TVO Today Short Doc Contest 2022 Rules and Regulations

Rules & Regulations (“Rules”) 

Contest Rules: 

Commencing September 7, 2022, at approximately 12:01 a.m. (ET) until April 14, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET) (the “Contest Period”), entrants may enter the TVO Short Doc Contest (the “Contest”) by providing TVO Media Education Group (TVO) with a YouTube or Vimeo link to an original documentary piece of no more than five minutes (5:00) (the “Video”) and other entry information as specified below. No purchase necessary. 

All entries submitted must include: 

  • A title; 
  • A working URL for your video on YouTube or Vimeo; 
  • A brief description of your Video — up to 100 words maximum; 
  • A brief description of who you are — up to 100 words maximum; 
  • Your full name; 
  • Confirmation that entrant is 18+, or a Permission Form for Minors signed by an entrant’s parent/guardian as applicable; 
  • Your contact information — phone number and email;
  • The name of the city or town where you live;
  • The name of your school, college or university, if applicable;
  • All requisite documentation.

Entries must be submitted at A scanned copy of the signed Permission Form for Minors and any relevant releases must also be attached.

The Video must be entirely original to the person (or group) submitting the Video (the “Entrant”) and may not contain any content (i.e. video clips, still images, music, etc.) that is not owned in its entirety by the Entrant.

The Video must be filmed and completed in the year 2022/2023.

In this Contest, an Entrant can submit an entry created by a group (i.e. a Video co- created by more than one individual) provided that all individuals of that group have given permission for entry. Each entry can be submitted by only one person. Prizes shall be awarded to the individual listed on the contest entry. TVO shall not be liable for any disputes within a group. One person can submit more than one Video, provided the Videos are substantially different from each other. An individual with multiple entries may have more than one winning Video.

This Contest is one of skill, and chance plays no part in determination of the winner.

Student films made with funding from a university or other institution are welcome, but if the school or institution holds the rights to the film, you will need their permission for entry.

NOTE: This Contest is open to all ages. All contest entries will be judged in the same pool regardless of the age of the Entrant.

Any Video which appears to TVO to have content that is not fully owned by the Entrant will not be eligible to win a prize in this Contest (and may be rejected by TVO from inclusion in any aspect of the Contest).

The Video must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an original piece of content; 
  • Be no more than five minutes (5:00) in length; 
  • Be primarily in the English language, or subtitled in English; and 
  • Be accessible online for viewing during the entire Contest Period.

CONTEST CLOSING: The Contest closes on April 14, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (ET). No submission will be accepted after the deadline under any circumstance.

All submissions must be made available to TVO to be broadcast and distributed on any platform in perpetuity.


The Contest is open to all residents of Ontario, excluding employees, contractors, representatives and agents of TVO (collectively “TVO Employees”), its prizing partners (including any sponsors of the Contest) and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries and agencies including, without limitation, their advertising and promotional agencies (collectively the "Prizing Partners") as well as immediate family members of, or persons domiciled with TVO Employees and/or employees of the Prizing Partners.

For Entrants (including any member of a group where the entry is a group entry) under the age of majority (which is 18 years of age), entry must be made with express consent from a parent or guardian who are residents of Ontario. Without such consent, the entrant cannot enter the Contest. In the absence of such parental or legal guardian consent, the Entrant will not be able to enter the contest. Entries from Entrants under the age of majority that do not include a completed and signed Permission Form for Minors will be disqualified. A copy of the Permission Form for Minors can be found on TVO’s website at:

The winning Entrant or a winning Entrant’s parent/guardian as applicable must sign a declaration of compliance with the Contest Rules and a release (the “Declaration and Release”) in order to receive the prize components. All information obtained for this Contest will be used only for the purposes of conducting the Contest.

The Contest is void where prohibited by law and is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations.

Selection of Winners:

Determination of the top three (3) winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd prize) consists of two rounds of evaluation. A panel of judges chosen by TVO (collectively, the “Judges”) will select finalists (individually and collectively referred to as “Finalist(s)”) in the first round, and then the top three winners will be selected in a second round of evaluation. A winner will also be selected amongst the Finalists for the best video created by an Entrant under the age of 18 at the sole discretion of TVO if there are enough entries of quality to merit the awarding of the Young Filmmaker Prize. Additionally, a winner will also be selected amongst the Finalists for the best video created that depicts a story in Ontario at the sole discretion of TVO to merit the awarding of the My Ontario Prize. In addition, there will be one (1) People’s Choice Award, which will be determined by public voting from amongst the Finalists selected by the Judges.

The Judges will assess the submissions using the following criteria ("Judging Criteria"):

  1. 1
    The issue featured in the Video is meaningful to the Entrant;
  2. 2
    The Video tells a good story;
  3. 3
    The Video elicits an emotional response from the viewer;
  4. 4
    The submission includes all requisite documentation;
  5. 5
    The Video is technically proficient;
  6. 6
    All necessary rights and permissions have been properly obtained; and
  7. 7
    The entrant is under the age of 18 (for the Young Filmmakers award).

