About DOC Toronto
DOC Toronto is the oldest and largest chapter in the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) and the creator of the DOC Institute. DOC was founded by this chapter 30 years ago. Formerly known as the Canadian Independent Film & Video Caucus, DOC Toronto began as an advocacy group in 1983. The first of many successful lobbying efforts led to the creation of Telefilm Canada's documentary broadcast envelope, a landmark decision that helped to develop Canada's strong independent production industry.
Today, DOC Toronto has about 380 members including many international award winning documentary filmmakers. With a shift away from advocacy work (leaving that to the National office) our chapter is now solely focused on offering professional development programs to the non-fiction community at all experience levels.
After several vital Canadian programs for filmmakers closed their doors, we felt something was missing for the community and for our careers. We undertook a series of extensive interviews with documentary practitioners we knew and those we didn’t. We spoke to people of all experience levels, checking in with them about their career objectives and challenges, and asking what else we could do to support their journey. We found incredibly diverse projects, goals and dreams — but many common needs. With our strong programming track record (including conceiving the Hot Docs International Film Festival and Point of View magazine), and our deep roots in advocacy, we realized we could help in a meaningful way. So by strengthening our hub and expanding and formalizing our professional development offering, in 2013 we launched a first of its kind in Canada, the DOC Institute.