documentary Channel

documentary Channel is a CBC specialty channel and Canada’s signature destination for provocative, thoughtful, and entertaining documentary programming.  As Canada’s only documentary channel, it brings viewers documentary programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

PLEASE NOTE:  documentary Channel is currently pausing on acquiring any new completed programming.  We are currently only accepting pitches and submissions for development and/or production (Commissions)

 

OUR PROGRAMMING

documentary Channel focuses on a wide scope of topics and presents a dramatic blend of styles and formats. While films that focus on social issues and the human condition play a key role in our schedule, each night features a block of themed programming in primetime. CRTC regulations require documentary Channel to air 75% Canadian content throughout the day and in primetime.
We look for character driven documentaries that provide relevant, compelling insight on important issues that relate to our lives. Stories of individual triumph and social unrest told through a strong narrative voice - sweeping epic tales and personal human journeys. 

 

OUR SCHEDULE

The primetime schedule presents a varied and eclectic mix of documentary subjects and is represented in several strands and anthologies across the grid.
  • True Crime Mondays feature stories of crime, the perpetrators and those who pursue them;
  • Life & People Tuesdays explore personal journeys;
  • History Wednesdays feature stories from the recent past that make history feel current and relevant today;
  • Adventure Thursdays showcase stories of athletes, daredevils and ordinary people in extraordinary situations;
  • Spotlight Sundays anchor the week with a selection of feature length, critically acclaimed films from Canada and around the world.
 

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

documentary Channel commissions a range of feature length documentary films each year; the rest of our programming inventory is built primarily on acquisitions.

TV one-hour and feature-length documentaries are considered for production and development. Subject matter should be of interest to Canadian audiences. The stories should follow a resolved and well thought out treatment and be executed with solid production values. They do not need to fall into one of the Schedule’s strands (see above), but it is great if they do.

While the channel showcases documentaries on various topics they all tend to be character driven films with well-defined narratives. They must be universal in scope and relevant to our audiences over the duration of the licence. 
 
 

HOW TO PITCH?

Submissions should be sent to: docchannelpitch@cbc.ca 

If you are submitting a pitch to documentary Channel for an original Commission (development or production), please be sure to include a signed and scanned copy of the submission release form (link below)  Materials CANNOT be reviewed unless they are accompanied by a signed release form.  Please also note documentary Channel receives an extraordinary number of pitches and we endeavour to thoroughly review all submissions. We strive to deliver a response within 8 weeks and appreciate your patience while we consider your film.

 

THE DEAL

For commissioned films, a 6-year license is standard and compatible with the requirements of the Canadian Media Fund. We welcome funding from other organizations such as provincial agencies & educational networks, the National Film Board of Canada, and other specialty channels, foreign broadcasters, Canadian French-language networks including SRC and RDI, and recognized funders like the Rogers Group of Funds.

Infrequently, documentary Channel is open to second window deals with other broadcasters, but will otherwise insist on a substantial exclusive first window. documentary Channel will also consider taking second windows on some films where appropriate.

 

Submission Release Form

Materials will not be reviewed unless accompanied by a signed CBC Submission Release Form, downloadable here: Submission Release Form (PDF)
 
We will respond to all submissions within 8 weeks of receiving a signed CBC Submission Release Form. Please note that we cannot return materials submitted.
 

Contact Information

email: docchannelpitch@cbc.ca
 
Postal Address
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
PO Box 500, Station "A"
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5W 1E6
 
Shipping Address
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
205 Wellington Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5V 3G7
 

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