Emerson alumni ‘the Daniels’ sweep the Oscars in seven categories

The+Daniels.

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The Daniels.

By Bailey Allen

Emerson College alumni Daniel Scheinert ’09 and Daniel Kwan ’10 swept the 95th annual Academy Awards with their feature film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” clinching seven Oscars.

On March 12, the duo, affectionately dubbed “the Daniels,” won Best Picture (along with Jonathan Wang), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. Michelle Yeoh won Best Actress, Ke Huy Quan won Best Supporting Actor, Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress, and Paul Rogers won Best Film Editing for the movie.

The film also made history—Yeoh celebrated becoming the first Asian woman to win Best Actress at the Oscars, playing a middle-aged Chinese immigrant who is “swept up into an insane adventure in which she alone can save existence by exploring other universes and connecting with the lives she could have led,” according to IMDB.

The Oscars voiceover announcer on the broadcast credited the college with Scheinert and Kwan’s meeting, saying the two had “met while studying at Emerson College in Boston.”

The movie received 11 nominations, surpassing all others this Oscar season. It beat out “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Elvis,” “The Fabelmans,” “Tár,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Triangle of Sadness,” and “Women Talking” for the Best Picture award.

“There is greatness in every single person,” Kwan said in his acceptance speech for Best Director. “It doesn’t matter who they are. You have a genius that is waiting to erupt—you just need to find the right people to unlock that. Thank you so much to everyone who has unlocked my genius.”

In Scheinert’s acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay, he acknowledged and thanked teachers who changed his life, including former Emerson performing arts professor and Senior Artist-in-Residence Kenneth Cheeseman.

“Specifically my mom and dad—Ken and Becky—thank you for not squashing my creativity when I was making really disturbing horror films, or really perverted comedy films, or dressing in drag as a kid, which is a threat to nobody,” Scheinert said in his Best Director acceptance speech.

“To all our Emersonians during this award season: your works brought us joy, your acceptance speeches made us laugh, but more importantly, you continue to inspire us with your creativity, and give voice to daring ideas,” Emerson College tweeted hours after the awards ceremony.

“A huge congratulations to the Daniels!” the college tweeted the following day, along with an official EmersonToday news story.

Local politicians also praised Scheinert and Kwan. Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey tweeted her congratulations Monday afternoon and gave a shout-out to the college, writing, “What a night for Massachusetts!”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu tweeted that Scheinert and Kwan were “making Boston incredibly proud.”

Other Emerson alumni who worked on the triumphant film included Tallie Medel ’08, who played Becky Sregor, and Sunita Mani ’08, who played a “TV musical queen,” according to IMDB.