Shaw Media Hot Docs Development Fund

Institution: Hot Docs


The Shaw Media Hot Docs Development Fund is a loan program designed to help producers get specific projects developed, researched, written and/or packaged and ready for market. The Development Fund is expected to support on average 10 to 12 projects per year.

Who can apply


  • 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)
  • must 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

If the requirements are not met, an applicant may be considered provided a senior producer is meaningfully attached to the project as confirmed in writing.


  • must be majority owned by the applicant
  • must be a one-off
  • must have a minimum length of one television hour
  • must be of high quality and suitable for theatrical release and/or broadcast to Canadian audiences

An application for development financing need not include proof of market support; however, a market or institutional partner does not disqualify it.

Funding available

Successful applicants will receive a conditional commitment letter from the Fund. The applicant must provide, for Hot Docs approval, proof of full financing for development stage of the project. The conditions will have to be met before a Shaw Media-Hot Docs Development 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.

The drawdown schedule will be more clearly described in the Agreement, but following is a general description that should help successful applicants to plan their cash flow. The first payment, of 70%, will be issued upon execution of the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Development Fund agreement.

The second and final payment, of 30%, will be issued upon submission and acceptance of:
- final draft of the documentary treatment
- development status report
- final development cost report
- demo reel (if available)

Recipients of development financing will be required to provide Hot Docs with annual project status reports, and will be required to repay the development advance upon the earliest of commencement of production of the documentary or the transfer or sale of the rights to the documentary to a third party.

Contact details

Tel: +1 416 203 2155

Eligible candidates

  • "National" Production Companies

Types of funding available

  • Development and Production Support

Applications accepted from

  • Canada