents, programmers and distributors.

You must have selected one or both of the above options when you completed the Festival submission form in order to have your film included in both markets.

If you didn’t opt into either of these options on your original submission form and would now like for your film to be included, please contact [email protected].

If I opt-in to The Doc Shop, can I choose to opt-out at a later date?

Yes, if you decide that you no longer want to be included in either The Festival Doc Shop or The Doc Shop Online, please contact [email protected].

If I have opted into either of these markets, are there any extra fees to pay?

No. If you have already submitted your film to the Festival and paid the submission fee, then you do not need to resubmit the film, complete any forms or pay any extra fees.

If selected for Hot Docs, how do I upload my film to The Doc Shop?

You’ll be invited to create an account on, and allow The Doc Shop access to the screeners in your account. Once your screener is listed on the DocShop, you can log in to your CineSend account to see who’s watched your film.

What are the technical requirements for using The Doc Shop Online?

The Doc Shop utilizes an HTML5 video player. Here are the recommended system requirements for optimal playback:

  • Chrome 35+ (Windows Vista and higher, Mac * OSX 10.9 and higher)
  • Firefox 47+ (Windows Vista and higher, Mac OSX 10.9 and higher)
  • Safari 8+ (Mac OSX 10.9 and higher)
  • iOS 6+
  • Android 4.3+

Are there any specific technical specifications that I need to be aware of when uploading my film(s) to The Doc Shop?

Most video formats are accepted - but we recommend at least a 720p video file with stereo audio. If your file is large, try to upload your film from the best internet connection possible.

How can I promote my film if it is in either of The Doc Shop markets?

There are several ways you can promote your film:

If you are attending the Festival, you have access to our Online Community where you can contact individuals to set up meetings and/or let them know about your film.

Research each of the broadcasters/distributors and their specific programming/portfolio mandates. When you know which broadcasters/distributors would be interested in your film, contact them via their websites or the Online Community.

Do entrants give Hot Docs any distribution rights to the film by submitting it to The Doc Shop?

No. Hot Docs only uses the digitized version of your film during the festival dates if the film was registered with The Festival Doc Shop only, or for one year if submitted to The Doc Shop Online.

Is Digital Rights Management (DRM) employed by Hot Docs to ensure someone cannot copy my film?

Yes, The Doc Shop uses DRM (Digital Rights Management) to protect your film by encrypting the media data. When your video is loaded into the Doc Shop player, the player communicates with a licensing service to obtain permission to play the video. This secured request is invisible to viewers. DRM prevents viewers from downloading your film without permission.

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