TVO Short Doc Contest 2019 is calling all Ontarians to enter their short documentaries by July 15, 2019, for a chance to win great prizes and to have their work seen by a wider audience. Whether you want to take your filmmaking career to new heights or simply want to tell a story, all residents of Ontario are encouraged to submit their video stories and share their perspective on a subject they feel passionate about. No previous documentary-making experience is required.

“The Short Doc Contest is a unique opportunity for TVO to connect with emerging and aspiring filmmakers who have diverse stories to tell from all across Ontario,” says Hannah Sung, Manager of Digital Video. “It is a true pleasure to screen the work and provide a platform for these stories and perspectives. We’re really looking forward to screening this year’s short doc entries!”

Participants are invited to enter original short documentaries up to 4 minutes and 45 seconds in length.

Contest Schedule:

April 15 to July 15, 2019 – Submit short documentaries at

July 16 to September 2, 2019 – Judging panel selects the finalists.

September 3 to September 16, 2019 – Public voting for the People’s Choice Award at

September 17, 2019 – Winners announced.


The exciting line-up of prizes includes cash, Hot Docs Festival and Cinema passes, a YouTube workshop, as well as memberships for TIFF and the Documentary Organization of Canada:

First Prize: $2,000 in cash and a doc-lover’s delight of passes including one to the Hot Docs Festival in 2020, and a one-year membership to the Documentary Organization of Canada. And for those who want to take their filmmaking career further or know more about the documentary industry, a one-on-one meeting with TVO’s Executive Producer of Documentaries, Jane Jankovic.

Second Prize: $1,000 in cash, a private tour of the YouTube Space in Toronto and a workshop on managing your YouTube channel, and a one-year membership to TIFF for two people.

Third Prize: $500 in cash and the chance to rub shoulders with film stars and industry movers and shakers with two tickets to the Canadian Film Centre’s annual BBQ fundraiser during the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

Best “Short Short Doc”:  Recognizing the best short doc which is 90 seconds in length or under. The winner will receive $500 in cash and a pass to the Hot Docs Festival in 2020.

The People’s Choice Award: As voted on by the public, this winner will receive $1,000 in cash, one year of free admission to all programming at the DOC Institute, and a one-on-one consultation with a DOC Institute board member.

All winners will also receive a one-year Hot Docs Cinema bronze membership, and finalists will have their documentaries showcased on


All submissions will be screened by a panel of judges including: distinguished documentary filmmaker Astra Taylor (What is Democracy?); TVO Short Doc Contest 2018 first-prize winner Sarah Gonyea; Hot Docs Director of Programming Shane Smith; and Colin Ellis, host of On Docs, a TVO Podcast.

For more information about TVO Short Doc Contest 2019, visit, and follow us @tvodocs on Twitter and Facebook using #TVOShortDoc.

About TVO
As the technological extension of Ontario’s public education system, TVO’s vision is to create a better world through the power of learning. TVO provides learning opportunities for Ontarians through innovative educational products, in-depth current affairs, thought-provoking documentaries, and award-winning TVOkids resources both inside and outside the classroom. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and is a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit