African Filmmakers Invited to Apply for Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund

Lalita Krishna
CO-Chair, Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs

Filmmakers who live and work on the African continent are invited to apply for the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs (HDBID) Fund which offers grants in the development and production of feature or broadcast-length documentaries.

HDBID Fund offers development grants of up to $10,000 CAD and production grants of up to $40,000 CAD to between four and ten projects annually, and up to five funded projects will be invited to participate in its year-long mentorship programme.

The mentorship is 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.

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. The 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.

To be eligible, the applicant must be the producer and primary rights holder of the project and must 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.

Applicants must have at least one previous professional credit to their name and 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); and be in development, production or post-production stage as of April 2024. The Fund will not consider projects that will be completed by Hot Docs 2024.

The application must be submitted online in English on or before the deadline January 5, 2024 at 5 pm ET. There is no application fee. All materials received by Hot Docs are confidential.

For full details about the Fund and to apply, please visit