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Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund Guidelines

This $1-million fund provides production grants of up to $20,000 to Canadian documentary filmmakers.

Applications are closed.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

Financial Support

The Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund will provide successful applicants with a grant of up to 20 per cent of the total production costs to a maximum of $20,000. Eligible costs include those that are standard in the industry during production.


Applicants must:

  • Be a Canadian-controlled corporation based in Canada and unaffiliated with any licensed Canadian network or programming undertaking (broadcasters and broadcaster-affiliated production companies are ineligible).
  • Have previously produced one of the following: a documentary or fiction film commercially released in Canada; a documentary or fiction film and/or series broadcast on Canadian television.
  • Key applicants to the Funds must be in good standing with Hot Docs by application date.

The Funds will occasionally consider an applicant that does not meet these requirements, provided a senior producer is meaningfully attached to the project as confirmed in writing.

Projects must:

  • be majority owned by the applicant*
  • have commitment from an eligible market partner**
  • be a one-off (i.e., series are not eligible)
  • have a minimum running time of one television hour
  • be of high quality and suitable for theatrical release and/or broadcast to Canadian audiences

* Official treaty co-productions are eligible. Preliminary approval from Telefilm Canada’s Co-Production Office will be required at time of application. Co-ventures/Co-productions with a foreign country are eligible even though the Canadian production company may not own 100 per cent of the project as long as they are certifiable by the CRTC.

** Proof of commitment from an eligible, third-party, market partner must be included in the application. The commitment should demonstrate financial commitment. This can be in the form of a signed letter of commitment or, ideally, an executed long-form agreement with the market partner. Examples of market partners are: licensed broadcasters, theatrical distributors, and new media platforms.

Funding is not granted for projects in development, completed projects, or projects that have been screened or broadcast publicly, including at festivals. The Fund encourages projects to apply as early as the development stage is complete with a confirmed market partner in place. It is acceptable if the project has not officially begun principle photography. The ideal project is at a stage of production, whether it is prepping or shooting.

Please note: A producer can apply with one project within a six month period in which the company is majority producer.

Eligibility for Re-Application

Submitted projects that do not receive funding may submit a maximum of one additional time only if the producers can demonstrate the project has undergone substantive changes since the initial application. Requests for resubmission must be received in writing to [email protected].

The Selection Committee may invite a project to be resubmitted. This decision is made solely by the Selection Committee. These candidates will be notified directly.

Application Process and Evaluation

The application process is exclusively electronic, and materials listed in the Required Documents section will need to be uploaded to the entry form. Supporting footage must be submitted online, using a streaming website such as Vimeo. We will not accept supporting footage on DVD or other media. Works-in-progress are strongly preferred over selects or sample footage.

Decision Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • creative merit and strength of storytelling
  • market potential
  • feasibility of the project with respect to its budget, financing, schedule and scope
  • demonstrated ability of the creative team to implement the production

Fund Recognition

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund support is to be acknowledged with a prominent logo on the end credits of the film, as well as on publicity and all promotional materials relating to the production. More specific credit requirements will be described in the Agreement.

Agreement, Drawdowns and Reporting Requirements

Successful applicants will receive a conditional commitment letter from the Fund. The applicant must provide, for Hot Docs’ approval, proof of financing for the project. The conditions will have to be met before a Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund Agreement will be entered into. If the conditions have not been met within 60 days of the date of the commitment letter, the Fund may rescind its commitment.

Submission Requirements

Please review the above guidelines and ensure that you and your project are eligible. All materials must be submitted in English.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. All materials received by Hot Docs are confidential and will not be returned to the applicant.

Fund Required Supporting Documents and Information

To complete your application, you must prepare and upload all required documents via the online application. All supporting files must adhere to the filenaming instructions provided in the Supporting Document instructions HERE.


Complete shooting and production schedules, including estimated completion date


Complete detailed production budget for the project. Enhancement request budgets must highlight the specific line items involved.


A signed commitment or agreement from a market partner, as described in the guidelines.


Information on the potential to qualify for certification as a Canadian Production by CAVCO or as an official treaty co-production by Telefilm Canada's Co-Production Office.


Copies of signed financial commitments from all sources of confirmed funding to date.


All distribution agreements, including a detailed list of licenses, pre-sales and other revenue sources (whether included in the production financing or not).


Copy of agreements between the co-producing companies (if applicable).


Please provide option agreements, or project chain of title agreements.


Government issued incorporation documents: History of Corporate Ownership; Company Chain of Title

Supporting Footage

Applications for funding require supporting footage. This can be in the form of assembly samples, select scene(s), etc. Supporting footage must be submitted digitally via an online link to a streaming website such as Vimeo.

Please ensure that your password does not change for at least six months from the date we confirm your application. We will not follow up with applicants regarding broken links or expired passwords.

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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