Netflix and Hot Docs have announced a new short documentary initiative, It’s Funny Because It’s True, which aims to focus on up-and-coming documentary filmmakers by highlighting their funniest non-fiction stories.
Five filmmakers will be selected to participate through an open call process, with the finalists each receiving $20,000 to create their films. They will work on their projects under the mentorship of experienced executives, Netflix’s own documentary team, as well as other film professionals.
It’s Funny Because It’s True is the latest initiative between Netflix and Hot Docs, following their collaboration in 2018 to launch the Hot Docs Canadian Storytellers Project, a five-year initiative that invests in core funding and professional development programs for Canadian filmmakers. For It’s Funny Because It’s True, Hot Docs will handle the submission and juried selection process and will work with the selected filmmakers.
The finished short documentaries will debut in 2022 on Netflix’s social media channels, which have more than 7 million followers worldwide.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this exciting new initiative that will discover and support filmmakers and is sure to produce some incredible — and incredibly funny — short films,” said Erin Lau, managing director of Hot Docs, in a release. “We can’t wait to hear these stories and watch these films.”
“How many times have you heard an unreal, hilarious story and said ‘that can’t be true?’ It’s too many times for me to count, which is why Netflix is partnering with Hot Docs to find the funniest stories in a documentary short format,” added Sarafina DiFelice of the Netflix Originals Documentary team. “Comedy lends itself so well to this format and we’re excited to discover new non-fiction voices, which everyone out there will be able to watch on our Netflix Film social channels.”
More information on the initiative, including entry guidelines, is available here.