James Schamus (left) and Ron Nyswaner (right) in 2009
October 5, 1956 |
Clarksville, Pennsylvania, United States
|Occupation||Film director, writer|
Ronald L. Nyswaner (born October 5, 1956) is an American screenwriter and film director.
Background and education
Nyswaner was born in Clarksville, Pennsylvania.
Nyswaner wrote his first screenplay for the Susan Seidelman film Smithereens. After two other notable screenplays for Swing Shift and Mrs. Soffel, he gave his directorial debut with The Prince of Pennsylvania in 1988, a film with Keanu Reeves and Fred Ward.
Nyswaner, who is openly gay and an activist for gay rights, has often worked on movies with the subjects homosexuality, homophobia, and AIDS. Examples are the documentary Celluloid Closet and the television drama Soldier's Girl, about the homicide of Private Barry Winchell. In 1993 he came to worldwide prominence for his screenplay to the Academy Award winning movie Philadelphia, directed by Jonathan Demme. It earned him nominations for the Academy Award, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA.
After several years of working for television he wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film The Painted Veil which is based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. He received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award and won the award of the National Board of Review in 2006.
In 2004, he published Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir, which chronicles his relationship with alcohol, drugs, and hustlers.
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