The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund (HDBID) for Filmmakers

Deadline: 5th of December, 2023

A fund specifically designated for filmmakers who reside and operate in Africa is called the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund (HDBID). The Fund provides funding for the creation and production of feature-length or broadcast-length documentaries. Every year, between four and ten initiatives are granted funding. Every application that is accepted will also be given consideration for a mentorship program.

A year-long mentorship program led by international mentors will be extended to up to five funded projects. The program includes participation in Hot Docs and Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival, year-round mentorship from seasoned documentary professionals, and access to a private digital filmmaker lab. In the past, these fellowships have included round-trip airfare, lodging, and assistance with obtaining accreditation for these foreign marketplaces and festivals.


The applicant must:

  • Be the producer and primary rights holder of the project
  • Have a registered production company that is associated with the project in a country on the African continent listed in the FAQ section.

In all cases both the director and producer must:

  • Hold citizenship, or have legal permanent residency, and primarily live and work in Africa. A complete list of funded countries can be found in the FAQ section
  • Have at least one previous professional credit to their name
  • Be in good standing with Hot Docs by application date

The project must:

  • Be produced and shot in Africa
  • Be either a high-quality feature or broadcast-hour length documentary to audiences both locally and internationally (school work, series, and fiction pieces are not eligible)
  • Be in development, production or post-production as of April 2024. The Fund will not consider projects that will be completed by Hot Docs 2024.

Eligibility for re-application:

  • A project can submit to the Development Fund and, then submit to the Production Fund at a later deadline, whether or not the Development Fund application was successful.
  • Submitted projects that do not receive funding may submit a maximum of one additional time only in another stream within the fund. Requests for resubmission must be received in writing to funds@hotdocs.ca. In some instances, the selection committee may invite a project to resubmit and they will be notified directly.

Selection Criteria:

  • Applicants will be informed of the Selection Committee’s decision approximately four months after the submission deadline.
  • Applications deemed complete and eligible will be submitted to the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Advisory, made up of documentary industry professionals who live and work in Africa, and selections will be made thereafter in conjunction with representatives from Hot Docs and Blue Ice Docs.

Click here to apply 

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