Eva Maria Daniels, producer of 'What Maisie Knew' and 'Joe Bell', dies at 43

Eva Maria Daniels, producer of ‘What Maisie Knew’ and ‘Joe Bell’, dies at 43

Eva Maria Daniels, the Icelandic producer and film festival favorite behind recent independent dramas such as what Maisie knew, Keep dark AND Joe Bell, is dead. He was 43 years old.

Daniels died on Friday in London after a battle with cancer, her friend and publicist Jessie Cohen said The Hollywood Reporter. She was diagnosed in March 2020 with stage 3 cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes, but she declared herself cancer-free in an interview with DAYIt’s Chris Gardner one year later.

“Eve died in the same conditions in which she lived,” director Börkur Sigthorsson he wrote on Facebook. “He Played his cards close to his chest. You didn’t seek recognition when you were successful. He didn’t seek mercy when he was in pain. I will really miss his friendship with her, but most of all I will miss seeing what she would do next.

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Daniels most recently executive produced the film starring Sydney Sweeney Reality. Directed by newcomer Tina Satter in an adaptation of her off-Broadway/Broadway play This is a room, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival this year and on HBO Max in May. In his review, DAY chief film critic David Rooney called it “a mighty punch to the stomach of cinema vérité”.

Daniels is also an executive producer on two films directed and co-written by Oren Moverman and starring Richard Gere: Crazy time (2014) e Dinner (2017).

what Maisie knew (2012), a melodrama about a broken family directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, presented at the Toronto Film Festival and starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgard in a modern adaptation of Henry James’ 1897 novel.

Keep dark (2018), an Alaska-set thriller directed by Jeremy Saulnier and starring Jeffrey Wright and Skarsgard, which premiered at TIFF and on Netflix.

Joe Bell (2020), directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Brokeback Mountain couple Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, played Mark Wahlberg in the true story of the father of a gay teenager (Reid Miller) who travels across America to draw attention to anti-LGBTQ bullying. It debuted at TIFF and was shown in theaters via Roadside Attractions.

During her all-too-brief career, Daniels has had fruitful partnerships with producer Riva Marker – they collaborated on five feature films – and distributor A24 and has also consulted with the Icelandic Film Fund.

Born in Reykjavik on July 5, 1979, Daniels studied business and philosophy at the University of Iceland and graduated in film production from KBH Film & Fotoskole Copenhagen in 2003. She then worked as a producer for the post-production company The Mill , based in London, and Company 3, based in Los Angeles and New York.

She launched Eva Daniels Productions in New York in 2010. Her company’s first two films were The Romantics (2010), written and directed by Galt Niederhoffer and starring Katie Holmes, Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel, and Goats (2012), directed by Christopher Neil and starring David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga.

She was also executive producer of the road movie End of sentence (2019), starring John Hawkes and Logan Lerman as a feuding father and son in Ireland.

Survivors include her husband, Moritz Diller, and 5 1/2-year-old son, Henry.

When she spoke to Gardner in 2021, she had just opened an art gallery in Switzerland dedicated to the work of artists from her Icelandic home.

“We have this pure DNA of freedom where we can do anything because we know we’re going to make it,” she said. “It’s a special island with no limits, no boxes to fit into, wild parties, no audience, no rules to follow, and I love all of that. He inspires me every day.”

He added, “During my career in film, I’ve been collecting art, at a slow pace. It had always given me so much joy. When I lived in Los Angeles, I was trying to combine film and art, and I also hosted some art shows in California in the past with some actors I worked with. During treatment, I came back to the question of how to incorporate more joy. While film development is the coolest thing ever, it can be slow and painful. I also have a son and I thought, ‘How can I bring him into my working life and spend more time with him?’”