Berlinale: Programme

Film File




Robert Pattinson (Actor), Nathan Zellner (Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Producer), David Zellner (Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Producer), Mia Wasikowska (Actress)

Moderation: Jenni Zylka

Press Conference at full length

Samuel Alabaster, more greenhorn than pioneer, sets off into the vast expanse of the American wilderness. He’s looking for Penelope, the love of his life and the woman he wants to marry. He is accompanied by his guitar, the miniature pony Butterscotch that he’s brought along as a wedding gift, and Parson Henry, the man he’s hired as master of ceremonies, who is a bit of a tippler. And so the motley crew sets off, but no sooner do they overcome some initial hurdles than Samuel comes out with the whole truth: Penelope must be freed from the clutches of a kidnapper – if necessary by force. Her abductor is apparently holding her captive in a remote log cabin. However, it seems that their plans to liberate the potential bride were forged without the lady’s consent, and feisty Penelope is not at all inclined to become Mrs Alabaster. ... Just like the hero and his very little pony, so too does this bold interpretation of the western meander – through satire, slapstick and parody. A serious dimension is nonetheless ensured, not least by the film’s resilient heroine who is quite capable of asserting her own will with a shotgun in her hand.

David & Nathan Zellner

USA 2017


113 min · Colour


Robert Pattinson (Samuel)
Mia Wasikowska (Penelope)
David Zellner (Parson Henry)
Nathan Zellner (Rufus)
Robert Forster (Old Preacher)
Joe Billingiere (Zachariah)


Written and directed by
David & Nathan Zellner
Director of Photography
Adam Stone
Melba Robichaux
The Octopus Project
Production Design
Scott Kuzio
Terry Anderson
Amy Forsythe
Production Manager
Scott Chester
Nathan Zellner, Chris Ohlson, David Zellner
Executive Producers
Jim Reeve, Robert Halmi Jr.


David & Nathan Zellner

The brothers David (born in 1974) and Nathan (born in 1975) from Greeley, Colorado have been writing, directing, producing and appearing in films for more than a decade. Among their award-winning shorts and features are Goliath, which was shown at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and Kid-Thing, which had its international premiere in the 2012 Forum at the Berlinale. Their 2014 film Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter starring Rinko Kikuchi also screened in the Forum and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Damsel is their first western.


2001 Frontier 2008 Goliath 2011 Kid-Thing 2014 Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter 2017 Damsel

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by

Damsel Productions

World Sales:
Great Point Media
London, United Kingdom
+44 20 38730020

ICM Partners
Los Angeles, USA
+1 310 5504316