Based on the stage play THE MULBERRY BUSH by Neil LaBute originally produced and presented by Throughline Artists as part of the 2014 SUMMER SHORTS festival at 59E59 Theaters in NYC.

The Mulberry Bush | (2016)

Written and Directed by NEIL LABUTE

World Premiere | September 15, 2016 (Tribeca Film Festival)

Running Time: 17 Minutes (Black & White)

Filmed on location in Central Park, NYC

Two men sit next to each other on an autumn day in Central Park. They make small talk about the weather and the joys of summer. When the conversation turns personal, however, it becomes clear that this is no random encounter, and they are headed toward a startling confrontation.

 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER

Neil LaBute

NEIL LABUTE (Writer & Director)

Neil LaBute arrived on the filmmaking scene at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival with his feature debut, In the Company of Men. The film went on to win the Filmmaker Trophy at the festival, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Feature. In addition to Sundance, it screened at the Cannes, Edinburgh, and Deauville Film Festivals and won two Independent Spirit Awards.

Following on the success of In the Company of Men, LaBute continued to push boundaries on screen and stage and has established himself as a leading playwright and film & television writer/director. Among his films are Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, The Shape of Things, Lakeview Terrace, Some Velvet Morning, and Dirty Weekend. In television, he has created two series for DirecTV, ten x ten, a collection of short films, and Billy & Billie, a half-hour comedy starring Adam Brody.

LaBute’s plays have been Tony and Olivier Award nominated and staged throughout the world. They include The Shape of Things, Fat Pig, Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, reasons to be pretty (Tony Award nominated for Best Play), The Money Shot, and The Way We Get By. In fall of 2016, a new work titled All the Ways to Say I Love You premiered at MCC Theatre in New York. LaBute is also the author of Seconds of Pleasure, a collection of short fiction published by Grove Atlantic.

 

CAST

J.J. Kandel

J.J. KANDEL (Kip)

A versatile actor for stage and screen, J.J.'s film and television credits include 10K written and directed by Neil LaBute; Chuck with Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts; Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker (Best Picture 2010) both directed by Academy Award® winner Kathryn Bigelow; We Need To Talk About Kevin; Billie & Billy (DirecTV); and Law & Order (NBC).

New York theater credits include 10K written and directed by Neil LaBute; The Mulberry Bush by Neil LaBute directed by Maria Mileaf; Falling Short and Jonathan’s Blaze both directed by Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winner Alexander Dinelaris; The Killing (World Premiere) by William Inge; Sundance directed by Matthew Penn; Intermission by Will Eno; and The Great Pretenders directed by Billy Hopkins with Amy Irving. Kandel is an actor member of Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association.

 
 

Victor Slezak

VICTOR SLEZAK (Bill)

As a teenager, Victor was accepted into legendary Uta Hagen’s acting class which lead to studies with Kim Stanley, Geraldine Page and Wynn Handman.

He is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and the Ensemble Studio Theatre and has worked with iconic film directors such as Clint Eastwood, John Boorman, Stephen Frears, Mary Harron, John Frankenheimer, Philip Noyce, Tony Scott, Neil LaBute, Mike Newell and Peter Bogdanovich.

Victor has also played opposite the formidable actresses Geraldine Page, Kathleen Turner, Elizabeth Ashley and Sada Thompson.

He began his career in regional theatre where he played major roles in classics such as Lord Berowne in Shakespeare’s Loves Labours Lost and Jacques in As You Like It, as well as modern masters including Arthur Miller, Ibsen, John Steinbeck, and Tennessee Williams.

Victor has appeared on Broadway, off Broadway and has had a hand in developing new works with established as well as up and coming playwrights.

Currently he is appearing on numerous top TV shows, be they on network, cable or streaming during this new Golden Age of Television. Victor's latest endeavors include The Interestings for Amazon, The OA for Netflix and President U.S. Grant on Hell On Wheels for AMC.

 

PRODUCER

Tim Harms (Contemptible Entertainment/Harmful Films)

A two-time Sundance Film Festival alumnus, Tim Harms has worked extensively with writer, director and playwright Neil LaBute, producing his feature film Some Velvet Morning, which was released by Tribeca Film in December 2013, as well as the short films sexting (Sundance 2011), BFF, and The Mulberry Bush.  He also served as co-producer on LaBute's most recent feature Dirty Weekend, starring Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve, and as Executive Producer for LaBute's  Billy & Billie, a half-hour TV series that aired on DirecTV’s Audience Channel.

In addition to his work with LaBute, Harms has also worked with writer/director Lee Toland Krieger (The Age of Adaline, Celeste & Jesse Forever) and produced his feature film debut, The Vicious Kind.  The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and received Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Screenplay.


filmmakers & crew

Writer and Director • Neil LaBute

Producers • Tim Harms, J.J. Kandel, Neil LaBute

Executive Producer • Jeffrey S. Gould

Cinematographer • Daniel Vecchione

Editor • Tim Harms

Production Coordinator • Orit Schwartz

B-Camera Operator • Mabel Santos Haugen

1st Assistant Camera • Connor Lawson

Key Grip • Geoffrey Todd Womack

Best Boy • Jaime Bernat

Hair and Makeup • Jessica Jade Jacobs

Sound • Max Phillips

Script Supervisor • Isabella Carter

Production Assistants • Alexander Ciccione, Ryan Tramont

Security • Wilfredo Vega

Colorist • Alex Berman

Online Editor • Eugene Lehnert

Visual Effects Artist • Joey Oxford

Foley Recordist • Brahm Patel

Foley Artist • Josh Murphy

Background Sound Design • Carlo Marraccini-Rivero

Mixer • Michael J. McDonald

Audio Post House • Private Island Audio


SPECIAL THANKS

I Got a Guy, Inc.

Richard I. Kandel

Maria Mileaf

Nicholas Ricigliano, USMS

Eric B. Timberman, USMS

Dennis Carter

Tabea Jones

Tony Jackson

Joe Barton

Stan Steen

Central Park Conservancy

The Mayor's Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting


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