Deal Maker 2017 Bnr By Joseph Howarth

Hot Docs Deal Maker Submissions

Online one-on-one pitch meetings for projects in development or production that are seeking financing from the international marketplace.

Applications for 2021 Deal Maker are closed.

Please note: Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker are the same application process. When applying, you can choose to apply for both or Deal Maker only.

Questions? Please contact industry programmer Madelaine Russo.

$45.00 CAD must be submitted along with the Project Entry Form. All major credit cards are accepted.

You will receive a confirmation from our offices within three weeks of your submission.

Please note: Applications for Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker are only accepted online. Please do not send anything by post or email to the Hot Docs office.


Projects that apply for both Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker will be notified of their application status in early March 2021.

The Deal Maker registration fee is $250 CAD per pitch team member.

Chosen projects must accept the invitation to participate within the timeframe allotted, and pay the registration fee.


Selected projects will participate in a series of pitch meetings with the decision makers with whom they have matched.

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 will request meetings with participating 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 Pass holders.


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 may submit up to TWO projects per production company for consideration. An application must be submitted for each project. We accept:

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


Applicant Information:

  • Personal contact information
  • Short bio and previous credits

Project Information:

  • Primary contact information
  • Title, genre, duration, language, format, date of principle photography, projected date of release, production country
  • Type of support sought (commission, acquisition, pre-buy, co-production, and/or distribution)
  • Stage of production
  • Short synopsis (approximately 350 words)
  • One-page treatment (approximately 800 words)
  • Short status report (approximately 500 words)
  • Committed market partner information
  • Confirmed financial sources
  • Top-line budget
  • Financing scenario
  • Key creative and production personnel biographies and filmographies
  • Trailer, teaser, or clips sent via a single streamable link of film footage or visuals (still or moving), no more than 10 minutes total runtime. Trailers/clips can be password protected, but must remain active until teams are notified of the application results.

If you are also applying to Hot Docs Forum, you will also need to provide:

  • Other forums and buyers pitched (if applicable)
  • Co-production partner information (if applicable)
  • Short description of the outreach and engagement strategy (approximately 300 words)
  • Short description of the distribution strategy (approximately 300 words)
  • Description of the digital media component/cross platform strategy (approximately 300 words) images, sketches or screen grabs may be submitted to support this description


Applications for 2021 Deal Maker are closed.

Please note: Hot Docs Forum and Deal Maker are the same application process. When applying, you can choose to apply for both or Deal Maker only.

Projects that apply for Hot Docs Forum and/or Deal Maker will be notified of their application status in early March 2021.

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 broadcasters, platforms, film funds and other decision makers in online meetings.

Projects selected for the Hot Docs Forum pitch to a roundtable of these experts. Taking place over two days, the selected international projects are pitched to a roundtable of leading commissioning editors, film fund representatives, financiers, programming executives, sales agents, distributors, and delegates from around the globe.

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


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 (PDF) or other published material.

The scheduling of meetings is at the discretion of the Hot Docs Industry Programs Department. All Deal Maker meetings will take place from May 6 to 27, 2021.

If your application is successful, you agree to participate in the Hot Docs Festival for the duration of Hot Docs Deal Maker. Failure to do so may result in your project being withdrawn.

The decision of the 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

Founding Partner

  • logo Rogers

Signature Partner

  • Logo Cbc Gem

Presenting Partners

  • logo Crave
  • logo Netflix

Major Supporters

  • logo telefilm
  • logo tourism_Celebrate-Ontario