For the First Time DOC BC + YT + NWT Opens Call for Submissions to its First Breakthrough Program

Sponsored by Creative BC

Prepare to pitch for development funds and a development deal for your project. Sell your project to prestigious festival markets like Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and beyond!

Six emerging and high-potential producers will be selected for this rigorous and intimate market-preparation course where they’ll develop a successful festival strategy and hone their project pitches and materials to prepare for festivals and markets like the Deal Maker program at Hot Docs.

The Breakthrough Program was created with a mandate to provide more access and inclusion for individuals self-identifying as Black, Indigenous, a person of colour, and/or LGBTQ+ and to increase participation for emerging film creators from underrepresented communities. We encourage applicants to self-identify in their application.

**These sessions will be run online via Zoom or a similar platform for the 2021 edition**

Selected Filmmakers Will Get Exclusive Access

For two months leading up to Hot Docs, weekly sessions with acclaimed documentary filmmakers and project-specific feedback from funders, broadcasters, distributors, and peers. As well as workshops, where participants will hone their trailers and work on their pitch materials with story editors, producers, and pitch specialists.

1. Free one-year DOC membership with all its benefits plus an honorarium valued at 600.00 CAD (check

2. The Breakthrough Alumni Network, a private group where alumni share opportunities & information.

3. All-Access Pass to the 2021 Hot Docs Film Festival and Forum*, to attend industry sessions, network with key industry professionals, set up meetings to sell their projects, and connect and collaborate with peers.

*Or a festival, market, or forum in Canada of the participant’s choice, with approval and review of the facilitator.

The Following Information is Required to Apply

1. In one to three pages, give us a summary of your industry and work experience, your educational background and past professional development, or mentorship programs. Please note that many past applicants choose to submit a CV plus a list of broadcast credits and/or a filmography. This section should be used to convey your relevant experience to the jury, so please share your accomplishments with us!

2. In one page, tell us why you would benefit from the Breakthrough Program and what you hope to achieve by attending a pitch session such as the Hot Docs Festival and Forum, or equivalent. Why would this program be timely for your career as a producer or director intending to produce your next project? Tell us about how you intend to interact with the other participants in the program to build community and how you have built a community in your career thus far.

3. In one page, tell us briefly about the main project you are intending to workshop during this program. Please include sizzle, trailer, visual elements/references and/or websites you have.

4. In one page, if you have a second or third project in development, you may tell us about them. We encourage you to include links to any trailers, visual elements/references and/or websites you have. However, this is not mandatory.

To Apply Candidates Must Fulfill the Following

1. Person submitting the project must be a resident of BC, Yukon, or Northwest Territories.

2. Be documentary filmmakers who have at least one producing or directing credit; or who have a comparable level of industry success and experience in the arts.

3. Have a slate of projects in development (at least one, can be features, shorts, or series).

4. Be able to attend the following: the Breakthrough Program (March – April); the majority of the online edition of the Hot Docs Festival including the Forum (or one equivalent festival of choice to be discussed with the facilitator); and all training during the program.

Apply Now

Submission Deadline
Dec 23, 2020  | 11.59pm PST

Please note:
**Non-members are required to pay a registration fee of $25 + tax and will be asked to join DOC if accepted into the program. Your membership fee will be deducted from the honorarium. If you are a current DOC member we reserve the right to verify your residence and membership status on the DOC membership list. Questions? Contact us by email at**


By submitting this entry, you guarantee that the submission is original work and that there are no ownership or copyright disputes regarding this entry. You are authorized to submit this project and affirm that your submission will not violate any law or right of any person or entity.

You indemnify and hold the Documentary Organization of Canada, its directors, producers, staff, volunteers, and affiliated entities harmless and will defend them against any damage to or loss of the film, any claims, demands, losses, damages, judgments, liabilities, and expenses, including attorney’s fees, arising out of or in connection with any and all claims of third parties based on your work submitted to the Documentary Organization of Canada.

You understand that failure to comply with the Documentary Organization of Canada guidelines will disqualify your entry and result in forfeiture of the submission fee. Should your project not have at least one producer, writer, or director who is a BC, Northwest, or Yukon resident, your submission will be disqualified and you will NOT be refunded your entry fee. By submitting your film to the Documentary Organization of Canada, you agree that DOC has the right to use clips, images, and/or sound from your project for promotional purposes in all world, all media, in perpetuity.

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