CBC Docs: The Passionate Eye

For over 30 years, The Passionate Eye has been an internationally renowned strand known for prestigious, high impact films. In addition to acquiring, CBC will now commission one-hour documentaries under this acclaimed banner. We are looking at both Canadian and international co-productions. With this change The Passionate Eye has moved from CBC News Network to CBC Television and CBC GEM.

Documentaries under The Passionate Eye banner are captivating, timely and surprising. They are driven by unforgettable, larger-than-life characters who either create a cultural phenomenon, or leave an indelible mark on a current cultural conversation. While these films vary broadly in tone, they all deliver deep and unique access to an actively unfolding, layered story with riveting twists and turns. Cinematically intentional and entertaining, they are character-driven documentaries with memorable moments people can't wait to talk about because a perspective has been shifted, or a new world has been revealed.

CBC continues to support both emerging and established filmmakers. We look forward to commissioning even more documentaries from filmmakers belonging to equity seeking groups in order to reflect an even greater diversity of authentic perspectives and voices.

Examples of past CBC Docs POV films that would align with The Passionate Eye: 

Other examples of the kinds of stories that would fit: 

What We’re Looking For

What is the story and what is your unique way into the story and the greater topical context; what is new about the story you are telling?

What access do you have that nobody else has? Who are you bringing to the table? In “Above the Law” the filmmakers had exclusive access to the central character and access to the security footage that captured his assault.

Who is driving the narrative of your documentary? Who are the unique memorable characters who will stick with the audience days and weeks after they watch the film? In “Shut Him Down”, Jordan Peterson is an outspoken, polarizing person who stands at the centre of the film’s drama.

Active Storyline:
What action will you capture in your documentary? All Passionate Eye documentaries will have active unfolding narratives, with twists and turns, reveals and surprises.
This means that we are not commissioning survey pieces or straight biographies.

Relevance and Resonance - Why Now?
How is your film relevant to a conversation we are currently having in Canada? “Cottagers & Indians” documented the conflict between Pigeon Lake cottagers and an Indigenous wild rice cultivator. Through this specific unfolding story, Indigenous writer Drew Hayden Taylor provides a new perspective on Indigenous rights.

In the case of true crime, what is compelling you to tell this story now and how will it stand out in an incredibly competitive marketplace? What is the fresh perspective or previously unknown elements will the film have? What new evidence will the film unearth?

We are looking for impactful documentaries and are open to a range of subject matter, tone and style.

Production Values: 
We want films that are cinematic with rich thoughtful visual storytelling that elevates the subject matter and keeps the viewer immersed in the story.

How to Pitch Us

Your proposal should briefly (1 to 2 pages) and clearly outline the story focus, themes and characters. Additional information on the creative team, financing and the production company should be included if possible.

Proposals can be submitted to the contacts listed below. All proposals are reviewed by the commissioning team on a regular basis.  If there is interest in a project, you will be contacted for further discussion. (General response time 4-8 weeks).  If the Network is interested in the concept, we embark on a phase of development, the deliverables of which are agreed upon by the producer and the CBC. Development funding is determined by the deliverables.


Topical, thought-provoking documentaries that provide a deeper dive into contemporary issues.

Examples of past acquisitions for the strand are:

CBC Submission Release Form

Materials will not be reviewed unless accompanied by a signed CBC Submission Release Form, downloadable here: Submission Release Form (PDF)

Please be advised that we cannot return materials submitted.

Contact Information

Documentary submissions for development or production should be emailed to: docpitch@cbc.ca
All finished documentaries for acquisition should be emailed to: pitch.acquisitions@cbc.ca

Michelle McCree
Executive in Charge of Production, The Passionate Eye

Christian Hamilton
Development Manager, Unscripted Content, CBC & documentary Channel

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