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Hot Docs-Blue Ice Documentary Fund for Africans

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund invests in African documentary filmmakers to tell their stories and contribute to the next generation of African documentary talent.

The Fund provides development grants of up to 10,000 CAD and production grants of up to $40,000 CAD to four to ten projects annually.

Each year, up to five funded projects are invited to participate in a year-long mentorship program, which includes private filmmaker labs at Hot Docs and the Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival or other festivals and markets in Africa.

The Fund also collaborates with The New York Times—Op-Docs to commission shorts from African filmmakers to showcased on The Times’s Emmy® Award–winning online forum.

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund (HDBID) is a fund for filmmakers who live and work on the African continent. The Fund offers grants in Development and Production for feature or broadcast-length documentaries. Approximately four to 10 projects are awarded each year. All successful applications will also be considered for a mentorship program.

Development Grant Up to $10,000
Grant can reflect up to 100% of the development budget.
Production Grant Up to $40,000
Grant can reflect up to 50% of the production budget.

Short Documentary Grant
All eligible projects submitted to HDBID Fund will also be considered for The New York Times—Op-Docs short documentary, unless the applicant indicates otherwise. Op-Docs is a forum for short, opinionated documentaries, produced by independent filmmakers with wide creative latitude, covering current affairs, contemporary life and historical subjects. This does not affect your current or future application to HDBID Fund. It is possible to receive support from both Op-Docs and Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund or none. Learn more about Op-Docs.


Up to five funded projects will be invited to participate in a year-long mentorship program guided by international mentors, consisting of a private digital filmmaker lab, year-round mentorship from seasoned doc professionals, and participation at Hot Docs and Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival. Historically, these fellowships included round-trip travel, accommodation and accreditation support for these international markets 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 our FAQ section

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