DOC Atlantic Breakthrough

Applications are now open

DEADLINE: June 1, 2022


The DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program, led by Lunenburg Doc Fest, will help emerging talent from the Black, Indigenous and/or People of Colour communities to develop documentary projects through mentorship, training, and introductions to key decision makers in the film industry.

One BIPOC emerging media creator from each of the Atlantic provinces will be guided through this rigorous and intimate market-preparation course and mentorship program during which their documentary idea will be refined and made pitch-ready for markets at Lunenburg Doc Fest and The Dock Market, September 22-28, 2022, and Montreal International Documentary Festival’s Forum RIDM, November 19-23, 2022.

The program begins with online mentorship and a six-week workshop series on Wednesday nights, commencing June 29, 2022.

Participants will receive a stipend ($800) for their participation in the DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program. Additional support includes: a 1-year membership to DOC Atlantic, all-access passes to Lunenburg Doc Fest and Forum RIDM, plus travel and accommodation for Forum RIDM.

All Atlantic Canadian residents who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour and are available and motivated to advance their documentary project are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is June 1, 2022. Selected applicants will be notified on June 8, 2022.

As part of the DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program a part-time coordinator mentee will be engaged to train with Lunenburg Doc Fest throughout this program with the objective to help carry the program forward in the future. The selected mentee will be an Atlantic Canadian BIPOC-identifying administrator. No prior experience is required. Interested persons may submit a letter of interest, a resume, and references to by May 30th.


The DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program is presented in association with Lunenburg Doc Fest, Documentary Organization of Canada, Telefilm Canada, and the CMF.


Guidelines & Terms

The following information is required to apply:

Four emerging BIPOC producers, one from each Atlantic province, will be selected to participate in this five-month development program with participation in Lunenburg Doc Fest’s The Dock Market and Montreal Documentary Film Festival’s Forum RIDM.

To qualify applicants must:
• Live in Atlantic Canada and have been a resident for at least one year from date of application.
• Identify as Black, Indigenous or Person of Colour
• Be available to attend the six-week online Breakthrough workshop series and mentorship program, LDF’s Dock Market (online or on-site), and Forum RIDM
• Prepare your documentary and pitch to industry decision makers at two festival markets.
• Be a media creator who has at least one producing or directing credit; or who has a comparable level of industry experience in the arts.

Filmmakers who have made at least one feature or two short films that have been broadcast or premiered at a film festival are not eligible.

Free to apply.

If you have any questions or difficulty applying, please email Kate at

By submitting your application, you guarantee that your project is an original work and that there are no ownership or copyright disputes regarding this entry. You are authorized to submit this project and affirm that your submission will not violate any law or right of any person or entity.



1. Can I apply if I do not have a festival or broadcasting credit?

Yes, please demonstrate in writing your level of success with arts council grants, online distribution or related work in other areas of production, or applicable arts industry experience. 

2.  Can I apply with another member of my team?

No, only 4 total candidates can participate. We do not accept two participants for one project. 

3. Can I still apply if I’ve applied for other grants or funding for the same project? 

Yes! DOC Atlantic Breakthrough is a non-exclusive opportunity. You are still eligible for even if you have applied for other funding.

4.  Is there an age limit for applicants?

Applicants must be 18 years or older.

5. Can you share tips for making my application stand out with the selection committee?

  • Demonstrate a commitment to media creation and documentary film in particular. Cite previous experience as applicable. 
  • The DOC Atlantic Breakthrough program seeks candidates who are ready to professionally apply themselves to succeed. 
  • Focus your application on one strong and compelling project that is ready to progress to the pitching stage. Only one project per participant can be workshopped throughout the program. 
  • Illustrate your understanding of the viability of your project — project elements that require extensive travel, access, archives, music, or other potentially costly elements may detract from your application.
  • Share why you should be the one to tell this documentary story, and why now.  

6. How much time commitment is required?

The 6 weekly 60-120 min workshops, mentor time (schedule TBD), Lunenburg Doc Fest (Sept 22-28), and Forum RIDM (Nov 19-23). 

7. What is the cost of the program?

It is free to apply and selected artists participate for free also.

If you have a question that is not answered here please email Kate at