About DOC

Who is DOC?

The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) is the collective voice of independent documentary makers across Canada. DOC is the premier organization for Canadian documentary advocacy, analyzing policy, conducting insightful research and speaking up at all levels of government to help Canadian documentary flourish.

DOC helps Canadian documentary-makers get their work made and seen. We offer top-notch professional development and networking opportunities through our workshops, master classes, mentorship programs, services and benefits. Our vibrant network of professionals is connected coast-to-coast by an ever-humming members’ discussion group. The services we offer DOC members reduce their business costs and connect them to top industry players.

Documentary is a uniquely Canadian art form that blends passion, art, observation, humour and criticism. Our country has a rich history of documentary filmmaking, a tradition we honour and celebrate while advocating on behalf of current and future generations of Canadian documentary makers.


Documentary production thrives in a social, political and cultural environment that promotes independent voices and stories; fosters creativity, debate, social action and education; and values the tradition of excellence in Canadian documentary while advancing the evolution of the genre.


The Documentary Organization of Canada/l’Association des documentaristes du Canada (DOC) is the voice of Canada’s independent documentary creators. DOC champions the production and distribution of documentaries across all platforms; advocates on behalf of creators and producers; and connects and strengthens the Canadian documentary community.

A history of advocacy

From the beginning, advocacy has been at the heart of the Documentary Organization of Canada. The organization was founded as the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (CIFC) in 1983, at a time when major documentary funders like the Canadian Broadcast Program Development Fund (the predecessor of Telefilm Canada) excluded documentaries from their mandates.  It was clear that real political advocacy was required to address the issue and to improve conditions for independent documentary filmmakers in Canada.

The organization’s first regional chapter was founded in Montreal in 1988, and the national executive was formed in 1991. The Hot Docs film festival, founded by the CIFC, opened in 1994 and has grown exponentially ever since. From the mid-1990s onwards, the organization grew rapidly, and was officially renamed the Documentary Organization of Canada in 2003.

DOC works to solve the issues that affect documentary making at a legislative, institutional and funding level. Whether it is appearing before the CRTC or before a Parliamentary Committee or proposing policy solutions to decision-makers, DOC advocates on behalf of Canadian documentary makers.

A mandate to promote documentary filmmaking

DOC is guided by a mandate to promote and protect documentary and the people who produce them. While the needs of our members evolve over time, our advocacy is guided by several largely-unchanging principles:

We believe that independent documentaries are an essential component of Canadian culture.
Documentaries favour the expression of diverse perspectives and viewpoints on social, political and cultural realities, and promote reflection and debate.

Documentary makers should retain creative and financial control of their projects
And be able to present their work in the manner they consider best suited to their subject matter.

We believe a strong documentary culture requires constant and adequate funding for training, production and distribution, supported by all levels of government.
Investing in documentary strengthens our Canadian culture and our national economy.

Documentaries should be easily accessible on TV, the Internet and mobiles. We believe that all broadcasters, big or small, public or private, should include Canadian documentary as part of a diverse programming offer.

Contact Us

Operations Officer: Maythe Han

Festival Concierge Manager:  Julian Carrington
416.599.3844 x5 | 1.877.467.4485 x5

416.599.3844 x4 | 1.877.467.4485 x4

Toronto Chapter Director: Adam Shamoon

416.599.3844 x3 | 1.877.467.4485 x3

DOC Toronto Events and Programming Associate: Senaa Ahmad
416.599.3844 x3 | 1.877.467.4485 x3
http://www.doctoronto.ca and http://www.docinstitute.com