Director Biography – Jonathan Levy (UNLEASHED)

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Jonathan Levy is an award-winning director/screenwriter from North Carolina who came up in New York City studying sketch-writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade and acting at HB Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse.

His first short play, ‘Camping Out’ was produced by the Collective NY to critical acclaim and ‘Unleashed’ is his first short film.

He graduated from Brandeis University with at B.A. in Philosophy of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies and then at Hunter College where he received a Master’s in Geography.

In addition to his career in film, Jonathan is an accomplished drummer and played the streets, clubs and toured the country with NYC’s legendary Stumblebum Brass Band, appearing on America’s Got Talent and sharing the stage with The Black Lips and The Roots. He loves Duke Basketball and all Caribbean food.

Director Statement

The story of Unleashed came out of my own struggles as an actor in NYC over the past 10 years, where I was on and off straddling demanding day jobs and trying to break into the industry. I wanted to create a film in which to see these tensions play out and I had to look no further to my friend and collaborator, Nick Feitel who plays the lead.

Nick is, in real life, a dog walker based in Brooklyn. Watching him abandon his friends mid-hangout to go do a whirlwind of dog related duties from sitting, walking to boarding, I realized I could capture an interesting lifestyle, that of the dogwalker, which has yet to be documented in its comical glory.

Finally, while I was developing the concept of the pilot, the wonderful actor, Geoffrey Owens got “job shamed” when his photo was taken while working at Trader Joes. The story went viral during the writing of Unleashed.

The “if you are successful, you will be happy” is all faulty logic. I hope to explore through Unleashed that the relentless pursuit of fame is not necessarily an end goal and if nothing else, should not come at the cost of one’s own self-worth and well being.

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