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Poster for Cult 101: Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)
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Cult 101: Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)

Opens on March 22

Director: David Zellner Run Time: 105 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 2014

Starring: Ayaka Onishi, Ichi Kyokaku, Kanako Higashi, Nobuyuki Katsube, Rinko Kikuchi

Country: Japan
Language: English, Japanese

Cult 101 at Gateway Film Center

A celebration of the best cult films of all time.

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About the film:

In this darkly comedic odyssey, Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (2006’s Babel, 2013’s Pacific Rim) stars as Kumiko, a frustrated Office Lady whose imagination transcends the confines of her mundane life. Kumiko becomes obsessed with a mysterious, battered VHS tape of a popular film she’s mistaken for a documentary, fixating on a scene where a suitcase of stolen cash is buried in the desolate, frozen landscape of North Dakota. Believing this treasure to be real, she leaves behind Tokyo and her beloved rabbit Bunzo to recover it – and finds herself on a dangerous adventure unlike anything she’s seen in the movies.

With Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014), indie mavericks the Zellner Bros. spin a strangely touching underdog fable, populated by eccentrics and elevated to sonic heights by a Sundance award-winning score from electro-indie outfit The Octopus Project, that will leave audiences rooting for the impossible.

About the filmmakers:

David & Nathan Zellner are Austin-based filmmakers who have written, produced, directed and appeared in numerous award-winning shorts and feature films. The Zellners have been a force on the festival circuit dating back to the 2005 short film Flotsam/Jetsam (2005), their first film to premiere at Sundance. Some of their other notable projects — all of which have played at Sundance — include the acclaimed short films Aftermath on Meadowlark Lane (2007) and Sasquatch Birth Journal 2 (2010), their first feature film Goliath (2008), the fable-like drama KID-THING (2012), the darkly comedic western Damsel (2018), and the surreal comedy Sasquatch Sunset (2024).

Directed by David from a screenplay he co-wrote with Nathan, the Zellner’s feature film Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (2014) premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance and internationally at the 62nd Berlinale, won the Best Director Jury Prize at the 2014 Fantasia Film Festival, and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards (Best Director and Best Actress for Rinko Kikuchi).

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