Love documentaries? Then share your point of view! Please review the frequently asked questions and contributor guidelines, and submit using the form below. Thank you for your patience as we consider pitches.
Update: Please note that this form is for writers/contributors only. Requests for coverage should be sent to editors. Please note that due to a high volume of coverage requests, only successful requests may receive a reply. (Please check if we have already covered a film that has played on the festival circuit.) Preference is given to stories pitched in a timely manner, ahead of their premiere dates, with a predominantly Canadian audience in mind. Expressly promotional pitches will be deleted.
What type of stories does POV publish?
POV publishes stories about documentary film, photography, and digital media. We cover visual storytelling in non-fiction through reviews, interviews, features, essays, and festival coverage.
For print, pitch us stories that illuminate the context of a film’s production, or ones that unpack the significance of a documentary or filmmaker through in-depth analysis.
Pitches should reflect original content. Book excerpts are politely declined.
What should I include in a pitch?
Tell us about the documentary or documentaries you hope to write about, why they should be of interest to readers, why you are a good fit for the article, and how and when readers can see the work in question. (If you know.) Generally speaking, pitches that simply forward a press release are discouraged. (Chances are we have already received it.)
Please include some writing samples if you are pitching us for the first time.
Can I pitch for both print and online?
POV accepts pitches for both print and online, but asks writers/publicists/filmmakers to consider the differences that each format entails. Print issues of POV are published twice annually, generally in late April and early September to coincide with Hot Docs/DOXA and the Toronto/Vancouver International Film Festivals. Most print essays and features run between 2200 and 2600 words with shorter print preview articles running around 1200 words.
While we do include stories about new documentaries debuting on the festival circuit, print articles are best to be “evergreen.” We delay the online publication of most print articles as a courtesy to subscribers, so if there’s a sense of urgency for the article to be placed online, it’s best to pitch it as an online exclusive.
POV’s print readership is predominantly Canadian with a sizable portion of readers working in the documentary field. Our online audience is more general and international in scope. While we always consider both Canadian and international stories for print and online, we do take the audiences into consideration to ensure where a story is a good fit.
When should I pitch stories for print issues?
Pitches for the Spring/Summer issue (published in late April) should be received by mid-February. Pitches for the Fall/Winter issue (published in September) should be received by mid-June. We thank you in advance for your patience as we consider articles.
Should I submit an idea or a finished article?
Please pitch us an idea for a story. That way, we can provide the right editorial direction to shape it for our audience and publication.
Can I submit an academic paper?
Generally, no. POV publishes for a general audience. Consider POV readers as filmmakers and interested cinephiles.
Can I submit something that’s published elsewhere, or submit with the hopes of re-publishing this elsewhere?
POV publishes print issues twice annually, so print space is at a premium. This means that we won’t run a story that has been/will be published elsewhere. Our preference is for original articles. We generally don’t run excerpts from books for the same reasons.
I’m a filmmaker developing a documentary. What stories can we do in pre-production?
POV generally publishes stories about documentaries when they are at the premiere/release stage. This is simply because films inevitably change during the course of production. We’re always open to the right story though, so feel free to reach out anyway if it’s a good fit for online, or something we can keep on our radars for future coverage. We are open to publishing filmmaker diaries about your experiences during production.
Are you looking for a review of film x?
We generally run reviews upon a documentary’s premiere, either at a festival or upon its Canadian theatrical or broadcast release, preferably whichever is first. We generally won’t review a film long after its release, simply due to the volume of requests, so please consider pitching reviews in a timely manner. (Stories about older releases are best tailored to essays that consider them within a larger context. Add a ‘why now’ hook!) Please check our archive of film reviews to see if we have already reviewed it.
POV usually reviews a film once. POV only runs film reviews online since they are often time-sensitive. POV pays upon publication, so please take this into consideration if there is a press embargo.
Can POV promote my documentary or screening?
POV tells stories. We are happy to run reviews or interviews with notes on how readers may connect with a film, but we do not run promotional campaigns for films in an effort to keep a distinction between editorial and advertising.
Are you looking for an interview with filmmaker x?
We love interviews with filmmakers, craftspeople, and documentary subjects. Please check our catalogue of interviews to see if we have spoken with them recently. In some cases, we may not interview talent in close proximity or more than once per film. Please let us know about your access to the talent while pitching. Interviews are considered for both online and print. POV pays upon publication, so please take this into consideration if there is a press embargo.
Do you run stories on photography?
Yes! These articles mostly run as print features and may not always be published online due to rights issues associated with photos. When pitching, please provide a sense of photography that is available to accompany it, or if you have a sense of relevant contacts. Please note that we do have to consider licensing and photo rights when accepting photography-related articles.
Can I cover a drama?
Feel free to send us a pitch if the film has a tangible non-fiction element. Stories on hybrid works, experimental films, or creative non-fiction are welcome. We’re open to works that expand our idea of documentary!
I am a writer looking to get accreditation for a film festival. Is this possible?
We try our best to help writers access festivals when we can, although please note that space is at a premium for major festivals, such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and Sundance. Please contact us prior to the festival, during the accreditation process. We still consider freelance opportunities during festivals, subject to availability. However, it is expected that writers seeking accreditation submit coverage in a timely manner as festivals ask for clippings and we need to provide them to secure our places for the next year.
I am looking to access a festival for networking/complimentary purposes. Can I still get accreditation?
Generally, no. POV can only cover attendees who legitimately intend to report on the festival.
Does POV pay for articles?
Yes. POV is funded as a not-for-profit print publication, so print articles pay a higher rate. Print articles generally offer a rate per printed word, while online articles offer a flat rate. POV pays in CAD as it is a Canadian publication. POV pays upon publication, so please take this into consideration if there is a press embargo on the story that you are pitching.