The Dion Haig Award recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship, as reflected in the recipient’s body of work and Festival film, as well as a track record of mentoring emerging Canadian filmmakers. Cross is the founder of EyeSteelFilm in Montreal, which produced Kalina Bertin’s Manic, Let There be Light, which was co-directed by Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko, and Tokyo Idols directed by Kyoko Miyake. All three documentaries are screening at this year’s Festival. Cross will be presented with a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation and Telefilm Canada, at the Hot Docs Awards Presentation on Friday, May 5.
“The generosity that Don Haig shared with me and many of my filmmaking colleagues shines as a guiding light, reminding us to provide mentorship in his spirit of generosity and kindness,” said Daniel Cross.
Daniel Cross is Associate Professor and the Research Chair in Interactive Documentary at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, in Montreal, QC. He has been inducted into the Provost’s Circle of Distinction and serves on Concordia University’s Board of Governors and The Senate. Cross’ recent film I Am The Blues recently won Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards. He is president and founder of Montreal-based EyeSteelFilm, which was named by Realscreen magazine as one of the world’s top 100 non-fiction production companies.
As part of the Award, the recipient can name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Telefilm Canada, and professional development opportunities at the Hot Docs Festival to further her career path. Cross has named Toronto-based filmmaker Kalina Bertin as recipient of this prize.
Past winners of the Don Haig Award include filmmakers Ed Barreveld (2016), Anne Pick (2015), Michael McNamara (2014), Merit Jensen Carr (2013), Mia Donovan (2012), Rama Rau (2011), Philip Lyall and Nimisha Mukerji (2010), Brett Gaylor (2009), Yung Chang (2008), Hubert Davis (2007), and Guylaine Dionne (2006).