Paul Dalio

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Paul Dalio
Paul Dalio.jpg
Born (1979-12-08) December 8, 1979 (age 39)
ResidenceNew York, New York, US
EducationSt. Luke's School
Alma materNYU Tisch School of the Arts
OccupationDirector, screenwriter, composer
Years active2012–present
Known forTouched with Fire
Spouse(s)Kristina Nikolova
Parent(s)Ray Dalio

Paul Dalio (born December 8, 1979) is an American screenwriter,[1] director[2] and composer.[3] His first film,[4] Touched with Fire, inspired by his struggles overcoming bipolar disorder,[5][6] premiered at SXSW [7][8] and was released theatrically in February 2016.[9]

Early life[edit]

Paul Dalio was born on December 8, 1979, and grew up in Wilton, Connecticut.[10] He is the son of hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio.[11] His grandfather, Marino Dallolio, was a New York jazz musician, who played the clarinet and saxophone.[12][13]

He was educated at St. Luke's School in New Canaan, Connecticut.[10] In 2004, Dalio received a bachelor's degree from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts dramatic writing program.[14]


After graduating in 2004 he went to Los Angeles to work for a film producer, when he had a psychotic episode, was hospitalized and diagnosed bipolar.[15] He spent two years in and out of hospitals,[16] stopped screenwriting and got into the New York underground rap battle scene under the alias “Luna.”[17] He applied to the graduate filmmaking program and was admitted in 2006, but during orientation week suffered another psychotic episode, had to be hospitalized and withdrew from the program.[16] During his depression he got a job in construction and reapplied to NYU in 2007[16] where he met his wife and collaborator Kristina Nikolova.[17][18] There he also met his professor Spike Lee[19] who became a mentor and offered to executive produce a rap musical he had written while in the bipolar swings about the Apocalypse.[19] During their work his wife suggested he write another script which came from the perspective of having overcome his struggle with bipolar so that it may offer others a path out.[19] Taking his wife's advice, he wrote the script and showed it to Spike who executive produced the film[20] which would be his feature debut, originally titled Mania Days,[21][22] starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby - a love story between two bipolar poets who bring out all the horror and beauty of their condition, until they have to choose between sanity and love. Dalio began studying music in 2013 and after developing a passion for it, decided to score the film, composing and producing all the music himself.[3] His wife shot and produced the film[8] and gave birth to their child on the last day of shooting.[17] Paul and his wife started their production company, Moonstruck, as a banner for films which both will write and direct.[23][24]

Touched With Fire[edit]

Touched With Fire was a New York Times Critics' Pick[25] and was very well received with a 90% audience approval at Rotten Tomatoes.[26] and was also embraced by the bipolar community, receiving the SAMHSA Voice Award[27] and the International Bipolar Foundation Imagine Award.[28][29] In 2017, he received the Erasing the Stigma Leadership Award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services,[30] and the Shining Star Award from the Ryan Licht Sang Foundation.[31] Dalio was listed as a "composer to watch" in Film Music Magazine's Best Scores of 2016.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Dalio is married to Bulgarian-born fellow film director, Kristina Nikolova, and they live in New York with their two children.[33]


  1. ^ "Touched with Fire (2015) - Full Cast & Crew". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-12. Retrieved 2017-01-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "Paul Dalio". Film Music Daily. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  4. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (2016-02-19). "Filmmaker Paul Dalio mines his bipolar disorder for feature debut". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  5. ^ "Filmmakers Spike Lee and Paul Dalio on Mental Health - Dr. Oz Investigation: Are There Dangerous Chemicals in Your Family's Clothing? | The Dr. Oz Show". 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  6. ^ "Paul Dalio Official Site". Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  7. ^ "Touched With Fire trailer: Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby star". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  8. ^ a b Hipes, Patrick (2015-05-19). "Katie Holmes' SXSW Movie 'Touched With Fire' Sells To Roadside Attractions – Cannes". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  9. ^ "Touched With Fire - 2016". 2016-03-29. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  10. ^ a b Post Your Job On Daily Voice and Indeed. "Ex-Resident's Film On Bipolar Struggles Premieres At Greenwich Festival". Greenwich Daily Voice. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  11. ^ Finance (2012-03-19). "Ray Dalio's Son Is An Entertainment Producer, And He's Directing A Movie About Maniac Depressives With Spike Lee's Support". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  12. ^ Singer, Mark. "Mastering the Machine". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  13. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "Paul Dalio". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  15. ^ "In 'Touched With Fire,' director finds inspiration in his own history of bipolar disorder (review)". Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  16. ^ a b c "PAUL DALIO – Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  17. ^ a b c "'Touched With Fire' inspired by filmmaker's bipolar disorder". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  18. ^ "KRISTINA NIKOLOVA DALIO". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  19. ^ a b c O'Sullivan, Michael; O'Sullivan, Michael (2016-02-18). "Filmmaker Paul Dalio mines his bipolar disorder for feature debut". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  20. ^ "'Touched With Fire' Is Dedicated To Great Art, But Isn't Great Art". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  21. ^ Joe Leydon (2015-04-07). "'Mania Days' Review: Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby Play Manic Depressives in Love". Variety. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  22. ^ "Director Paul Dalio Discusses New Film "Touched With Fire"". Entertainment Voice. 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  23. ^ "@roadsidetweets Acquires U.S. Rights To TOUCHED WITH FIRE Starring @KatieHolmes212 | Rama's Screen". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  24. ^ "Moonstruck Productions". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  25. ^ "Review: 'Touched With Fire,' a Love Story Between Two Bipolar Poets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  26. ^ "Touched With Fire (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  27. ^ "2016 Voice Award Winners | SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration". 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  28. ^ "International Bipolar Foundation Release Behind the Mask Venetian Carnivale Gala To Raise Funds For Bipolar Disorder". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  29. ^ "Behind the Mask - Venetian Carnevale Gala Press Release | International Bipolar Foundation". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  30. ^ "ABOUT – Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards". 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  31. ^ "Events". Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  32. ^ "The Best Scores of 2016 :: Film Music Magazine". 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  33. ^ "about". Retrieved 2017-06-06.

External links[edit]