Four Days In, A Trio of Local Filmmakers Are Already All The Rage at The 2013 Sundance Film Festival

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is only four days into its 11-day run, but three local filmmakers have already made their presence felt at the affair, long noted as a launchpad for the film industry’s future heavyweights.

Yesterday, North Texas-based filmmakers David Lowery, James M. Johnston and Toby Halbrooks received the festival’s Indian Paintbrush Producer’s Award, and the $10,000 grant that comes with it, in honor of their festival entry Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, which has already been called “the next Beasts of the Southern Wild and “a wholly engrossing and impressive piece of work that the movie world will be talking about all year long” in early festival reviews, many of which also favorably compare director Lowery to a young Terrence Malick.

Also receiving copious amounts of praise for his work on the Shreveport-shot film — a low-budget affair starring Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster — is local musician Daniel Hart, who composed the film’s score and who, like Halbrooks, is a former member of the Polyphonic Spree.

Local may also recognize Lowery and Halbrooks’ work from the two most recent Sarah Jaffe music videos, “Glorified High” and “Mannequin Woman.”

It should be noted, of course, that all this adulation was essentially to be expected. Heading into this year’s festival, Variety named Lowery and the production tandem of Johnston and Halbrooks to its recent 10 Directors to Watch and 10 Producers to Watch lists, respectively.

What’s not yet known, however, is what all this praise will mean for All Them Bodies Saints‘ long-term future — in the States, at least. The film’s international rights have already been scooped up by The Weinstein Company, but its domestic distribution rights remain as-yet-undetermined.

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