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 submitted under this program will be evaluated through the lens of reaching Telefilm’s objective of obtaining a representative and diversified feature film portfolio that better reflects gender, cultural diversity and Canada’s Indigenous communities. The first step in attaining this objective will be to prioritize projects directed or written by women to ensure that we reach our 2020 goal of a portfolio that reflects gender parity while continuing to champion and support the works of Indigenous creators and members of communities representing Canada’s cultural diversity.

  • Eligible projects will 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
  • Broadcaster-affiliated production companies are eligible to apply with projects in the English market only

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

 All projects must meet the following criteria:

  • be a feature length documentary film targeted primarily at Canadian theatrical audiences
  • must be either in English, French, or an Indigenous language
  • must be directed by a Canadian citizen
  • must have a firm commitment from an eligible Canadian distribution company
  • fast track stream for second feature films: Telefilm will support the production of a second feature-length documentary by an emerging director whose first documentary feature was selected (after January 1, 2018), at one of the eligible major film festivals (Appendix A of the guidelines):
      • the first feature must be a Canadian documentary
      • applications must be submitted within the two calendar years following the selection
      • the budget for the submitted project must be between $400,000.00 and $2.5 million
      • the project must be directed by the same director as the project giving access to this Stream
  • 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 whose majority shareholder  is Indigenous
    • 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

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

August 13, 2018

List of required documents

A new version of the list of the required documents is now online

Key dates

Opening date
February 10, 2021

For all projects, from all regions

English, French, or an Indigenous language

The relevant guidelines for this application period will be released later this fall.

Closing date
February 26, 2021

For all projects, from all regions

English, French, or an Indigenous language

Contact persons


Raluca Tuturman

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

Carmela Sciortino

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


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

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

Judith MacInnes

Phone : 778.309.1777
Toll free : 1-800-567-0890

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


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