North Texas Films at Sundance: How’d They Do?

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Posted January 28, 2013 by Kristian Lin in Blotch
Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in "Ain't Them Bodies Saints."Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck in "Ain't Them Bodies Saints."

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival ended this past weekend, and North Texas was unusually well represented at this year’s fest, both in the number of films and in quality. Even the New York Times took notice of a new film scene emerging in Dallas, thanks to former Star-Telegram movie critic Christopher Kelly. Here’s a recap of how they fared.

David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints was beaten out by Fruitvale for both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the dramatic competition, but cinematographer Bradford Young took home the award for best cinematography for a dramatic film (which it shared with Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George). It also earned largely positive reviews and picked up a distribution deal from IFC Films. No word yet on when they’ll release the film. Lowery is a Dallas native, and the movie was produced by local guys Toby Halbrooks and James Johnston, who won the Indian Paintbrush Producer’s Award for their work.

Lowery also worked as an editor on Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, which won a special jury award for its sound design. The Myrtle Beach native who now works out of Dallas hasn’t been heard from since his 2004 debut film Primer. The reviews for Upstream Color this science-fiction film have mostly offered praise for its ambition, intelligence, and rigor. Carruth’s website says the film is slated for a run at the Angelika in Dallas on April 19.

And finally, Lowery also co-wrote Yen Tan’s Pit Stop — looks like he was all over this festival the way Brit Marling was at last year’s Sundance. Tan recently decamped to Austin after working in Dallas, but it still has North Texas fingerprints on it; James Johnston produced this film as well. Reviewers praised this film about gay men living in a small town for its finely tuned insights into character. No word yet on when we’ll be able to see this film, but when I know more, dear readers, so will you.


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