When Daniel Northcott got a hold of his father’s video camera at the age of seven, a lifetime of documenting the world around him began. Growing up, he focused his lens on his family and close friends, and as a young man, he recorded precious moments with the people and places he encountered on his travels, striving to live a life of love and seek out universal human connection. The deeply personal and poignant HBO documentary feature DANIEL chronicles his mission to pursue an epic adventure, Daniel visits war zones to sacred sites, including a Mayan burial ground in a cave in Mexico. He would often take a keepsake from each location as a reminder of his connection to the earth. But Daniel’s world travels abruptly end when he must return home to Vancouver because of health reasons. While undergoing treatment, he is haunted by the memory of an ancient Mayan curse and goes on a quest to put things back where they belong before he runs out of time. Crafted from over 1,400 hours of vérité-style footage shot in 42 countries across four continents, DANIEL is an unflinching self-portrait of a young man with an insatiable curiosity and a boundless desire to understand the world and his place in it. Daniel’s sister, Erin Northcott joins us for a conversation on her own journey to honor his memory, beginning with her decision to become the film’s producer and then assembling an award winning team of film veterans to help her turn a mountain of images into a deeply affecting portrait of a man in search of the irreducible essence of what it means to be human.
The HBO Original documentary DANIEL, directed by first-time filmmaker Daniel Northcott, debuts on HBO and is available to stream on Max.
HBO Documentary Films presents DANIEL. Directed by Daniel Northcott; produced by Erin Northcott, Jeff Waxman, Jennifer Madeloff, Dan Walser, Ricky Staub, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller; senior producer, Tina Nguyen.