Sundance: Amplify Nabs U.S. Rights to 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter'

The film first screened in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for musical score.

Amplify has acquired U.S. rights to Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, starring Pacific Rim's Rinko Kikuchi and directed by David and Nathan Zellner.

The film first screened in January at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for musical score. It also played in late June at the Nantucket Film Festival.

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Kumiko (Kikuchi) lives in a cluttered, cramped apartment in Tokyo with her pet rabbit, Bunzo. She works as an office lady, robotically preparing tea and fetching dry cleaning for her nitpicking boss. But on her own time, she obsessively watches a well-known American film on a weathered VHS tape. Rewinding and fast-forwarding repeatedly, she meticulously maps out where a briefcase of loot is buried within the fictional film. Convinced that her destiny depends on finding the money, Kumiko heads to the United States and into the harsh Minnesota winter to search for it. 

Inspired by an urban legend about a Japanese woman who took a similar journey, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter features a score from The Octopus Project.

Nathan Zellner, Cameron Lamb, Chris Ohlson, Andrew Banks and Jim Burke produced.

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"We haven’t been able to stop talking about this film, and we think audiences will feel the same way," Amplify's Dylan Marchetti said. "The Zellners have created a visual and sonic tour-de-force that demands a big screen and loud surround sound, and so we’re going to bring this exclusively to the top theaters around the country. The last 20 minutes will simply melt your brain."

Added David Zellner: "We're incredibly proud of Kumiko. It has been a labor of love for Nathan, our producing partner Chris, and myself for many years. It's a cinematic quest made for the big screen, and we can't wait to share it with a wider audience. We're honored to be partnering with Amplify and their great team who will give it the proper release it deserves."

Written by the Zellners, the film also stars Nobuyuki Katsube, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner and Shirley Venard.

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"Kumiko is a captivating journey from start to finish — with a performance by Rinko that is daring and inspirational while devastatingly mesmerizing, set alongside a stunningly visual landscape," Lamb said. "I am excited to be working with the entire team at Amplify who share the same enthusiasm to bring the picture to a wide audience."

The film is a Lila 9th production.

Submarine's Josh Braun and David Koh repped the filmmakers. Kent Sanderson negotiated on behalf of Amplify. The Zellners are represented by ICM Partners and Mosaic. 

Founded in 2014, Amplify is the result of a merger between theatrical distributor Variance Films and digital distributor GoDigital.

Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27