David Lowery (director)

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David Lowery
David Lowery Deauville 2013.jpg
Lowery at the Deauville Film Festival, 2013
Born (1980-12-26) December 26, 1980 (age 37)[1]
Milwaukee, Wisconsin[2]
Education Irving High School, Irving, Texas
Occupation Filmmaker, actor
Spouse(s) Augustine Frizzell[3]

David Lowery (born December 26, 1980) is an American filmmaker based in Dallas, Texas.[4] He has written, directed and edited several feature films, all known for exploring the different essences of humanity.

His original work Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[5] In 2016, he directed the Disney film Pete's Dragon, a live-action film which he had co-written. It was a new work loosely based on the same original story as the Disney 1977 musical of the same name.

Early life[edit]

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 26, 1980, David Lowery is the eldest of nine children born to Madeleine and Mark Lowery. When David was seven, his family moved to the Dallas suburb of Irving for his father's work. Some of his younger siblings were born there. Lowery watched everything he could before beginning to make his own work after he graduated from Irving High School.

At the age of 19, Lowery wrote and directed his first film, Lullaby, a short work which he no longer permits to be seen.[6] In this period, he met some others interested in film, and they have worked together on some projects.


Lowery had his breakthrough with his first feature film, St. Nick (2009), which follows two runaway children abandoned by their guardians.[7] The film was shown in the South by Southwest festival in 2009.[8] It won the Texas Filmmaker Award at the 2009 AFI Dallas International Film Festival.[9]

In 2011 Lowery started his own production company, Sailor Bear.[10] That same year, he wrote and directed the short film entitled Pioneer, which played at the Sundance Film Festival that year.[11]

In 2013, Lowery wrote, directed and edited his second feature film, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.[12] The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[5] It was selected to compete at the International Critics' Week section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[13] Lowery has said that he drew from great directors and their works for this film, citing Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rum,[14] Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller,[15] and Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher as influences.[16]

In addition to having edited films such as Amy Seimetz's Sun Don't Shine and Shane Carruth's Upstream Color,[17] Lowery co-wrote Pit Stop with director Yen Tan.[18] At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, it was announced that Lowery would write and direct the film adaptation of the novel The Yellow Birds, written by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers; it was a 2012 National Book Award finalist. The film was eventually directed by Alexandre Moors and stars Jack Huston, Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich and Jennifer Aniston.[19]

In July 2016, it was announced Lowery would direct an episode of Breakthrough for National Geographic Channel.[20] In November 2016, it was announced Lowery had shot a new film, A Ghost Story, over the summer with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as a secret project.[21][22]

In March 2017, it was announced that Lowery would direct The Old Man and the Gun, to star Casey Affleck and Robert Redford.[23]



Year Title Director Writer Editor Producer Other Notes
2002 Happy Birthday Yes Actor: Videographer
2008 Blood on the Highway Yes Second unit director
Assistant camera
Ciao Yes co-producer
2009 Alexander the Last additional material additional Yes Actor: Stagehand
Sound recordist
2012 Sun Don't Shine Yes
Reconvergence Yes Cinematographer
2013 Pit Stop Yes
Upstream Color Yes
Ain't Them Bodies Saints Yes Yes
2014 Listen Up Philip Yes
2016 Pete's Dragon Yes Yes
2017 Person to Person executive
The Yellow Birds Yes
A Ghost Story Yes Yes Yes
2018 The Old Man & the Gun Yes Yes Post-production
2019 Peter Pan Yes Yes Yes Pre-production


Year Title Director Writer Editor Producer Other Notes
2014 Rectify Yes Episode: "Donald the Normal"
2018 Strange Angel[24] Yes Filming, also executive producer

Personal life[edit]

In 2010, David Lowery married filmmaker Augustine Frizzell.


  1. ^ Mead, Rebecca (January 2012). "Into the Deep". Allure. pp. 103–106.
  2. ^ Aquino, Tara (August 16, 2013). "Rethinking the West with "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," David Lowery's Artful Sophomore Feature". Complex. 
  3. ^ Mariani, Anthony (March 21, 2012). "Second Annual Visionary Awards". Fort Worth Weekly. 
  4. ^ Hernandez, Eugene (January 25, 2013). "Daily Buzz: Sundance Episode 8". Film Society of Lincoln Center. 
  5. ^ a b Lin, Kristian (January 28, 2013). "North Texas Films at Sundance: How'd They Do?". Fort Worth Weekly. 
  6. ^ Kelly, Christopher (August 2013). "How David Lowery Became Dallas' Most Important Filmmaker". D Magazine. 
  7. ^ Schager, Nick (April 17, 2011). "St. Nick - Film Review". Slant Magazine. 
  8. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 16, 2013). "Sundance 2013: 5 Faces to Watch". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ Kay, Jeremy (April 6, 2009). "Gigantic, Skin among key winners at AFI Dallas festival". Screen International. 
  10. ^ "David Lowery". Variety. 
  11. ^ Kohn, Eric (January 20, 2013). "Sundance Interview: 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Director David Lowery Explains Making More Accessible Movies and Why He Can't Stop Editing Them". IndieWire. 
  12. ^ Smith, Derek (August 20, 2013). "Ain't Them Bodies Saints - Film Review". Tiny Mix Tapes. 
  13. ^ Smith, Nigel M. (April 22, 2013). "Cannes Reveals International Critics' Week Lineup; 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Makes the Cut". IndieWire. 
  14. ^ Harrison, Eddie (September 4, 2013). "Interview: David Lowery, director of Ain't Them Bodies Saints". The List. 
  15. ^ Gibson, Anthony (February 21, 2014). "David Lowery: I wanted to capture the essence of the great directors, such as Robert Altman, for Ain't Them Bodies Saints". Metro. 
  16. ^ Cox, Gordon (January 7, 2013). "Lowery: Texan talent is Sundance-bound". Variety. 
  17. ^ Aquino, Tara (August 17, 2013). "David Lowery - 25 Directors Who Are 35 and Under You Should Know". Complex. 
  18. ^ Olsen, Mark (August 17, 2013). "David Lowery's rapid rise with 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'". Los Angeles Times. 
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (May 17, 2014). "CANNES: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan in Iraq War Drama 'Yellow Birds'". Variety. 
  20. ^ "National Geographic Channel Greenlights Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series BREAKTHROUGH". Business Wire. July 25, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  21. ^ Raup, Jordan (November 22, 2016). "Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Secretly Shot a New Feature With David Lowery This Summer". The Film Stage. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  22. ^ Murthi, Vikram (November 22, 2016). "Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck Shot A Secret New Film With David Lowery". Indiewire.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  23. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (March 23, 2017). "Fox Searchlight Landing Robert Redford & Casey Affleck Starrer 'Old Man And The Gun'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 3, 2017. 
  24. ^ Greene, Steve. "David Lowery Set to Direct TV Show About a Sex Occultist Who Helped Invent Rocket Science". Indiewire. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 

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