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Hot Docs and Astral Media are pleased to announce the call for applications for the second year of The Astral Media Emerging Documentary Filmmakers Scholarship Programme, an initiative designed for emerging-level filmmakers who are intending to pursue documentary production as a viable, long-term career option.

This programme was created for emerging documentary filmmakers in the regions of Quebec and British Columbia. Applications may be submitted in either French or English.

The programme is comprised of three components: The Doc U Scholarship Programme, the Kickstart Series Bursary Programme, and the Toronto Documentary Forum (TDF) Scholarship Programme.

Astral Media’s Doc U Scholarship Programme provides five emerging filmmakers from Quebec and British Columbia with enrollment to the week-long Doc U programme. Now in its third year, Doc U provides doc-makers who are completing or who have recently completed film school with invaluable behind-the-scenes festival experience through mentorship and curated sessions with industry professionals. Astral Media’s Doc U Scholarship Programme provides a $1,000 travel stipend as well as full industry accreditation to Hot Docs festival, conference and market events.

The Kickstart Series Bursaries will provide up to 20 emerging filmmakers from Quebec and British Columbia with enrollment to the Kickstart programme, a day-long series of panels held during the Hot Docs conference that are geared to emerging and mid-career directors. Kickstart Bursaries will also provide recipients with full industry accreditation to Hot Docs festival, conference and market events.

The Toronto Documentary Forum Scholarship will provide full TDF Observer accreditation to two emerging filmmakers, one from British Columbia and one from Quebec. Hot Docs’ renowned market event, the TDF is a unique presentation forum that assists independent documentary producers from around the world and their market partners to raise co-financing from the international marketplace. For buyers, the format offers a slate of pre-selected projects in development and production by some of the world’s most interesting filmmakers.


Applicants must reside and work in either British Columbia or Quebec. They must also:

Be at an emerging career level with a demonstrated commitment to their profession (i.e. membership with a professional organization, volunteer work in the film and television industry, and a CV indicating past experience working in documentary)
Have financial need and high potential illustrated through demonstrated success
Additional selection criteria:

Candidates must commit to participating fully in the programme (schedules must be conducive to attending the events/training)
Candidates must be creative, innovative, resourceful, and willing to help push the boundaries of the documentary genre
Candidates desire to deepen their understanding of financing, co-production, and access to broadcasters

Please include a cover sheet with your name, the name of your production company, your mailing address, telephone number, fax number and email address, followed by:

A letter outlining your interest in participating in The Astral Media Emerging Documentary Filmmakers Scholarship Programme and how you feel you would benefit professionally from the experience (maximum 1 page)
A current resume, including a list of your key production credits (maximum 2 pages)
A brief description of your current documentary projects in development (maximum 1 page per project)
Deadline for completed applications is 5:00 PM, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2009. Applications should be emailed to: mschock@hotdocs.ca.


Following the submission deadline, a selection committee of industry professionals will review all applications. Successful applicants will be informed of their participation the week of February 23, 2009.

All participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire within one month of the end of the programme and submit a brief update six months after the programme documenting any production opportunities that arose from the programme.

For information regarding the application process, please contact:
Magda Schock, Sponsorship Marketing Coordinator
P: 416-203-2155 ext. 260
E: mschock@hotdocs.ca

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