Hot Docs and Netflix Partner on It’s Funny Because It’s True

Initiative creates short docs that find humour in daily life

2 mins read

Hot Docs is partnering with Netflix to bolster the next generation of documentary filmmakers while tickling audiences’ funny bones. The festival announced today the creation of It’s Funny Because It’s True, a new initiative with Netflix in which five filmmakers will have a chance to create a short doc. The docs will explore the comedic side of non-fiction and screen to audiences via Netflix’s social media channels in 2022.

Hot Docs will administer the submission and juried selection process for It’s Funny Because It’s True, as well as work with the chosen filmmakers throughout the project. Selected teams will receive a budget of $20,000 (USD) and get mentorship from filmmakers and executives from Netflix’s doc team.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this exciting new initiative that will discover and support filmmakers and is sure to produce some incredible—and incredibly funny—short films,” said Erin Lau, managing director of Hot Docs, in a statement from the festival. “We can’t wait to hear these stories and watch these films.”

“How many times have you heard an unreal, hilarious story and said ‘that can’t be true?’ It’s too many times for me to count,” added Sarafina DiFelice, of the Netflix Originals Documentary team. “Comedy lends itself so well to this format and we’re excited to discover new non-fiction voices, which everyone out there will be able to watch on our Netflix Film social channels.”

It’s Funny Because It’s True is the latest partnership with the festival following the creation of the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project in 2018. Entries for the program will open September 29, 2021. Further application details will also be available that day on the Hot Docs website. The entry deadline for It’s Funny Because It’s True is November 3, 2021, although the festival notes that applications may close if submissions exceed 200 entries.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

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