Theatrical documentary program

This program supports Canadian production companies looking to finance feature-length documentary projects in production and post-production.

Who can apply

Canadian production companies in search of financing for their feature-length documentary projects in production and post-production.

Overview of the program

All projects will be initially assessed against the Program’s goal to build larger audiences for Canadian feature-length documentaries in theatres thus helping to achieve the objectives of the CFFF. Eligible projects will also be evaluated on their overall creative merit, relevance and accessibility to theatrical audiences, as well as the potential of the project to succeed at the box-office. Telefilm will take into account the following elements:

  • For production applications: all the creative elements including the originality, quality and production-readiness of the script, the creative plan and the director’s vision for the film
  • For post-production applications: the artistic quality and potential of the film to reach audiences
  • Track record of the production company
  • Track Record of the Key Creative Personnel
  • Project Viability
  • Theatrical Potential, Promotion Strategy and Audience Reach Potential

Telefilm will, for projects of comparable quality, prioritize projects whose key creatives (director and/or screenwriter and/or producer) self-identify as Racialized Persons (including, but not limited to, Black and People of Colour), Indigenous, women, and members of Official Language Minority Communities.

Overview of eligibility requirements

All applicants must meet a list of criteria, including the following:

  • be a Canadian controlled corporation, with its head office in Canada and carry out its activities in Canada
  • producers and other key members of the production team must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Broadcaster-affiliated production companies are eligible to apply with projects in the English market only

 All projects must meet the following criteria:

  • be a feature length documentary film targeted primarily at Canadian theatrical audiences
  • be either in English, French, or an Indigenous language
  • be directed by a Canadian citizen
  • have a firm commitment from an eligible Canadian distribution company

Indigenous stream:

Telefilm will set aside funding for projects by Canadian filmmakers from Indigenous communities. These projects will be assessed by an external jury having Indigenous representation. Applicant companies applying for funding under this Stream will have to show that:

    • at least 51% of the project’s copyright  is held by a production company majority-owned and controlled by Indigenous Persons
    • the project shall be under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons;
    • two of the three key members of the creative team (producer, director or screenwriter) are Indigenous

Please consult the guidelines for a complete list of eligibility requirements.

Latest updates

December 15, 2020

Update to the guidelines

A new version of the guidelines is now online

December 15, 2020

Essential Information Guide

The Essential Information Guide is now online

December 15, 2020

Required documents

The List of Required Documents  is now online

October 28, 2019

Update to the guidelines

A new version of the guidelines is now online

August 13, 2018

Update to the guidelines

Changes to the Theatrical Production Program

Key dates

Opening date
February 10, 2021, 8 am EST

For all projects, from all regions (excluding the Indigenous Stream)

English, French or Indigenous language

The opening dates for the Indigenous Stream will be announced soon.

Closing date
February 26, 2021, 11 pm EST

For all projects, from all regions (excluding the Indigenous Stream)

English, French or Indigenous language

Contact persons

Atlantic

Raluca Tuturman

Phone : 438 469-1190
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Carmela Sciortino

Phone : 438-469-1257
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Quebec

Antoinette Duré

Phone : 438-469-1169
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Carmela Sciortino

Phone : 438-469-1257
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Ontario, Nunavut & West

Lucie Meynial

Phone : 647-475-4870
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Risa Veffer

Phone : 647-475-4899
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Randall Jason Fox

Phone : 778-309-1772
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Farran Clements

Phone : 647-475-4861
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

Lead, Inclusion Initiatives and Content Analyst, English Market

AYESHA HUSAIN

Phone : 647-475-4914
Toll free : 1-800-463-4607

Inclusion Initiatives Advisor and Content Analyst, French Market

HAGER NAMLY

Phone : 438-469-1178
Toll free : 1-800-463-4607

If you are applying to the Indigenous stream for the first time, or have questions about the Indigenous jury process, please contact the Content Analyst and Indigenous Liaison below.

Lead, Indigenous Initiatives

ADAM GARNET JONES

Phone : 647-475-4904
Toll free : 1-800-463-4607