Relief for Cinemas: New Fund from Hot Docs

Relief for Cinemas: New Fund from Hot Docs

The Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors (NICE) is delighted to partner with Hot Docs to support the Hot Docs Independent Cinemas Relief Fund. 

From March 23 to May 9, 2021 — inclusive of the dates of their annual festival — 100% of donations collected by Hot Docs will be allocated to a fund providing Canadian independent cinemas with urgent financial relief. 

Cinemas from coast to coast have been hit hard this past year, doing their part to reduce community transmission of COVID-19. NICE applauds Hot Docs for their commitment to keeping these treasured institutions open for audiences across Canada. We’re certain that when the economy reopens, our neighbours will want to reconnect and head out to the movies!

“Canadian communities need independent cinemas to survive and thrive,” reads the statement from Hot Docs. “For over a year, the pandemic has shuttered independent cinemas across the country, and many are fighting for survival. Hot Docs wants to ensure these cinemas continue to survive as a place where powerful documentaries can open hearts and minds, ignite conversations and forge community bonds.”

Hot Docs operates Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a historic Toronto venue that shows documentaries year-round, which has been a stalwart member of NICE. This fund shows their dedication to the enormous impact of independent film exhibition, sharing stories and building community. 

All eligible cinemas across Canada are encouraged to apply to the fund. 

Apply to the Fund

There are 14 grants of $2,000 available, with the potential for more depending on donations. Applicants must:

  • Operate a physical space where the primary purpose is exhibiting films to public audiences year-round 
  • Be an independent cinema; you must not be publicly traded and must not have more than 4 locations
  • Be located in Canada 
  • Have exhibited at least three feature length documentaries in the 12 months prior to pandemic closures 

Apply Here


All Canadian film exhibitors, including film festivals, film clubs and professional film programmers, are invited to join NICE! 

NICE film exhibitors are community oriented; we provide a meeting space for audiences and present high quality Canadian and international films.

We facilitate information-sharing and advocacy through monthly meetings and an online forum. And yes — it’s totally free. 


Explore Hot Docs Festival

North America’s largest documentary festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, will run online from April 29 to May 9, and tickets are available across Canada! You don’t have to go to Toronto to explore their stellar lineup of documentaries from around the world. 

It’s also great to see Hot Docs bringing gender parity to its program, with 50% of the directors in the program being women.

Explore Films