While he had always enjoyed watching films, Daniel trained in textiles and spent his early twenties as a painter. It was only after university that Daniel discovered filmmakers like Mike Leigh and Ken Russell, and started thinking more seriously about the art form.
He reflects that he would watch films with his mum as a child, and be taken aback by their ability to start conversations about topics they would never usually discuss. Little did he know then, that his first feature film Apostasy, inspired by his experiences of growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, would trigger lots of difficult discussions.
Daniel admits he had moments where he worried about getting the script right, about not being too judgemental of religion and how his friends and family might react to the film – was it all worth it? He says it was a relief when Apostasy was so well-received, and suddenly the whole process really did feel worthwhile. He realised how important a film it was when he started speaking to ex-Witnesses who told him how touched they were by his work.
Daniel is at the early stages of making ‘that tricky second film’, and is looking forward to making the most of the support offered by BAFTA, to help him establish himself and his career.