- Daniel Kwan is an American director/screenwriter.
- He’s one half of the directing duo ‘Daniels.’
- In 2023, he was nominated for an Academy Award.
Nominations for the 95th Academy Awards are officially on the table, and aside from some surprise snubs, the nominations were generally as expected. In the category of directing, several highbrow and artistic films were nominated, including The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, and
Triangle of Sadness.
Daniel Kwan, alongside his directing partner Daniel Schienert, were nominated in this category for their work on Everything Everywhere All At Once, a comedy-drama starring Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, among others. They also received a screenwriting nod. Here’s what to know about one half of the “Daniels” who were nominated in two of the Academy Awards’ most distinguished categories.
Daniel works with a partner…also named Daniel
While Daniel Kwan was credited as the director of Everything Everywhere All At Once, what many people don’t know is that he works side by side with another Daniel — Daniel Scheinert. The duo are both credited with writing and directing the film, and with their latest effort, they’ve clearly hit the nail on the head.
They also worked together on 2016 feature film Swiss Army Man (starring Harry Potter icon Daniel Radcliffe) for which they won an Independent Spirit Award in 2017.
He’s a music video director
On their official website, the Daniels claim music video directing credits for superstars including Jack Black‘s Tenacious D, The Shins, and Manchester Orchestra, among many others. They have also collaborated on short films reaching all the way back to 2009, with a project called Swingers. They followed those up with Puppets in 2010, My Best Friend’s Wedding/My Best Friend’s Sweating in 2011, Possibilia in 2014, and Interesting Ball in 2016.
Not to be limited, they’ve also worked in TV, including episodes of NTSF:SD:SUV::, Childrens Hospital, Infomercials (a series of Adult Swim comedy specials), and Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens. On his own, Kwan is also credited with a stint on Legion in 2019.
Daniel Kwan is married to a fellow film director
Kwan is married to successful director and animator Kristen Lepore. In fact, she’s credited as a visual effects artist on his film Everything Everywhere All At Once. Her filmography also includes short film series I Am Groot (2022) It’s My Party (2018), and Story From North America (2007).
On August 22, 2016, Kwan took to Instagram to share a romantic tribute to his equally talented wife. “This is Kir and I the day after our wedding,” he wrote alongside a pic of the couple snuggling up on a couch. “I’m not ready to post an actual picture of the wedding because I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with a caption that will do it justice. I will probably never have the words to describe the insanely transcendent rocket ship made of clouds we found ourselves on the day we got married, but it was one of those rare times where life exceeds all expectations and gives you a wholly new experience. I generally avoid hyperbole, unless it’s a joke, but this really was one of the best weekends of my life. Photo cred: @chelseanicolelepore #kwanlepore.”
They share a child, Gio Lepore Kwan, born in 2019. “Kirsten was a straight up warrior princess throughout this sometimes impossible-seaming process and I’m so excited to start this next chapter with her and Gio,” he wrote alongside a carousel of hospital pics on Feb 17, 2019.
He’s highly celebrated
It’s evident that Daniel Kwan is talented. But with the release of Everything Everywhere All At Once, his success has gone stratospheric. The critical response was nearly unanimous, with a 95% critical rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The Daniels have also picked up wins at the Saturn Awards, Hollywood Critics Association, Gotham Independent Film Awards, American Film Institute Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and Critics Choice Movie Awards.
The film garnered nominations from the Golden Globes, Satellite Awards, AACTA International Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards, among others. Obviously, the nomination for an Oscar is the career pinnacle for any filmmaker.
He met his directing partner in college
According to Kwan’s Wikipedia page the highly successful writing and directing partnership began in college. They were both studying film at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts (Kwan was born nearby in Westborough.) Per Boston.com, in 2009, Kwan still had a year of college when they became teaching assistants at the New York Film Academy summer camp, which is where they really began to bond as filmmakers.
“That job was kind of where we started working together,” Scheinert told the outlet. “That’s kind of why Daniels exists now. We were summer camp counselors, and we were both so hyper and so enthusiastic about making really weird movies with the kids that we kind of realized we were kindred spirits, so we decided to keep making our own summer movies after hours.”
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