Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2015, 105 minutes, color)

Synopsis:
KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER tells the haunting and strangely funny story of a young Japanese woman set on fulfilling the wildest of dreams.

Kumiko—a meek twenty-something struggling to make it on her own in Tokyo—lives in constant resentment of her dead-end job and demeaning boss.  But her spirits lift when, in a fictional American film, she observes a man bury a satchel of money in the snow.  She becomes convinced that the treasure is real and with little more than a self-made treasure map, Kumiko sets off on an epic journey to unearth her mythical fortune.

Screenings:
2014 Sundance Film Festival (U.S. Dramatic Competition)
64th Berlin International Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
San Francisco International Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival (Narrative Competition)
BAM (BAMcinemaFest)
Fantasia International Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Rooftop Films
Sundance NEXTFEST
Sidewalk Film Festival
Dallas International Film Festival
Sundance London Film Festival
Independent Film Festival Boston
Little Rock Film Festival
Nantucket Film Festival
Galway Film Fleadh (Ireland)
New Zealand International Film Festival
New Horizons Film Festival (Poland)
Pluk de Nacht Open Air Film Festival (Netherlands)
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
Tacoma Film Festival
Tallgrass Film Festival
Black Bear Film Festival
Toronto After Dark Film Festival
Twin Cities Film Fest
Philadelphia International Film Festival
Canberra International Film Festival
American Film Festival (Poland)
Hawaii Film Festival
Indie Memphis Film Fest
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Stockholm International Film Festival
Virginia Film Festival
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (Taiwan)
Key West Film Festival
Denver International Film Festival

Acclaim:
Justin Chang / VARIETY: “Indeed one of the treasures of the dramatic competition — an infinitely sad, tender and beguiling study of delusion and alienation that, as carried on the brilliant shoulders of Rinko Kikuchi, builds to a final stretch as strange and gripping as anything I’ve seen at the festival this year.”

Rodrigo Perez / THE PLAYLIST (INDIEWIRE): “A kind of peculiar, intelligent fairy tale, the Zellner brothers magical ‘Treasure Hunter’ leaves much to chew on... and much of this frosty and bracing expressionism will be a subjective experience. But either way, its ambiguity should dazzle and delight."

Scott Foundas / VARIETY: “Our desire that life should be more like it is in the movies beats at the heart of “Kumiko the Treasure Hunter,” a wonderfully strange and beguiling adventure.”

Eric Kohn / INDIEWIRE: “The brothers' strongest emotional achievement... pushes their style up to a new level of sophistication.”

Brian Tallerico/ HOLLYWOOD CHICAGO: “one of the most unique films you’ll see this year and one of the most gorgeous as well...verging on brilliant.”

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks / SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN: “It mesmerized me from start to finish.”

Scott Macaulay / FILMMAKER: "a poetic stunner, shot through w/ Zellner Bros' blend of empathy and black humor but with a new sense of majesty.

Zachary Etheart / INTERVIEW: “I loved it. It was visually beautiful and really moving, hilarious and tragic. The sound design was also amazing. And Rinko’s performance was one of the best I’ve seen all year.”

Devin Faraci / BADASS DIGEST: “It’s ok, until it becomes spectacular. Ending left me with tears in my eyes.”

Lindsey Bahr / ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: “Let's all meet up and gush about Kumiko. Deal? Deal... I love, love, loved it. 9 out of 10.”

Noel Murray / THE DISSOLVE: “both original and true...There’s a spooky poetry to the climactic sequences of Kumiko.”

Debbie Cerda / SLACKERWOOD: “the most beautifully shot film that I’ve seen at Sundance, with well-matched score by The Octopus Project.”

Britt Hayes / SCREEN CRUSH: “a charming, sad and existential contemplation on life film as escapism.”

Kyle Buchanan and Jada Yuan / VULTURE: “They explore the question, "What if life played out like it does in the movies?" and the answer, of course, is that it would be wonderful.”