Dan Mirvish

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Dan Mirvish
United States
Other namesMartin Eisenstadt
Alma materWashington University in St. Louis, USC
OccupationFilmmaker, author
Known forSlamdance Film Festival, Eisenstadt hoax

Dan Mirvish is an American filmmaker and author, best known as the co-founder of the Slamdance Film Festival[1][2] and co-creator of the Martin Eisenstadt hoax during the 2008 Presidential election.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Mirvish was born to a Jewish family in Omaha,[5] the son of Linda and Sidney Mirvish.[5] His father was a prominent cancer researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.[6][7] In 1985, Mirvish graduated from Omaha Central High School.[5] He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis.[5] After school, he worked as a freelance journalist and as a speechwriter for Tom Harkin, U.S. Senator from Iowa before taking a sabbatical to travel around the world.[5] He then returned to California to complete his education in film at the University of Southern California film school.[5]


In 1994, while still in school, he released his first feature film entitled Omaha as his master’s thesis for and then founded the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah after the film was not accepted at the Sundance Film Festival.[5]

In 2004, Mirvish spearheaded the effort to get the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to reactivate their Best Original Musical Oscar category. In a controversial move, the Academy canceled the category after Mirvish and others submitted the requisite number of films, including two by Mirvish.[8]

In 2009, he co-authored the satirical novel I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man's (Wildly Inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN 978-0-86547-914-2.[9]

Mirvish directed the film Between Us, based on the play of the same name by Joe Hortua. The four-person drama stars Taye Diggs, Melissa George, David Harbour and Julia Stiles. The original play premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Hortua and Mirvish co-wrote the screenplay adaptation. The film version won the grand jury prize at the 2012 Bahamas International Film Festival,[10] and was the Closing Night Film at the 50th Annual Gijón International Film Festival in Spain.[11] The film had its world premiere at the Oldenburg International Film Festival, and also screened at such festivals as Athens International Film Festival, the Hamptons, Woodstock Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Napa Valley Film Festival, and Whistler Film Festival.[12]

In 2016, Mirvish wrote the nonfiction book The Cheerful Subversive's Guide to Independent Filmmaking.[13] The phrase "cheerful subversive" comes from a New York Times article describing the original Slamdance filmmakers.[14][15]

In 2016, Mirvish directed the feature film Bernard and Huey written by Oscar/Pulitzer/Obie-winner Jules Feiffer.[16]

Mirvish is widely credited as the discoverer of the Hathaway effect, which indicates that when actress Anne Hathaway is in the news, the share price for Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increases.[17]

He was also a speechwriter for Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa.[18]



  1. ^ Slamdance company profile Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Lyons, Charles (1999-02-07). "FILM; Is Success Seducing the Rebel Festival?". The New York Times (February 7). Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  3. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2008-11-13). "A Senior Fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  4. ^ "How Sarah Palin was Hoaxed" (BBC audio). BBC News. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g The Jewish Press (Omaha): "Hollywood insiders return Home for Jewish Reunion" by Sherrie Saag July 30, 2014
  6. ^ UNMC.edu Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Services today for Sidney Mirvish, Ph.D. | UNMC". www.unmc.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  8. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (2004-12-16). "No '04 Oscar for original musicals". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  9. ^ Joshua Green. "True Lies". The Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
  10. ^ "Interview of the BIFF Winner: Dan Mirvish". Filmfestivals.com. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  11. ^ "Dan Mirvish le da un tono oscuro de comedia a la obra 'Between Us'". ElCommercio.es. Retrieved 2013-02-19.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Between Us" (IMDB Movie page). Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  13. ^ Nordine, Michael (2016-06-23). "Watch the Trailer for Slamdance Co-Founder's Book 'The Cheerful Subversive's Guide to Independent Filmmaking'". Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  14. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (1995-01-19). "Film Festival Finds Itself Swimming Near the Mainstream". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  15. ^ "20 Life-Saving Tips for Indie Filmmaking from the Co-Founder of Slamdance". Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  16. ^ "Long-Lost Script by Pulitzer-Winning Writer Finally Headed to Screen After 29 Years". Retrieved 2016-07-02.
  17. ^ Alexis Madrigal (18 March 2011). "Does Anne Hathaway News Drive Berkshire Hathaway's Stock?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  18. ^ Argetsinger, Amy and Roxanne Roberts (2006-01-27). "On a Roll at Wendy's Window". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  19. ^ Weinraub, Bernard. "Omaha (The Movie)" (New York Times movie summary). The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-13.