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Beat Around the Bush

Logline: A 75 year old widow with Alzheimer's decides it's time to have her very first orgasm ever. (It takes a few tries).

Synopsis: BEAT AROUND THE BUSH is a short adventure comedy that follows UNA, a 75 year old widow recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, who struggles to stay optimistic as she tries her hand at achieving her very first orgasm ever. Fortunately, her two best friends, GOLDIE and BEATRICE, are there to cheer her on.

  • Brianne Nord-Stewart
    Billy Crystal Fills the Silence, The Provider, Trolls
  • Brianne Nord-Stewart
    The Provider, Trolls
  • Arielle Boisvert
    Little Pink House, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, Eastside Stories,
  • Katelyn Mann
    Dead Friends, Post-War Blues
  • Brianne Nord-Stewart
    The Provider, Trolls
  • Shawn Williamson
    The 9th Life of Louis Drax, 50/50, The Interview, Fifty Dead Men Walking, Horns
  • Brenda Matthews
    Key Cast
  • Mary Black
    Key Cast
    Man of Steel
  • Gina Stockdale
    Key Cast
    Regarding Sarah
  • Kacey Rohl
    Key Cast
    Hannibal, The Killing, Sunflower Hour
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 15, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 11th Vancouver International Women in Film Festival
    Vancouver, BC
    March 10, 2016
    Home City
  • 17th Dawson City International Short Film Festival
    Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada
    March 25, 2016
  • 40th Cleveland International Film Festival
    Cleveland, Ohio
    March 31, 2016
    North American
  • 17th Newport Beach International Film Festival
    Newport Beach California
    April 22, 2016
  • 16th deadCenter Film Festival
    Oklahoma City
    United States
    June 10, 2016
  • 25th Arizona International Film Festival
    United States
    April 23, 2016
    Arizona International
    Winner Best Comedy Short
  • 14th Female Eye Film Festival
    June 19, 2016
    Toronto Premiere
  • 11th Macon Film Festival
    United States
    July 22, 2016
    Georgia Premiere
  • 13th DC Shorts Film Festival
    Washinton, DC
    United States
    September 9, 2016
    DC premiere
  • 10th Yellowknife International Film Festival
    September 30, 2016
    NWT premiere
  • 13th Sedicicorto International Film Festival
    October 14, 2016
    Italian premiere
  • Lonestar Film Festival
    Fort Worth
    United States
    November 10, 2016
  • Denver International Film Festival
    United States
    November 9, 2016
  • Hamilton Film Festival
    November 4, 2016
  • 13th Dam Short Film Festival
    Boulder City
    United States
    February 10, 2017
  • 17th Nickel Independent Film Festival
    St. John's, Newfoundland
    June 20, 2017
  • Shorts International Film Festival
    July 1, 2017
  • Broad Humour Film Festival
    United States
    September 1, 2017
  • Leo Awards
    Vancouver, BC
    Best Female Performance in a Short Drama (Nomination)
  • Atlanta Underground Film Festival
    United States
    August 18, 2017
    Best Ensemble Cast
  • HollyShorts Film Festival
    Los Angeles
    United States
    August 15, 2017
  • Filmchella

    United States
    September 29, 2017
  • Kerry Film Festival
    October 20, 2017
Director Biography - Brianne Nord-Stewart

While obtaining her bachelor of media arts from Emily Carr University (2009), Brianne realized her proclivity in exploring taboo. Most specifically: awkward comedies about sex. (She’s even won a bunch of awards and stuff.)

Brianne gained international recognition on the festival circuit with her multi-award-winning short film, Trolls, which received an honorable mention at the Academy Accredited™ Clermont Ferrand Int’l Short Film Festival. Her subsequent short, The Provider (2011), garnered multiple awards, earning Brianne a Legacy Filmworks Award (2012), and Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award (2013).

In 2014, Brianne wrote, directed, and produced two music videos and two short films participated in the Women in the Director’s Chair Workshop, worked in camera on season one of FARGO, received a Harold Greenberg Shorts-to-Features award, shadowed director Allan Arkush on the series finale of Lifetime’s The Witches of East End, all the while developing cable comedy pilots and two feature films.

So far in 2015, Brianne wrote, directed, and produced her first series of TV commercials, completed post on a her Brightlight Pictures short film, Beat Around the Bush, and began development on the feature film of the same concept. Brianne is heading to Europe this summer to collaborate with Swiss-Canadian artist RYKKA on music videos for her as of yet, unreleased sophomore album.

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Director Statement

When you tell someone your new short is about a 75 year old widow with Alzheimer’s who decides to have her very first orgasm ever, 98 time out of 100 they laugh. I know this from experience.

Then they get curious.

And how did you come up with that idea?
Well, I was asked to write a short film that took place in Stanley Park. And so I thought, what do people do in Stanley Park (Vancouver, BC)? They have sex. And who would be the most unlikely people to have sex in Stanley Park? An old (heterosexual) couple.

Fast forward. Many drafts later: the film doesn’t take place anywhere near Stanley Park and there are no heterosexual couples having sex (or any couples whatsoever) in the piece.

Alzheimer’s was one of the last ingredients added to the script.

My grandfather and I are very close. He was born in 1923, and his first wife – my grandmother– died of Cancer in 1995, and he remarried in 1997 at age 75 to Audrey. I was ten, and wondered, “if people have sex after they get married, are Grandpa and Audrey going to have sex after they get married?” Precocious as I may have been, I kept that question to myself. In 2013, while I was rewriting the script, we went to visit Audrey in the care home where she was rapidly deteriorating from Alzheimer’s disease. She had been diagnosed a few years after they married. The daughter of a fellow care home resident mentioned to me that the staff were being overly cautious due to residents getting it on with each other, and the subsequent complaints from their children and guardians.

Care homes where patients have dementia. If a person is mentally deteriorating, but is getting enjoyment from sex, shouldn’t that be allowed? This issue isn’t just black and white, and who is able to give consent is the main issue in the argument.

And even before that, society believes that past a certain age, people don’t have sex, and don’t have an interest sex anymore. Amy Schumer’s Unfuckable Day sketch proves with flawless comedic tact how that idea is perpetuated in the media.

The short, “Beat Around the Bush”, opens the discussion to both them ideas in presenting the notion that a woman who is both, a senior, and suffering from a form of dementia, still has a desire to be sexual. The time is now.

Also, I couldn’t have my lead only get what she wanted with the help of another (man).