BOSTON (WHDH) - Two of this year’s Oscar-nominated directors have ties to Boston as graduates from Emerson College. As the Oscars approach, one of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s former professors said he remembers the pair well.

Kwan and Scheinert, known as “the Daniels,” directed “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

The pair met while studying film at Emerson. They thanked Professor John Craig Freeman while on stage this weekend for an awards ceremony.

“We would not be here without the advocates, the cheerleaders, the people who really believed us and snuck us into the back door, starting with our teachers,” Kwan said.

Kwan said Freeman “taught us how to teach ourselves.” 

“Thank you,” Kwan said. 

7NEWS spoke with Freeman, the duo’s visual and media arts professor, who said the recent shoutout was the ultimate compliment coming from students he remembers well. 

“They were self actualizing artists, and they very much knew what they wanted to do, and they trusted their own imagination,” Freeman said.

Freeman said he recognized “something special” in Kwan and Scheinert. 

“It could be said that they became the Daniels in my class,” Freeman said. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once conquered Academy Award nominations this year with eleven nods, including nominations for best picture, best director and best original screenplay.

The sci-fi adventure film was a box office hit and could end up taking several awards home. 

“It’s a movie that very much kind of celebrates life, and what we’re able to achieve despite some of the difficulties we come across,” Freeman said. 

“It’s very much funny,” he continued. “It’s also kind of tragic and timely.”

Freeman said Kwan and Scheinert were always hard-working, adding that they took their fate into their own hands. 

“They didn’t wait around for somebody to give them a job,” Freeman said. “Instead they chose to just immediately found their own independent studio.”

Freeman said that everyone at Emerson is very proud of the now-famous filmmakers.

This weekend, he said, he will be proudly watching, taking his virtual bow as their teacher.

“I’ll probably be watching it from my home, and of course rooting them on, wishing them the best, and looking forward to the results,” Freeman said.

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