Documentary filmmaker and producer Daniel Cross, BFA 91, MFA 98, is chair of Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.
Over six years, the director developed an intimate knowledge of Montreal’s homeless community to produce his first film, The Street: a film with the homeless (1997), born at Concordia. It earned him awards at film festivals in Vancouver, Vermont and Chicago.
His second documentary, SPIT: Squeegee Punks in Traffic (2001), let street kids tell their own story of survival and resistance.
In 2003, Cross founded Homeless Nation, a non-profit organization conceived as an online forum where outcasts, vagabonds and other groups excluded from the mainstream of society can share their stories “as an on-going dialogue for social awareness and positive change.” The United Nations recognized the activist project in 2009, granting Cross a World Summit Award.
Cross co-founded EyeSteelFilm, an award-winning production company with a filmography that includes works by fellow Concordians Yung Chang, BFA 99; Brett Gaylor, BFA 01; Xun Yu, MFA 11; Tony Asimakopoulos, Attd 93; and Mia Donovan, BFA 03.
Cross remembered in a 2013 interview the important role his former professors played in setting him on a successful career path. He is now acting as a mentor himself, positively influencing students and young filmmakers alike. In 2006, he received a Mentor Award from the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association. Through his work at EyeSteelFilm and the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, he has become a pillar of the Canadian film scene.