The Finalist entries selected in round one (“Finalist Entries”) will be chosen on or before May 16, 2023. These Finalist Entries will be posted online at (“Web Page”), where visitors to the Web Page can view them. The actual total number of Finalists shall be selected and determined by TVO in its sole discretion.

In round two, the Judges will select the top three (3) winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd prize) from the Finalist Entries. As well, the Judges may select one (1) video as the best in its class from Entrants under the age of 18 to receive the Young Filmmaker Prize, if in the sole discretion of TVO there are enough entries of quality to merit the award of such a Prize. The Judges may also select one (1) video as the best in its class to depict life in Ontario to receive the My Ontario Prize, if in the sole discretion of TVO there are enough entries of quality to merit the award of such a Prize. In addition, from the Finalist Entries, the voting public will determine the one (1) People’s Choice Award (“P.C.A.”). The Finalist Entry with the most votes will win the P.C.A. The public may vote for the P.C.A. during the period commencing on or about May 23, 2023, and ending on or about June 2, 2023 (“The Voting Period”).

During the Voting Period, voting will be monitored closely: ONE VOTE PER PERSON. A single IP Address may only have five (5) votes.

In the event of a tie for the P.C.A., the tied entries will be resubmitted to the Judges to determine the winner between the tied entries alone.

One entry may win multiple prizes in this Contest. For example, an entry could win one of the first, second, or third prizes, as well as the P.C.A. and/or the Young Filmmaker Award and/or the My Ontario Award.

All prize winners will be referred to individually and collectively in these Contest Rules as the “Winner(s)”. The Winners will be announced on or around  June 9, 2023.

Once a Winner has been selected, the Winner or the Winner’s parent/guardian as applicable must sign the Declaration and Release 1) releasing TVO and any Prizing Partner(s) from all claims that may arise in connection with the Contest or the Prize and 2) agreeing to the use of the Winner’s name, address and photograph (and the name of the Winner’s postsecondary institute, if applicable) without payment, in any subsequent publicity or advertising, for news or information purposes, carried out by TVO and/or any Prizing Partner(s). The Winner or the Winner’s parent/guardian as applicable must also have signed Releases with No Fee (in the attached) for every person appearing in the Short Documentary submission and the appropriate supporting music SOCAN documentation.

By participating in this Contest, if chosen as a Finalist an Entrant agrees that his/her name, photograph, voice and/or image may be used in any and all forms of media, without any further compensation by TVO. Finalists waive all rights (including moral rights) with respect to printed, broadcast, online and other forms of publicity and/or use by TVO or any Prizing Partners. Furthermore, each Finalist shall ensure his/her Video shall be given to TVO on a format suitable for broadcast and for display on the Web Page. Suitable formats shall be determined in the sole discretion of TVO

Technical Requirements:

All Entrants must be prepared to provide their Video with the following technical specifications to TVO upon request:

  • Video at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, at a frame rate of 29.97, interlaced video. 
  • Accepted video codecs are Sony XDCAM HD 50, Apple ProRes HQ 422, or Panasonic DVCPro 100.
  • Preferred wrapper file formats are .mxf or .mov.
  • Audio should be a stereo mix on channels 1 & 2, with audio peaks no
  • higher than -10dB.


There are up to five (5) prizes (individually and collectively the “Prize(s)”). TVO is under no obligation to award the My Ontario or Young Filmmaker Award. The My Ontario and Young Filmmaker Award will not be awarded if in TVO’s sole discretion there are not enough qualifying entries to merit an award. All dollar values are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified.

The First Prize consists of the following elements:

  • Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000); and
  • Other prizes TBD; and
  • A pitch session with TVO’s Executive Producer of Documentaries, Jane Jankovic (the “Pitch Session”). This portion of the First Prize has no approximate retail value. If the Pitch Session is cancelled or postponed due to circumstances beyond the control of TVO, the Pitch Session portion of the First Prize will be cancelled without substitution or compensation.

The Second Prize consists of the following elements:

  • One Thousand Dollars ($1,500); and
  • Other prizes TBD

The Third Prize consists of the following elements:

  • Five Hundred Dollars ($1,000); and
  • Other prizes TBD

The My Ontario Prize consists of the following elements:

  • One Thousand Dollars ($1,000); and
  • Other prizes TBD

The Young Filmmakers Prize consists of the following elements:

  • One Thousand Dollars ($1,000); and
  • Other prizes TBD

The People’s Choice Award Prize consists of the following elements:

  • One Thousand Dollars ($1,000); and
  • Other prizes TBD


The Prizes are not transferable or convertible to cash and must be accepted as awarded. Any changes, cancellations and/or adjustments, and any associated costs are the sole responsibility of the Winner.

