Davey Showcase guest filmmakers the Zellner Brothers were born in Colorado but moved as children to Texas, where they both attended college. (David studied film at the University of Texas; Nathan studied computer science at Texas A&M University.) In the early 2000s, they began to make a series of droll comic shorts, usually starring themselves, in Austin.
Truly independent filmmakers, “they are following their own muse,” said Paul Stekler, a documentary filmmaker and professor at the University of Texas, and a longtime observer of the Austin film scene. “Is there anything better than being able to support yourself doing what you want to do, rather than what someone in Hollywood tells you to do?”
After many years of making films in Austin, they produced their masterpiece to date Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and which internationally-known director Werner Herzog called “a very beautiful, very deeply touching film.”
“Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter follows a young woman named Kumiko who ditches the austerity of Japanese work life and treks to Minnesota to discover the buried loot from the film Fargo. It’s a fascinating confluence of culture and era, forming into something of an ode to classic adventure tales while maintaining an impressive degree of cinematic and narrative expertise.” (From a 2014 Sundance interview with Nate von Zumwalt.)