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Reel Man

Fresh from Sundance stardom, movie man and runner David Lowery takes fame in stride.

David Lowery

David Lowery’s having a breakout year.

In January, the 32-year-old director and screenwriter triumphed at the Sundance Film Festival as his first full-length feature, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, copped awards and generated buzz. Lowery expects to spend much of 2013 on the road with extended trips to Hollywood to ready Ain’t Them Bodies Saints for its theatrical release this fall. The last few months of the year, he’ll promote the romantic crime drama around the globe.

“The stories they tell you about all-night bidding wars at Sundance are really true,” says the affable, self-taught auteur, the eldest of nine siblings who graduated from Irving High School in 1999. “I actually told everyone I just had to go sleep in spite of all the texts and calls!”

IFC purchased the rights to what Lowery describes as “the story of an outlaw who breaks out of jail to see his wife and the daughter he’s never met.” The film builds on themes of family bonds that Lowery explored in his two well-regarded shorts, St. Nick and Pioneer.

At home in East Dallas, Lowery also finds inspiration running on the Katy Trail at night; crossing the finish line of the 2011 White Rock Marathon ranks as one of his proudest moments. He and his actress-wife, Augustine Frizzell (who shares a pivotal scene with Affleck early on in Saints), also try to hit the Angelika and other theaters a couple times a week. He’ll see anything—from Twilight to artsy Pan-Asian fare.

“I’ve known I wanted to work in film since I was 7,” says Lowery, who points to directors P.T. Anderson and Robert Altman as influences. “Last year, when I was mixing sound at Skywalker Ranch, I stopped and thought to myself, ‘Wow! I’m doing this!’” 

Lowery’s Hots
Running; vegan food, especially from Spiral Diner; artisanal pour-over coffee; Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel; Moby Dick; cold weather; more coffee; text messages; kittens

Lowery’s Nots
Summer, animal exploitation, urban sprawl, movies that don’t try, books that don’t try, people that don’t try, growing up