Daniel Ali is an American author and filmmaker from Jersey City, NJ. As a retired Corrections Officer, Ali saw countless numbers of his childhood friends suffer the indignity of incarceration and the staggering residual effects of recidivism. In 2019 he founded Gatekeeper Creative Works as a vehicle to develop talented inner-city youth in filmmaking, music, art, writing, and other forms of creative expression. He also works as a Youth Program Coordinator with the Jersey City Department of Recreation and Youth Development and is well known throughout the Black and Latino community for his tireless efforts on behalf of the youth of Jersey City.
Since 2019, Ali has published two novels, Love and the Game and Across the Middle. In 2021, his book Love and the Game was adapted into a Short Film which he also wrote and produced. The film was very well received and achieved honors at several top film festivals in the US and abroad, including The Golden Sands Film Festival in Istanbul Turkey, and the Bronze Lens Film Festival in Atlanta Georgia. In December 2022, Love and the Game, The Movie, became an on-demand favorite on the Tubi network, distributed by Fast Foward Films and Homestead Entertainment.
A second film, a full-length feature, called Delilah, based on his novel, Across the Middle, which Ali also wrote, produced, and directed is scheduled for release in the summer of 2023. In addition, Ali has written two books of poetry, Learning to be Me, a selection of original poems first published in 2019, illustrated by his nine-year-old daughter, Isabella, and Hopeless Romantic published in January 2022.
His future plans include the publishing of a group of short stories and essays in the New Yorker magazine and several new film projects based on his writings. He is also working to establish a film festival geared towards inspiring young Black and Latino filmmakers in Jersey City and the surrounding urban areas.
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