What are the production trends? What are the regulatory issues? What are the policy hurdles? One of DOC’s key objectives is to keep documentary makers informed of what’s going on in the sector.


DOC’s publications tackle everything from Fair Dealing and Copyright to the economic state of the Canadian documentary sector, both in the broadcast and digital spheres.


Guided by our members’ needs, our research shapes DOC’ advocacy efforts.


Getting Real, The Digital Distribution Report and Fair Dealing and Copyright: Guidelines for Documentary Filmmakers are among the best analyses of the business of documentary and the legislation and policies affecting it.


The surveys are timely, informative and essential reading for anyone working in the Canadian documentary industry. Click here to have a look at DOC's publications and download your copy.

Impact Report and Toolkit
August 4th, 2017

DOC’s latest publication, Charting a Course for Impact Producing in Canada: Trends, Best Practices and Future Directions, follows the second of seven recommendations outlined in our 2015 report Philanthropic Funding for Documentaries in Canada: Towards an Industry-wide Strategy, to “Develop Impact Producing Skills of Filmmakers.”


In the past decade, the term “impact producing” has emerged to describe a new space in which filmmakers are mobilizing people, networks, and resources to create change. Impact producing is a very comprehensive way of grouping together and honing the many tasks that enter into the process of the making and marketing of a successful documentary. As this report demonstrates, it is a burgeoning field of skill development that upon closer scrutiny is incredibly rich in all of its possible permutations. Its development also comes at a propitious time when finding ways to make Canadian content stand out in the global digital environment has never been more essential.


Making Documentaries with Impact: A Toolkit is a companion piece to Charting a Course. The goal of the toolkit is to provide filmmakers, media artists, producers and distributors with information aimed at empowering them with knowledge and tools to understand, plan, communicate and measure the impact of their work. The tools and resources that have been selected for inclusion in this document are rooted in a large body of research drawn from respected funders, producers, outreach specialists and impact measurement professionals.


Click here to download a PDF copy of Charting a Course for Impact Producing in Canada: Trends, Best Practices and Future Directions
Click here to download a PDF copy of Making Documentaries with Impact: A Toolkit


September 16th, 2015

This study examines innovative initiatives that have been successfully introduced in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to engage the philanthropic sector to support the production and dissemination of documentaries.  Initiatives examined in the report include BRITDOC, the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF), The Fledgling Fund, JustFilms, the Chicago Media Project, the International Documentary Association’s Fiscal Sponsorship program, and Impact Partners. The goal of this examination was to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of these initiatives and how they might be applied to the Canadian context.


The findings show that compared to these other jurisdictions, Canada is behind in leveraging funding from the philanthropic sector. The Canadian sector, including grant making foundations, corporate and individual donors, represents a significant untapped resource for the documentary community.


Commissioned by the Documentary Organization of Canada, the report was made possible thanks to the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). The report was prepared by Maria De Rosa and Marilyn Burgess of MDR Communications.

To download the full report click here

For the press release announcing the launch of Philanthropic Funding for Documentaries in Canada click here

Growing the PIe - Alternative Financing and Canadian Documentary
May 1st, 2014

Growing the Pie - Alternative Financing and Canadian Documentary

Spurred by the calls of documentary filmmakers bemoaning that the traditional funding model for one-off and feature documentaries in Canada is “broken”, DOC undertook to find what other means producers are employing to finance their films.


Growing the Pie seeks to identify and define various means of alternative financing available to documentary producers; highlights the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches and investigates other jurisdictions and sectors to seek out additional funding alternatives.


The paper finds that some producers are turning to crowdfunding, equity investment, international co-productions, corporate branding and third sector investment (NGOs and foundations) to secure financing. Although not necessarily “alternative” - except maybe for crowdfunding - these approaches are decidedly not traditional.


To download the full report click here

To download a shorter handout version of the report click here

For DOC's press release announcing the launch of Growing the Pie click here

Getting Real: An Economic Profile of the Canadian Documentary Production Industry
November 19th, 2013

Getting Real: An Economic Profile of the Canadian Documentary Production Industry

Getting Real 5 is now available in French: Cliquez ici pour accéder à Toute la vérité 5

DOC publishes the 5th volume of Getting Real: an Economic Profile of the Canadian Documentary Industry. The report is an in-depth look at the state of Canadian documentary production up to the end of 2010/11 in both the English- and French- language markets. In spite of audience demand and in spite of finding new means of financing, the data indicates that Canadian documentary production is facing its steepest decline in production volume in almost a decade.

Click on the link below to download a copy of the report

Getting Real 5 (2013)

For the message from the Executive Director about the publication, click here.

For DOC's press release about Getting Real 5, click here.


About Getting Real

Getting Real gets into the nooks and crannies of documentary production and broadcast in Canada to provide detailed analysis on the health of the industry and its financial realities. The report provides a clear, contemporary view of the economics of documentaries in Canada, offering an in-depth look at topics ranging from viewership to funding.

Getting Real is produced by analyzing current statistics and providing a wealth of information on the financing, production, and viewing of documentaries in Canada. Focusing on television, feature-length/theatrical, this report traces developments in funding and policy that affect production. By examining documentary production by format, language and region, the report presents a longitudinal overview of developments and growth in the industry. Supplemented by case studies and appendices that contextualize the economic data, Getting Real situates Canadian documentary production within the larger Canadian film industry while also offering a regional and provincial outlook.

Now in its fifth edition, Getting Real is the only publication focused solely on measuring documentary production in Canada. It is regularly updated with additional statistics and analysis to provide greater context and insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian documentary industry.

The following previous editions of Getting Real are available for download below.


Getting Real 4 (2011)


Getting Real 3 (2007)


Getting Real 2 (2004)

Digital Distribution Report
November 1st, 2011

Digital Distribution Report: The Performance of Documentaries on Digital Services in Canada

DOC’s Digital Distribution Report establishes benchmarks for the performance of Canadian documentaries on broadcaster portals, charts how Canadian documentaries perform on iTunes, and tracks the number of views worldwide on the NFB website and apps.


The Digital Distribution Report is an environmental scan of Canada’s documentary digital distribution services. It provides statistics regarding the performance of films on some of Canada’s most popular documentary platforms, outlines the realities of digital distribution for Canadian documentaries, and explains the implications of advancements in digital content for Canadian documentaries. It also demonstrates both the potential for larger digital audiences, and the need to develop benchmarks and a persuasive business case for the digital distribution of Canadian documentaries.


Download DOC’s Digital Distribution Report.

Subscribe to Publications