Davy Rothbart

Davy Rothbart bigraphy, stories - American writer and filmmaker

Davy Rothbart : biography

April 11, 1975 –

Davy Rothbart (born April 11, 1975) is an author, filmmaker, contributor to This American Life, and the editor/publisher of Found Magazine.


Davy Rothbart’s stories were featured on the following episodes of This American Life:


Davy Rothbart’s magazine Found is dedicated to discarded notes, letters, flyers, photos, lists, and drawings found and sent in by readers. The magazine spawned a best-selling book, Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World, published in April 2004. A second collection was published in May 2006, a third in May 2009. The magazine is published annually and co-edited by Rothbart’s friend Jason Bitner.

Rothbart, a former Chicago Bulls ticket scalper, often tours the country to share finds and invite others to share their finds with him. His brother, musician Peter Rothbart, often accompanies him on these tours. In 2004, as he was on a nationwide tour to promote the Found book, he appeared twice on the television program the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS.

The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas, a collection of Rothbart’s short-stories, was published in August 2005 by Simon & Schuster. A shorter version of the same book was previously self-published by Rothbart’s own production company, 21 Balloons Productions (named after Rothbart’s favorite book, The 21 Balloons, by William Pène du Bois). An Italian edition, Il Surfista Solitario del Montana, was published in 2007 by Coniglio Editore. In 2008, actor Steve Buscemi optioned the book for film adaption, to be developed by Olive Productions; Buscemi has written the screenplay and plans to direct.

When Fred Rogers of the PBS television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood died in February 2003, the New York Times ran an Op-Ed by Rothbart about his childhood encounters with Rogers similar to his story on This American Life. Rothbart also writes for GQ, The Believer, New York Magazine, SLAM Magazine, Maxim, and The Sun, and has a recurring column on Grantland.

In December 2006, Geffen Records released Rothbart’s documentary film How We Survive about the punk rock band Rise Against on a DVD called Generation Lost. His second Rise Against documentary, Another Station: Another Mile, which follows the band as they write songs for a new album and perform shows around the world, was released in October 2010, and was among the year’s bestselling music DVDs in the U.S. and Germany. In May, 2011, Rothbart directed a behind-the-scenes featurette for ItGetsBetter.org about the making of Rise Against’s "Make It Stop" video, which was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award. Rothbart and Rise Against lead singer Tim McIlrath are former roommates.

In the spring of 2008, Easier With Practice, a film based on an article Rothbart wrote for GQ about his life on tour, was shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The movie, written and directed by Kyle Alvarez, stars Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker) as Davy and Kel O’Neill as Davy’s brother; it premiered June 12, 2009 at the CineVegas Film Festival and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize. A week later, Easier With Practice premiered internationally at the Edinburgh Film Festival, where it won the prize for Best Feature. In December 2009, Easier With Practice was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. The film was released in theaters in February, 2010, and met with great critical success: The Los Angeles Times called Easier With Practice "fresh, flawless, and totally captivating," and The Village Voice praised the film as "emotionally honest and achingly true."

In January 2009, Rothbart filmed his first full-length narrative feature, Overhaul, which stars rapper Daniel "D Shot" Garvatt as a pizza driver in desperate circumstances on New Year’s Eve. Rothbart himself delivered for Bell’s Pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan for six years. Overhaul is scheduled to be released in 2013.