TVO shall not be liable for a Winner’s inability to use or enjoy any portion of the Prize he or she is awarded in this Contest, nor will TVO be in any way liable for a Winner’s use of the Prize.

Winners will be required to pay all other expenses to enjoy any portion of his/her prize including but not limited to transportation and accommodation expenses (including insurance).

Any promotional content using a Finalist or Winner’s Video will be produced solely by TVO.

TVO reserves the right to substitute any Prize (in whole or in part) with an alternative prize of equal value and/or specification, unless to do so would be prohibited by law.

The aforementioned Pitch Session and Meeting component of the First Prize shall be scheduled with the applicable Winner in such a way that is convenient to the schedules of TVO and/or the Mentor as applicable. The exact scheduling and allocation of time for the Meeting are to be determined by each of TVO and the Mentor in their own sole discretion. Neither TVO nor Mentor shall be liable or responsible for any scheduling conflicts, delays, disruptions or cancellations of the Meeting or Pitch Session.

The date of television broadcast and the date(s) of distribution on other TVO media shall be determined by TVO in its sole discretion.

Content Restrictions:

  • Video must abide by our TVO Journalistic Standards;
  • Video must not contain material that violates or infringes another's rights, living or deceased, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement;
  • Video must not disparage TVO or any other person or party affiliated with the promotion and administration of this Contest
  • Video must not feature brand names or trademarks;
  • All footage and music contained in the Video must be properly licensed, in the
  • public domain, or created by Entrant;
  • Video must be suitable for publication in a public forum (as determined by TVO in its sole discretion), may not contain gratuitous nudity, profanity, threats of physical violence, or material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations of Ontario, Canada;
  • Video must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous; and
  • Video must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  •  All Entrants must have the right to grant to TVO the right to broadcast and distribute the Video on any platform in perpetuity.

TVO reserves the right to disqualify a Video from contention if the Video fails to comply with the Content Restrictions and these Contest Rules.

Releases and Copyrighted Material:

If a Video contains any copyrighted material (music, for example), the Entrant will be responsible for securing the licensing rights. (To avoid the expense and difficulty of securing such rights, we recommend using only original or non-copyrighted material). If copyrighted material is used, such as copyrighted Music, such rights should be licensed for publication on multiple platforms. Entrant must have permission from all individuals that appear in the Video to use their name and/or likeness in the Video and to grant the rights set forth herein. If requested by TVO, Entrant must be able to provide documentation of such permissions and licences in a form acceptable to TVO.

Copyright in Video & Licence of Video to TVO:


General Conditions:

TVO is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry or registration or entry information or any factor which may affect a person's ability to participate in the Contest, including but not limited to human error, technical malfunctions, lost/delayed/corrupted data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software or any combination thereof, any inability to access the Web Page, or damage to a user's system occasioned by participating in the Contest, and entries which fail to fully comply with these Contest Rules.

No responsibility will be taken by TVO for the Entrant's inability to upload a file or connect through to the Internet/website during the Contest Period. Prizes are non-transferable and must be accepted as awarded with no substitutions, whether in cash or otherwise. TVO reserves the right in their sole discretion to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if for any reason a prize or portion of a prize cannot be awarded as described.


TVO reserves the right to verify the validity and originality of any entry and/or Entrant (including an Entrant's identity and address) and to disqualify any Entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Contest Rules or who tampers with the entry or winner selection process. Failure by TVO to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights. TVO reserves the right to remove any Video and to not broadcast or publish any Video for any reason.


If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of TVO that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, TVO reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry/voting process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest.


All personal information, such as name, address, telephone number, and email address submitted with an entry, is collected solely for the purposes of administering this Contest and, subject to the herein authorized uses, shall not be used for any other purpose without consent. By providing this information, and by submitting an entry form, all Entrants are hereby deemed to consent to their submitted information being used for the stated purposes. This consent includes, but is not limited to, receiving emails with regard to the Contest from TVO at the email address provided by the Entrant.


Entrants agree to abide by these Contest Rules and by all decisions of TVO, which are final and binding with respect to all aspects of the Contest, including, without limitation, eligibility and/or disqualification of entries. TVO reserves the right to amend these Contest Rules in its sole discretion, at any time, and without providing any notice. This includes TVO’s right to amend any dates referenced in these Rules, including the right to extend dates as TVO may determine from time to time.


By entering the Contest, Entrant represents, acknowledges, and warrants that: a) the submitted Video is an original work created solely by the Entrant; b) the Video does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity; and c) that no other party has any right, title, claim, or interest in the Video.

By entering this Contest, all Entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless the Prizing Partners, TVO and its partners, sponsors, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activities, the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder and any herein authorized use of the Contest entry information or Video.

TVO assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. TVO is not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to Entrants' or any other persons' computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Contest.