Director Zachary Heinzerling and Artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara Ignite the Houston Cinema Arts Fest

The Houston Cinema Arts Festival kicked off its 2013 season with a packed screening of the documentary film Cutie and The Boxer at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Produced by Houston native, Zachary Heinzerling and this was its first screening in Houston.

The film took four years to make. Noriko Shinohara said that having Zachary around so often was like having an orphan around. “He didn’t know much about Japanese art and he doesn’t look grown-up.” Heinzerling was also surprised by how long it took to get the film right. He grew up a fan of Albert Maysles, who spent only three weeks to make the classic film Grey Gardens. “I don’t think that’s possible anymore,” Heinzerling shared.


Painter and documentary subject Ushio was surprised at how much the film became a romance story. “I thought it would be more of the boxing. It’s a love story without one scene of kissing.”

Noriko was wearing beautiful hand-painted shoes. They were given to her as a gift, hand painted by her troubled but deeply talented son when the film was accepted into The Sundance Film Festival. She was asked if she encouraged him to become an artist like both of his parents. “From four days old he was in the studio. Him making a sculpture was like other kids playing with toys.”

The film has been lined up for wider theater distribution in the future. There is one more showing today at the Sundance Theater at 12:45.

To read more about the film, check out my post from Monday.

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