Breakthrough Program

Online Application

2017 Applications are now closed. Please check again next year.

Prepare to pitch and sell your project at the prestigious Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and beyond! Eight 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.

For two months leading up to Hot Docs, Breakthrough participants will receive weekly group and one-on-one mentorship from peers and renowned funders, broadcasters, and distributors. They’ll also receive an All-Access Pass to the 2017 Hot Docs Film Festival and Forum, where they have the opportunity to attend industry sessions, network with key industry professionals, set up meetings to sell their projects and connect and collaborate with peers.

Participants also receive free training at regular DOC Institute events throughout the program’s duration and direct access to the Breakthrough Alumni network.

The Breakthrough Program runs for eight weeks on Wednesday evenings, starting March 8. We encourage all qualified Ontario-based professionals to apply. Learn more about past participants here.

If you have questions, we have answers: check our Breakthrough FAQ for more.

Application Deadline: February 8, 2017

2016 Breakthrough Program Participants

The following information (in one word doc or PDF) is required to apply:

1. In three pages or less, 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 the Hot Docs Festival and Forum. Why is this the right program for you? Why would this program be timely for your career?

3. In one page, tell us briefly about one of your projects. (We encourage you to include links to any trailers, visual elements/references and/or websites you have. However, this is not mandatory.)

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.)

Please note: Non-members are required to pay a registration fee of $27.11 ($25.00 + Eventbrite fee) and will be asked to join DOC if accepted into the program. Questions? Talk to Senaa! senaa@docorg.ca or 416-599-3844  x3.

To apply candidates must:

1. Be documentary filmmakers who live and work in Ontario (we welcome applications from outside the GTA).

2. Be documentary filmmakers who have at least one producing or directing broadcast credit, but no more than five; or who have a comparable level of industry success and experience.

3. Have a slate of one to three projects in development.

4. Be able to attend the following: the Breakthrough Program (March – May 2017); the majority of the Hot Docs Festival (April 27-May 7, 2017), including the Forum; and all DOC Institute training during the program.