DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program



2022 DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program Participants


The DOC Atlantic chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada, with support from Telefilm Canada, Documentary Organization of Canada, DOC Institute, Canada Media Fund, and Lunenburg Doc Fest, is proud to announce the filmmakers selected for the first DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program.


See the full Press Release here.


Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown is an arts worker and emerging Inuk filmmaker. Hailing from Labrador, she has always felt a strong connection to the land and her culture. She currently lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador with her two children where she is working on a new Indigenous artist collective at First Light. Through her work, she wants to support the revitalization of traditional Indigenous arts practices, as well as the celebration of contemporary practices. She also sits on the Board of Directors at Riddle Fence, A Journal of Arts and Culture. Jessica recently shifted her practice to documentary filmmaking with a focus on stories that explore identity, language, belonging and roots. Jessica is the Assistant Director of Framed Spirit Song which is a short documentary premiering this fall at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

James Elloso

James B. Elloso is a writer and filmmaker from the Philippines, living in St. John’s, Ktaqmkuk, colonially known as Newfoundland, where he is writing his play titled Children of Tomorrow. He studied environmental science at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland and recently received a diploma in stage and screen techniques from Memorial University. Through his work, he hopes to inspire wonder and mindfulness for nature, including the human condition, because that too is part of nature.

Eliza Knockwood

Eliza Knockwood is a Two Spirit Mi’kmaq filmmaker living and working out of Epekwitk, also known as Prince Edward Island. She become the production coordinator on a television series and held that role for three years. In 2006 Eliza began her journey with documentary film and has directed several self-produced shorts and community productions. In 2021 Eliza directed her first longer form project called The Ice Walk which was initially created in partnership will Bell Fibe TV1 and then repackaged into a feature film. She will be filming another short form series for Bell Fibe TV1 called Time of Learning in the summer of 2022 and is currently developing a feature film titled The Rite of Passage.

Anna Quon

Poet and novelist Anna Quon likes to create paintings and short animated films of her original poetry. Anna is also a writing workshop facilitator and Zoom host of an arts and culture guest speaker series for a local mental health organization. Anna’s chapbook, Body Parts was published in 2021 by Gaspereau Press. She has released three novels with Invisible Publishing—Migration Songs (2009), Low (2013) and Where the Silver River Ends (2022). Anna lives in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) with her dad.

2022 DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program


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.

Four BIPOC emerging media creators from each 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 commencing June 30, 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 were encouraged to apply by June 14, 2022.

As part of the DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program we’re excited to share a remarkable part-time job opportunity! One part-time coordinator mentee will train with Lunenburg Doc Fest throughout the DOC Atlantic Breakthrough Program with the objective to help advance and carry the Program forward in the future. This work is limited to an average of 20 hours a month at $17/hr through November 30, 2022 — the work can be accomplished remotely. The selected mentee will be an Atlantic Canadian BIPOC-identifying administrator. No prior experience is required. Interested persons may submit a letter of interest and can apply here.

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


Guidelines & Terms

The following information is required to apply:

Four emerging BIPOC producers from the Atlantic provinces 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 produced or directed 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