David Zellner

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David Zellner
Damsel - Press Conference.jpg
David Zellner at Berlinale 2018
Greeley, Colorado, United States
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, actor
Years active1997–present
Home townAustin, Texas

David Zellner is an American film director, screenwriter and actor. He lives and works in Austin, Texas. Zellner is best known for directing the films Kid-Thing (2012) and Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014).


David Zellner started his career by studying at the University of Texas film school and then staged exclusively Independent feature films and short films. He always works together with his younger brother Nathan Zellner under the name Zellner Bros.[1]

For his feature film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014), starring Oscar-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi, which he directed and acted in, and co-wrote with his brother Nathan Zellner, he won a Best Director Jury Prize award at the 2014 Fantasia Film Festival. The film also won an Audience Award for Best Film and Special Jury Award at the 2014 Las Palmas Film Festival. At the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival, the film won the Golden Rock Narrative Award for Best Feature Film, and at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, the film won a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score (by The Octopus Project) and was also nominated for the U.S. Grand Jury Dramatic Prize. Furthermore, at the 2014 Nantucket Film Festival, David and his brother Nathan won the Showtime Tony Cox Award for Best Screenwriting in a Feature Film for their screenplay Kumiko. Kumiko also won a "Most Original Film" award at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. David was nominated for a Best Director Independent Spirit Award in 2014 for directing the film, with lead actress Rinko Kikuchi who was nominated for a Best Female Lead Actress Independent Spirit Award. Additionally, for his producing work on Kumiko and several other films, Producer Chris Ohlson received the Independent Spirit Award's Piaget Producers Award.

For his feature film, Kid-Thing (2012), which he directed and wrote, David won a Best Film award from the 2012 Gen Art Film Festival. He also received 2nd place in a Village Voice Film Poll for "Best Undistributed Film."

David's short film Sasquatch Birth Journal 2 (2010), got into the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and was nominated for the Sundance Short Filmmaking Award that year.



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Plastic Utopia James Also director, co-writer, producer, editor
1998 The Curve Deadhead #1
2001 Frontier Officer Also director, writer
2002 "Nutella and Gummi Bear Sandwich" Music video; director
2002 I Love You Man
2003 The Meat Market Maynard Rollins Short film
2003 Rummy Sam Short film; also director
2004 The Virile Man Gary Short film; director, writer
2004 Quasar Hernandez Short film; director, writer
2004 Dear Pillow Phone Man #1 Voice
2004 Oh My God Witness
2005 Foxy and the Weight of the World Short film; director, writer
2005 Flotsam/Jetsam Short film; director, writer
2005 Who Is On First? Short film; director
2006 The Cassidy Kids Cat Burglar
2006 Redemptitude Preacher Short film; director, writer
2007 "TRUCK" Music video; director
2007 Aftermath on Meadowlark Lane Short film; director, writer
2008 Untitled (Thanks, Get in...) The Star
2008 Goliath Also director, writer
2008 Baghead Festivalgoer
2008 Pardon My Downfall Short film
2009 "This Old World" Music video; director
2009 "Wet Gold" Music video; director
2009 Cinemad Mix Tape #1 Australian Priest Co-director
2009 Beeswax Scott
2010 Tug Geno
2010 Shit Year Hal Ashland
2010 Sasquatch Birth Journal 2 Short film; co-director, co-writer
2010 Hexadecagon Director
2011 Slacker 2011 Kid with Soda #1 Segment: "Boyfriends"; director
2012 "Star Bowling" Music video; co-director
2012 Kid-Thing Caleb Also director, writer
2013 "Sharpteeth" Music video, cinematographer
2013 Ain't Them Bodies Saints Zellner
2013 Love and Air Sex Cab Driver
2014 Dignity Lamb
2014 Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter Deputy Also director, writer
2014 Faults Restaurant Manager
2015 There Thrill
2018 Damsel Writer, director
2019 The Art of Self Defense Henry

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Strangerhood Sam Voice
2008 Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction PFL Troop Voice
2009 FIDDLESTIXX 3 episodes; director, writer
2010 Rooster Teeth Shorts Businessman


  1. ^ Zellner Bros. – zellnerbros.com

External links[edit]