FAQs: It's Funny Because It's True

FAQs: It's Funny Because It's True

If I am the recipient of the fund, who owns the rights of the completed project?

Prior to selection, a potential grantee will sign a Grant Agreement stating that they will utilize the grant funds to create the proposed short film to the best of their abilities and confirming Netflix’s ownership of all rights to the short film.

What is considered a professional directing credit?

Professional credits include a documentary or fiction film (short or feature) released commercially, screened at an international film festival, or broadcast on television or VOD service where you held the role as director.

How can I demonstrate my commitment as a content creator?

It’s Funny Because It’s True is looking for applicants who have contributed essential creative direction for successfully completed audio-visual work. This may include as director, producer or other creative leadership roles such as cinematographer, editor, animator and/or production designer.


The selection committee may consider applicants that do not meet this specific criteria provided they can demonstrate a track record of success and commitment that would validate feasibility for successful delivery of the proposed documentary project.


We encourage applicants from all relevant creative backgrounds to apply. To discuss any questions about your personal eligibility or demonstrated commitment as a content creator, please contact [email protected].

What information should I include in my budget?

The $20K grant is unrestricted: it’s yours to use as you see fit to bring the short film as described in your proposal to life. Be sure to pay yourself a realistic salary, along with paying any team members you decide to hire to bring your project to completion, and to obtain any necessary third-party rights in consultation with Netflix through feedback meetings during production.


Use what you have in terms of equipment – from cameras to phones to laptops. Extraneous rentals and purchases for your short film are discouraged.


If you are new to budgeting, we recommend that you check out Hot Docs’ Budgeting for Emerging Filmmakers publication to see standard line items in a budget. You can find templates for film budgets on website such as Telefilm Canada or the International Documentary Association.

What are the expectations with regards to COVID safety during production?

Safety is of the utmost importance. You must follow your local social distancing, health, safety, and production guidelines and requirements. As a result, you acknowledge that the timeline is subject to change based on applicable health, safety, and production guidelines and requirements, and/or that remote production techniques may need to be utilized.

I have not yet shot any footage that can be cut into a trailer. What should I submit?

Hot Docs recommends cutting together a short audio-visual piece that conveys the tone, message or style of your project. We also accept mood boards, character screen tests or unearthed archives. You may also submit previously completed work, though please ensure in the description to indicate your role on the project.

Can I apply for post-production funds?

Projects currently in production, post-production or are completed are not eligible for this initiative.

What is Netflix’s involvement in the project?

Netflix will be involved in the selection process of the projects.


Grantees commit to attending an Online Project Orientation session with Hot Docs and Netflix prior to beginning their project. For selected projects, please consult the Netflix representative with any questions or concerns before shooting starts. This should be fun, creatively rewarding, an expression of your craft and resourcefulness, and, in a way, a time capsule of who you are as a filmmaker right now.


Completed projects will be launched in 2022, and premiere and live on @NetflixFilm, Netflix’s social channel, which has nearly 7 million followers across Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, with a dedicated mission of speaking to passionate cinephiles and movie lovers. Selected projects will have the potential to be showcased at an event attended by Netflix film executives and other industry figures.

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 four months after the application deadline. The length of the evaluation period will be determined by the volume of submissions received. A public announcement of all successful projects will be made shortly thereafter.

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