So, thanks to my job I got to meet a lot of interesting, talented people: traditionally-published and indie writers, graphic designers, painters, creative entrepreneurs with a bold vision, musicians.
I didn’t have the pleasure to meet any film people until recently, when I started working with genius executive producer Lee Aronsohn (more on a separated post).
Thanks to this collaboration, I got introduced to a TEAM OF AMAZING, CREATIVE PEOPLE that I want you all to meet; the first one of the list is writer and director Jonathan Levy, a multi-talented guy who’s also a professional cartographer (nerd alert, people!) and accomplished drummer and then …what else, Jonathan? Can you paint? Sing? Explain the nature of black holes? I mean, seriously bro … 😉
Jonathan’s the author of UNLEASHED, a very insightful (and feminist!) short film against bullism which was an official selection of SeriesFest and the Twin Cities Film Festival this past year; he also has another short film, Surveyor which is in pre-production for to shoot this February. But let’s get back to UNLEASHED.
This little gem follows the misadventures of Nate, an aspiring actor that superficial people could perceive as a wimp, when not a plain“loser”, while he’s in fact a strong, resilient man who knows who he is and he’s not afraid to show it. Nate is an aspiring actor who, in spite of all the difficulties, keeps pursuing his dream and persevering. To make a living in New York, he walks dogs, a job he does well and loves, having a dog himself (and that dog’s a born actor, I swear!).
Nate clearly has a thing for Shelley (beautifully played by Claire Tyers), a sassy bartender who’s also an aspiring actress. Shelley is an excellent example of character building, since she doesn’t have a lot of lines, nor a lot of screen time either still, her personality is very clear from the start: independent, assertive, strong, but also feminine and caring at the same time. She is proof that you don’t need to make your characters talk a lot, no to show them for long, to convey their thoughts and feelings; of course, as long as you write as well as Jonathan! 😉
In this movie, Nate’s tormented by a bully, an ex-dog walker whom he got fired because he was mistreating the dogs. Now, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but it’s Shelley that saves the day eventually, and the great thing is that Nate has no problem with it. He doesn’t feel threatened by a strong woman (who, as I mentioned earlier, is also incredibly sweet), he doesn’t feel diminished in any way. If anything, he loves her and admires her even more for that. As I said, he knows his worth, aware that it’s not connected to his physical strength or his sex life or income. Nate is far from being a loser, he’s actually a very confident guy who’s a feminist who respects and admires women and considers them his friends and supporters, not trophies, nor people needing ‘protection’. He never says it out loud in the movie, but it’s very clear to me that Nate thinks patriarchy’s bullshit (check the exchange he has with Shelley at the end).
It’s kind of sad, but I’ve noticed recently that some men are better at feminism than women and that to me is unacceptable, it must CHANGE! Jonathan is definitely one of those men good at feminism, anyway, so kudos to him!
So, you mustn’t miss this short, that’s why I’m embedding it here below, enjoy! Also, don’t forget to visit Jonathan’s website, this guy’s real cool, I promise: https://jonathanelevy.com/