Kaz Firpo

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Kaz Firpo
Matthew Kazuo Firpo

(1982-12-14) December 14, 1982 (age 39)
Alma materNew York University

Matthew Kazuo Firpo is an American film director, screenwriter, and photographer. Along with his cousin, Ryan, he wrote the story for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Eternals. His debut documentary Refuge won Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and had its world premiere at SXSW.[1][2]

A graduate of the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Firpo was named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016.[3] His debut screenplay Ruin topped Hollywood's 2017 Black List.[4]

Early life[edit]

Firpo was born and raised in San Francisco, California, the youngest son of artists Claudia Katayanagi and Patrick Firpo, and brother of creative director Danny Firpo.[5] He attended Sir Francis Drake High School in Marin County, making his first films with a borrowed video camera from school.[6] He then attended New York University, majoring in Film & Television and Classical Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts.[7]


Firpo began as a commercial director straight out of film school, working with startups Snapchat and Tinder in their early days to direct their first commercials.[6][8] His work with Tinder earned him a spot in Adweek's 2015 Top Commercials of the Year.[9]

Firpo's directorial debut, Refuge, documented human stories from the Syrian refugee crisis. The film was shot in Leros, Lesvos, and Athens, Greece.[10][11] The film premiered at SXSW, and won Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.[12] He went on to work internationally with UNICEF, creating an original documentary series highlighting their frontline work in Chiapas, Mexico and Kingston, Jamaica.[13]

His debut short film, Child's Play, starring Tony Award-winner David Alvarez, won Best Screenplay at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.[14]

Firpo's 2017 Black List-winning script, Ruin, co-written with his cousin and writing partner Ryan Firpo, had Margot Robbie attached, and Justin Kurzel set to direct.[15][16] His original tropicpunk thriller Mimi from Rio was purchased in a bidding war by Netflix, and has Ridley Scott set to produce.[17]

In May 2018, it was announced that the Firpos were hired by Marvel Studios to write Eternals based on the Marvel Comics space gods of the same name, to be released as part of "Phase Four" of the MCU.[18] The film wrapped principal photography in February 2020,[19] and in May 2021 it was announced that the film's director, Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao, and Patrick Burleigh, would share screenplay credit with the Firpos, and that the Firpos would receive sole story credit.[20] Eternals was released in November 2021, and grossed over $401 million worldwide, becoming the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2021.[21]

Netflix announced in 2021 that Kaz Firpo and Ryan Firpo had been hired to launch the Millarworld Cinematic Universe by adapting Mark Millar's epic adventure series, Prodigy, as a globetrotting tentpole franchise.[22] In October, Firpo created the YouTube Original Series SiGNALS, a mixed-media extravaganza exploring climate change through the wild hopes, fears, and anxieties of everyday objects.[23]

In November 2021, SlashFilm confirmed that Firpo is writing and directing his debut feature film, The Motor City Girls, a myth of the American midwest about five half-sisters with strange and dangerous powers hunting down a cult in 1990s Detroit.[24]


  • Refuge (2017) - director, producer
  • SiGNALS (2021) - creator, director[25]
  • Eternals (2021) - screenplay (with Chloé Zhao, Patrick Burleigh and Ryan Firpo), story (with Ryan Firpo)[20]


  1. ^ Ahern, Sarah (2017-02-11). "Santa Barbara Film Festival Announces 2017 Award Winners". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  2. ^ "Refuge". South by Southwest. Archived from the original on March 10, 2017. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  3. ^ Rooney, Jennifer (January 4, 2016). "2016 30 Under 30: Marketing & Advertising". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  4. ^ Hipes, Patrick (2017-12-11). "The Black List 2017 Screenplays: Post-WWII Tale 'Ruin' Is No. 1 – Full Rankings". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  5. ^ "Barneville-Carteret : un réalisateur américain sublime la station balnéaire" (in French). Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  6. ^ a b Wakeman, Gregory (2021-11-04). "How two Bay Area cousins scored a gig writing a Marvel movie". SFGATE. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  7. ^ "Alum Named to Forbes 30 Under 30, LS". New York University. October 10, 2016. Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Nudd, Tim (March 4, 2015). "Ad of the Day: Tinder Plus Takes a Girl on Wild Adventures in Love, Sex and Travel". AdWeek. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  9. ^ Burgi, Michael (August 17, 2015). "Check Out 9 of the Year's Best Written, Directed and Produced Videos". AdWeek. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  10. ^ Frej, Willa (2016-05-26). "Refugees Passing Through Greece Share Their Tragedies In Heartwrenching Film". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  11. ^ Werft, Meghan (September 13, 2016). "Filmmakers Travel From NYC to Greece, Uncovering The Human Side of The Refugee Crisis". Global Citizen.
  12. ^ Ahern, Sarah (2017-02-11). "Santa Barbara Film Festival Announces 2017 Award Winners". Variety. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  13. ^ "In Jamaica, Local Heroes Help Kids Build Safer Futures". UNICEF USA. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  14. ^ Burgett, Heather (May 12, 2013). "13th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival Announces Award Winners at Gala Awards Ceremony - Fest Expands to Japan". Splash Magazines. Archived from the original on August 5, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  15. ^ "Justin Kurzel Attached to Direct Hot Spec "Ruin," Which Has Multiple Studio Offers (Exclusive)". The Tracking Board. 2017-03-31. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (2017-10-11). "Margot Robbie, Matthias Schoenaerts to Star in World War II Thriller 'Ruin'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-10-12.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2017-12-05). "Netflix Wins Sci-Fi Spec Script 'Mimi From Rio'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-16.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (May 15, 2018). "Marvel Sets Black List Writers for 'Eternals' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "Marvel's Eternals Movie Has Finished Filming". ScreenRant. 2020-02-02. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  20. ^ a b Vary, Adam B. (May 24, 2021). "The 'Eternals' Trailer Finally Reveals How Chloé Zhao's Vision Will Fit in the MCU". Variety. Archived from the original on May 24, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "2021 Worldwide Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  22. ^ Patten, Dominic (2021-05-06). "Netflix & Mark Millar Roll Out Big Plans With 'Super Crooks' Debut, Untitled Spy Show, 'Prodigy' Scribe + More". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  23. ^ Hailu, Katie Song,Danielle Turchiano,Jennifer Yuma,Selome; Song, Katie; Turchiano, Danielle; Yuma, Jennifer; Hailu, Selome (2021-09-23). "YouTube Originals Acquires 'Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers' (TV News Roundup)". Variety. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  24. ^ Mathai, Jeremy (2021-11-21). "Eternals Screenwriters' Next Movie Is 'The Matrix Meets The Virgin Suicides' [Exclusive]". SlashFilm.com. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  25. ^ Plastic Must Die | SiGNALS, retrieved 2022-01-16

External links[edit]

Firpo's photography work[edit]