Hot Docs Opens Call for Citizen Minutes Pitches

By Pat Mullen

Hot Docs has opened the call for the new Citizen Minutes project. This endeavour to create original content invites filmmakers to explore stories of citizen engagement and democracy in action across the nation. Hot Docs will select 10 short docs (two to eight minutes) and micro docs (one to two minutes) from Canadian talents as part of the campaign. The Citizen Minutes docs will screen at Hot Docs 2021. Successful pitches will be selected by an internal committee at Hot Docs and will be produced by creative co-producers Lisa Jackson (Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier) and Lauren Grant (Metamorphosis).

Selected projects will receive financial, production and post-production support, in addition to potential mentorship opportunities. Applications will be evaluated based on feasibility, creative merit, audience, and fit with the mandate.

“In these challenging times, our interconnectedness and the importance of community has come into sharp relief,” said Jackson in a statement from Hot Docs. “In highlighting stories of citizenship in action, these films will inspire hope and engagement with each other and the world around us.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with Hot Docs to shine a spotlight on stories of civic engagement and healthy democracy,” added Lauren Grant. “The need for active citizen engagement is of paramount importance right now as we continue to witness unprecedented attacks on democracy around the world.”

The Citizen Minutes are the latest initiative in original content from Hot Docs after the 2017 anthology film In the Name of All Canadians. Hot Docs will be accepting Citizen Minutes submissions now through October 28 and are open to all Canadian filmmakers. The festival will host a virtual Q&A with Jackson and Grant on October 13 at 2:00 pm to provide further information.

To apply and/or learn more, please visit