David Lowery (director)

David Lowery (born December 26, 1980) is an American filmmaker, known for directing, writing and editing feature films that explore the different essences of humanity.

David Lowery
Lowery at the Deauville Film Festival, 2013
Born (1980-12-26) December 26, 1980
ResidenceDallas, Texas
EducationIrving High School
Years active2000–present
Augustine Frizzell (m. 2010)

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.[1] In 2016, he directed the Disney film Pete's Dragon (2016), 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. In 2018, he directed The Old Man & the Gun, with Robert Redford, who received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor - Comedy.

Early life

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin[2] on December 26, 1980,[3] David Lowery is the eldest of nine children born to Madeleine and Mark Lowery. When he was seven, his family moved to Irving, Texas for his father's work. Lowery attended Irving High School.[4]

At the age of 19, Lowery wrote and directed his first film, a short entitled Lullaby.[4] In this period, he met some others interested in film, and they have worked together on some projects.


Lowery's first feature film, St. Nick, which follows two runaway children abandoned by their guardians, premiered at the 2009 South by Southwest festival.[5][6] It won the Texas Filmmaker Award at the 2009 AFI Dallas International Film Festival.[7]

In 2011 Lowery started his own production company, Sailor Bear.[8] That same year, he wrote and directed the short film entitled Pioneer, which played at the Sundance Film Festival that year.[9]

In 2013, Lowery wrote, directed and edited his second feature film, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.[10] The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.[1] It was selected to compete at the International Critics' Week section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[11] Lowery has said that he drew from great directors and their works for this film, citing Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rum,[12] Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller,[13] and Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher as influences.[14]

In addition to having edited films such as Amy Seimetz's Sun Don't Shine and Shane Carruth's Upstream Color,[15] Lowery co-wrote Pit Stop with director Yen Tan.[16] 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.[17]

In July 2016, it was announced Lowery would direct an episode of Breakthrough for National Geographic Channel.[18] 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.[19][20]

Lowery next directed the 2018 drama film The Old Man & the Gun, starring Robert Redford, as bank robber Forrest Tucker, and Casey Affleck.[21]

Personal life

Lowery married filmmaker Augustine Frizzell in 2010.[22] As of 2013, they live in Dallas.[23] Lowery identifies as an atheist, and has been a vegan since around 1996.[24][25]



Year Title Director Writer Notes
2009 Alexander the Last No Yes Additional material
St. Nick Yes Yes
2013 Pit Stop No Yes
Ain't Them Bodies Saints Yes Yes
2016 Pete's Dragon Yes Yes
2017 The Yellow Birds No Yes
A Ghost Story Yes Yes
2018 The Old Man & the Gun Yes Yes
TBA Green Knight Yes Yes Filming
Peter Pan Yes Yes Pre-production


Year Title Note
2008 Ciao
2017 Person to Person Executive producer

Technical credits

Year Title Role
2008 Blood on the Highway Second unit director and assistant camera
Ciao Editor
2009 Alexander the Last Additional editor and sound recordist
St. Nick Editor
2012 Sun Don't Shine
Reconvergence Cinematographer
2013 Upstream Color Editor
2014 Listen Up Philip
2017 A Ghost Story

Acting roles

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Happy Birthday Videographer
2009 Alexander the Last Stagehand
2017 A Ghost Story Neighbor's Ghost Uncredited


Year Title Director Producer Notes
2014 Rectify Yes No Episode: "Donald the Normal"
2018 Strange Angel[26] Yes executive 2 episodes


  1. Lin, Kristian (January 28, 2013). "North Texas Films at Sundance: How'd They Do?". Fort Worth Weekly.
  2. Aquino, Tara (August 16, 2013). "Rethinking the West with "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," David Lowery's Artful Sophomore Feature". Complex.
  3. Mead, Rebecca (January 2012). "Into the Deep". Allure. pp. 103–106.
  4. Kelly, Christopher (August 2013). "How David Lowery Became Dallas' Most Important Filmmaker". D Magazine.
  5. Schager, Nick (April 17, 2011). "St. Nick - Film Review". Slant Magazine.
  6. Siegel, Tatiana (January 16, 2013). "Sundance 2013: 5 Faces to Watch". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. Kay, Jeremy (April 6, 2009). "Gigantic, Skin among key winners at AFI Dallas festival". Screen International.
  8. "David Lowery". Variety.
  9. 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.
  10. Smith, Derek (August 20, 2013). "Ain't Them Bodies Saints - Film Review". Tiny Mix Tapes.
  11. Smith, Nigel M. (April 22, 2013). "Cannes Reveals International Critics' Week Lineup; 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' Makes the Cut". IndieWire.
  12. Harrison, Eddie (September 4, 2013). "Interview: David Lowery, director of Ain't Them Bodies Saints". The List.
  13. 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.
  14. Cox, Gordon (January 7, 2013). "Lowery: Texan talent is Sundance-bound". Variety.
  15. Aquino, Tara (August 17, 2013). "David Lowery - 25 Directors Who Are 35 and Under You Should Know". Complex.
  16. Olsen, Mark (August 17, 2013). "David Lowery's rapid rise with 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'". Los Angeles Times.
  17. McNary, Dave (May 17, 2014). "CANNES: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tye Sheridan in Iraq War Drama 'Yellow Birds'". Variety.
  18. "National Geographic Channel Greenlights Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Series BREAKTHROUGH". Business Wire. July 25, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  19. 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.
  20. Murthi, Vikram (November 22, 2016). "Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck Shot A Secret New Film With David Lowery". Indiewire.com. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  21. 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.
  22. Mariani, Anthony (March 21, 2012). "Second Annual Visionary Awards". Fort Worth Weekly.
  23. Hernandez, Eugene (January 25, 2013). "Daily Buzz: Sundance Episode 8". Film Society of Lincoln Center.
  24. McKee, Hannah. "Director David Lowery talks fluffy dragons and Taika Waititi". Stuff.
  25. Whalen, Andrew. "A Ghost Story Director David Lowery Embraces Death To Transcend Nihilism". Player.One.
  26. 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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