Telefilm Canada – Theatrical Documentary Program


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

Comments on Funding:

Financing offered by Telefilm to successful applications will be as follows, subject to the availability of funds:

  1. For the Production Stage – For projects whose Canadian budget is less than $500,000: the lesser of 49% of eligible Canadian production costs or $175,000;
  2. For the Production Stage – For projects whose Canadian budget is $500,000 or greater: the lesser of 35% of eligible Canadian production costs or $500,000.
  3. For the Post-production Stage: the lesser of 49% of the eligible Canadian costs or to $75,000 (a maximum financial participation of).

Telefilm’s financial support will vary based on the total budget of the project and depending on the choice of the applicant as follows:

  1. choice between a non-repayable contribution or an equity investment repayable at a rate of 10% of the Applicant’s entitlement to the production revenues, for a period of two years for projects having a total budget of less than $2.5 million;
  2. choice between a repayable advance or a repayable equity investment for projects having a total budget of $2.5 million or more.

If Telefilm’s financial participation is in the form of an equity investment, Telefilm will acquire a proportionate share of the copyright in the project.
The applicant’s choice as to the form of Telefilm’s financing may affect the amount of federal or provincial tax credits that the applicant is eligible to receive in connection with the production or post-production of the project. Consequently, the applicant must determine, in consultation with its professional tax advisors, which form of Telefilm financing is optimal for the project.
Note that the choice of method of financing for Telefilm’s funding must be clearly indicated at the time of contracting.


Applicants must:

  • be a Canadian-controlled corporation, as determined under sections 26 to 28 of the Investment Canada Act;
  • have its head office in Canada and carry out its activities in Canada;
  • operate as an audiovisual production company.
  • Broadcaster-affiliated production companies based outside Quebec that meet the basic eligibility criteria in this section are eligible to apply.
  • Individual producers and other key production personnel exercising creative and financial control over the project submitted to Telefilm must be Canadian citizens, within the definition of the Citizenship Act, or permanent residents within the definition of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Additional eligibility criteria for the Indigenous Stream:

  • at least 51% of the project’s copyright (or 100% if there is only one applicant company) is held by a production company majority-owned and controlled by Indigenous persons;
  • the project shall be under the creative, financial and distribution control of Indigenous persons;
  • two of the three key members of the creative team (producer, director or screenwriter) are Indigenous.

Applications Steps:

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must complete the online application form and upload the documents below:

  • Incorporation Certificate, if modified since company’s last application to Telefilm;
  • Most Recent Treatment or Script;
  • Creative Production Plan;
  • Summary of Changes to Script and Creative Production Plan for production applications submitted more than once;
  • Rough Cut (or equivalent before Picture Lock) – for all post-production applications;
  • Creative Completion Plan – for all post-production applications.
  • Director’s Vision and Intentions;
  • Previous Work of Director(s);
  • Track Record Summary for all Producers, Directors and Screenwriters;
  • Promotion and Marketing Plan;
  • Firm Commitment from a Canadian Distributor;
  • Broadcast Licence Commitment(s) and/or Online Distribution Agreements for applications with a broadcaster or online distributor attached;
  • Coproduction and/or Joint Venture Agreement(s) as applicable;
  • Declaration Form – Designation of Main Applicant and Performance Ratio Sharing for all applications where there is more than one Canadian applicant;
  • Details of All Confirmed and Projected Financing;
  • Production Budget;
  • Declaration of Costs Incurred and Paid to Date;
  • Description of Chain of Title;
  • Declaration Regarding Projects Submitted to the Indigenous Stream – for Indigenous Stream applications only;
  • Community Engagement Plan;
  • Sustainability Plan – optional;
  • Request for Additional Funding for Remote Location Shooting – for applications submitted to the Indigenous stream where there is a request for additional funding for remote location shooting.
  • Request for Additional Funding for Capacity Building – for applications submitted to the Indigenous stream where there is a request for additional funding for capacity building.

Program Contact:


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    Theatrical Documentary Program

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