Open main menu

Daniel Barnz (born 1970) is an American screenwriter and director.

Daniel Barnz
Daniel Barnz at the New York Premiere of Won't Back Down, September 2012.jpg
Barnz at the New York premiere of Won't Back Down, September 2012
Born1970 (age 48–49)
OccupationScreenwriter, film director
Years active2008–present


Life and careerEdit

Barnz was born Daniel Bernstein in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania,[1] a suburb of Philadelphia, and later changed his surname to an amalgamation of Bernstein and Schwartz, the surname of his partner of almost two decades, Ben Schwartz. The couple has two children. Barnz describes himself as "a Jewish liberal Democrat".[2]

Barnz graduated from Yale University and the University of Southern California Film School.[3] He made his directorial debut in the 2001 movie, The Cutting Room. He directed the 2009 movie, Phoebe in Wonderland, which received mixed reviews from critics. He wrote and directed a movie adaption of the novel Beastly, a modern-day take on Beauty and the Beast. The movie was released on March 4, 2011.[4]

His film Won't Back Down (2012) received mixed reviews and garnered controversy; it was attacked by Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the predominant national teachers' union, as having "the most blatant stereotypes and caricatures I have ever seen-even worse than in Waiting for Superman", another film attacked as "anti-teacher union".[2]

In 2014 he directed the film Cake starring Jennifer Aniston, who received Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations as Best Actress for her performance. In 2015, the film was honored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with a Voice Award for its respectful portrayal of mental health.[5]


Year Title Notes
2001 The Cutting Room
2008 Phoebe in Wonderland Nominated—Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Direction
2011 Beastly
2012 Won't Back Down
2014 Cake


  1. ^ Champagne, Christine, "10 Directors to Watch: Daniel Barnz", Variety, January 16, 2008
  2. ^ a b Lloyd Grove. Newsweek, October 1 & 8, 2012, p. 6.
  3. ^ "Bio: Daniel Barnz", Moviefone
  4. ^ Title Treatment and New Hi-Res Look at 'Beastly'
  5. ^ "Winners of the 2015 Voice Awards".

External linksEdit