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International Project Guidelines

Supporting interactive, short or feature-length doc projects made by filmmakers from, and telling the stories of, underrepresented and marginalized communities from around the world. The Fund was established in 2013 by the R&M Lang Foundation, which provides short/interactive project support. Feature-length project support is underwritten by the Panicaro Foundation.

Applications are closed.

The CrossCurrents Doc Fund is reviewed annually, and these guidelines are subject to change.

Questions? Check out the FAQs or contact [email protected].

The CrossCurrents Fund is an international fund for filmmakers who are directly in—or have a deep connection to—the underrepresnted and marginalized community.

The Fund’s mandate is to help develop understanding and appreciation of unheard voices by encouraging projects that aim to reach not only members within the community, but also expanded audiences.

Project funding support will include $10,000 CAD for one short or interactive film; and up to $30,000 CAD for up to three feature films.

Feature films for the purpose of this fund may include TV length versions with running times of 41 minutes or longer.

The successful applicant(s) will receive a production grant of up to $30,000 CAD to a maximum of 50% of the feature film production budget.

Short films for the purposes of this fund are defined as films with a running-length time of 40 minutes or less.

The successful applicant will receive a grant of $10,000 CAD, which could reflect up to 100% of the project’s development or production budget.


In addition to the production grant, the successful recipients will be considered for a Hot Docs Fellowship that includes travel, accommodation and accreditation to the annual Hot Docs Festival and enrollment in the Emerging Filmmakers Lab and mentorship initiatives.


Applicants must be:

  • The (co)director, and primary rights holder attached to the film project
  • An emerging filmmaker with three or fewer professional directing credits.
  • In good standing with Hot Docs at time of application submission

Feature-length projects must be:

  • Low- to mid-budget films ($300,000 to $600,000 CAD amount max)
  • Feature length works (41-90 minutes)
  • In production

Short or interactive projects must be:

  • Low-budget films (i.e. under $100,000 CAD)
  • Short to mid-length works (i.e. 5 to 40 minutes)
  • In a late stage of development, or in early/mid production
  • Primarily for release online or as a web doc/interactive project

All projects must not:

  • Be proposals that are school, institute or university course work, or are shorts, TV series, web series or fiction pieces.
  • Be at a rough-cut stage or will be completed by Hot Docs 2020 (April 2020)

Eligibility for re-application:

Submitted projects that do not receive funding may submit a maximum of one additional time only in another stream within the fund. Requests for resubmission must be received in writing to [email protected]. In some instances, the selection committee may invite a project to resubmit and they be notified directly.


The online application must be submitted in English on or before the deadline. There is no application fee. All materials received by Hot Docs are confidential.

Read the eligibility rules, guidelines and FAQ section before proceeding to the online application form. Do not send anything by post or email to the Hot Docs office.

Supporting Footage

A maximum of 10 minutes of footage may be submitted using up to two separate links. Teasers, trailers, and sample footage must be hosted on an independent website such as Vimeo and submitted via a link. Password protected links are accepted, but must remain live until January 2020.

If the footage is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by English subtitles.

Required Supporting Documents

To complete your application, you must prepare and upload all required documents via the online application. Hot Docs reserves the right to request additional information.

INSTRUCTIONS: Please append all supporting document(s) as a single pdf file with the filename as instructed below. Please use a consistent project file name in all files where it reads “ProjectFile.”

Documentation must be submitted in English or with accompanying English translation.

DETAILED INDUSTRY STANDARD BUDGET: Complete detailed development or production budget for the project, and also include the top sheet (summary. Name this file before uploading: CC19-ProjectTitle-Appendix1

FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS: Copies of signed financial commitments from all sources of confirmed funding to date. Name this file before uploading: CC19-ProjectTitle-Appendix2

CO-PRODUCTION: Copy of agreements between the co-producing companies (if applicable). Name this file before uploading: CC19-ProjectTitle-Appendix3


Applicants will be informed of the Selection Committee’s decision approximately four months after the submission deadline.

Applications deemed complete and eligible will be submitted to a Selection Committee made up of representatives from Hot Docs and members of the filmmaking community including representatives with experience making films from underrepresented communities. Successful applicants will be determined by peer-review selection committees.

Decision Criteria
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:


  • Filmmakers must demonstrate how they are storytelling from within the underrepresented community, as opposed to looking in from the outside
  • Overall adherence to the Fund’s aims, especially regarding the relationship of the filmmaker with the community in the project

Story & Artistic Vision: * Strength, style and originality of the subject matter and the treatment * Vision and ability of the filmmaker

Financials: * Grant’s total financial and professional impact on the project’s realization * Feasibility of the project with respect to its budget, financing, schedule and scope

Audience: * The project’s strategy to access meaningful audience engagement

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Presenting Platinum Partner

  • logo Scotia Wealth Management

Founding Partner

  • logo Rogers

Signature Partner

  • logo CBC Docs

Presenting Partners

  • Logo Crave 2019
  • logo Netflix

Major Supporters

  • logo Celebrate-Ontario
  • logo telefilm