The Organization

The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) is the collective voice of Canada’s independent documentary creators. DOC began in 1983 as the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (CIFC) to represent the interests of Canada’s growing community of indie doc filmmakers. Today DOC has over 1100 members across six chapters from coast to coast.

DOC’s National office leads on research and advocacy work that strengthens the ecosystem for documentary production while DOC chapters provide local programming and community support. DOC’s mandate as a member-driven organization is to advocate for an equitable, sustainable environment for documentary production and to strengthen the sector within the broader cultural industry.

In June 2021, DOC’s National Board of Directors passed a motion to centre equity within all of DOC’s work, including at the level of the Executive Director, Board, Chapters and Committees and to work towards the well-being of all our members, and to advocate for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.

In January 2022, DOC launched its 2022-2025 Strategic Plan focused on these ten goals:

  • Centering Equity within all of DOC National’s Work
  • Increasing, Diversifying and Retaining Membership
  • Strengthening Regional Chapters
  • Enhancing DOC National’s Advocacy Work
  • Increasing Funding and Support for Documentary Creators
  • Improving Communications
  • Collaborating and Partnering with Others
  • Expanding DOC’s Capacity for Programming
  • Improve DOC’s Governance
  • Creating Sustainability and Business Development for DOC National



The CIFC (Canadian Independent Film Caucus) was founded in Toronto in 1983 and advocated successfully for the creation of the CFDC’s (now Telefilm) documentary broadcast envelope.


The CIFC launched POV Magazine, Canada’s premiere and longest running magazine covering documentary culture.


The CIFC was instrumental in bringing new documentary strands to public airwaves, including CBC’s Witness and The Passionate Eye.


The CIFC founded Hot Docs – now North America’s biggest documentary-focused film festival.


The CIFC was renamed DOC.


DOC Quebec co-founded the RIDM Forum, the industry component of North America’s largest francophone documentary festival.


DOC successfully advocated for the creation of the Canada Media Fund’s English POV Program.


The Ontario Chapter launched the DOC Institute, a dedicated hub providing professional development activities for non-fiction professionals.


DOC launched a two-year free membership program for Indigenous filmmakers, encouraging greater representation and equity in Canada’s film industry.


DOC launched Documentary Production in the Era of COVID-19: Best Practice by and for Documentary Filmmakers.


DOC launched a two-year free membership program for filmmakers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or Persons of Colour, encouraging greater representation and equity in Canada’s film industry.


DOC celebrated it’s 40th anniversary! In honour of this significant moment, DOC and its chapters throughout Canada organized a series of events.

DOC recently marked its 40th anniversary with a series of events across Canada, commemorating this milestone. To dive into the celebrations and get the scoop on all the events, CLICK HERE for more details.


The Documentary Organization of Canada/Documentaristes du Canada (DOC) is the collective voice of independent documentary creators across Canada. It is a member driven organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and developing the art form of documentary filmmaking. As a national non-profit association it advocates on behalf of its members to foster an equitable environment conducive to documentary production and strives to strengthen the sector within the broader media production industry.


The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) advocates for independent documentary creators. DOC:


Advocates for equitable access to resources, fair compensation and safer spaces for all documentary creators.


Champions for a sustainable and thriving ecosystem for the production and distribution of documentaries across all platforms.


Advances the rights of documentary creators from marginalized, underrepresented and misrepresented groups to hold agency in storytelling and production.


Supports, promotes and celebrates documentary creators, documentary culture and the documentary community in Canada, while fostering relationships among creators in Canada and with stakeholders worldwide.


Encourages a culture of documentary making based on honest creative exploration, inventiveness, respect, reciprocity, and responsible and ethical best practices.


Champions the creative, social and cultural contributions of documentary, including
its role in fostering civic engagement and a truly inclusive democratic society.


Our vision is that documentary is widely recognized as an essential part of Canada’s diverse social fabric; fostering greater understanding, activating discourse and inspiring social change.

In a truly thriving community, independent documentary creators benefit from an equitable media landscape, a sustainable financing ecosystem, and distribution networks that bring our documentaries to all audiences, nationally and internationally.
We envision documentary creation being rooted in a culture that values diversity of voice and expression, an exploration of creativity and form, and deeply ethical practices that are respectful, reciprocal and collaborative.

As DOC inclusively supports documentary creators to continually reimagine the genre,
Canada’s history of documentary storytelling is recognized, celebrated and critiqued.


These values continually guide and inspire us in our internal and external activities, operations, programs and advocacy, and measure our success:

  • RESPECT for documentary creators and the genre
  • TRANSPARENCY & ENGAGEMENT in everything we do, and how we serve our membership
  • EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION to create a documentary ecosystem that represents our vision of a just society, and encourages decolonization
  • CREATIVITY & COLLABORATION to continually advance the art form of documentary