David Zellner

At no point in his filmmaking career could David Zellner have been accused of being a typical writer or director. Working consistently with his brother, screenwriter Nathan Zellner, the multihyphenate churned out some of the strangest short and feature length projects imaginable, often in the realms of fantasy, black comedy, and surreal absurdism. David Zellner was born in Greeley, Colorado. He shared an interest in filmmaking with his younger brother and future creative partner Nathan Zellner. David Zellner pursued his passion through the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Radio-Television-Film, and ultimately through the development of his and Nathan's own production company Zellner Bros. The pair made its film debut with the absurdist dark comedy "Plastic Utopia" (1997), directed by David and co-written by and starring both brothers. They followed this project up with the equally bizarre "Frontier" (2001). Thereafter, David and Nathan wrote and directed a number of short films, notably "The Virile Man" (2004), "Foxy and the Weight of the World" (2005), and "Flotsam/Jetsam" (2005). At this time, the Zellner brothers expanded their acting careers by taking roles in other directors' projects as well, including Jay and Mark Duplass' "Baghead" (2008). Next, David Zellner wrote and directed his most linear project yet, the dark comedy "Goliath" (2008), which involved a man's hectic plight to find his missing cat. Zellner experimented with more dramatic tones for his following feature, "Kid-Thing" (2012), the story of a troubled young girl with a deviant sense of right and wrong. At this time, Zellner's extracurricular acting roles continued to accumulate, in such projects as "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" (2013) and "Love & Air Sex" (2013). Zellner's breakthough came with "Kumiko the Treasure Hunter" (2014). Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, "Kumiko the Treasure Hunter" featured rising star Rinko Kikuchi as a lonely young woman bound on an overseas quest for buried treasure inspired by a viewing of the Coen Brothers film "Fargo" (1996). Directed by David Zellner alone and written by and featuring both brothers, the film showcased the Zellners' maturing sense of tone and plotting, while maintaining their strange and original touch.