Barry Mendel is a film producer who worked with some of the most successful independent filmmakers in Hollywood. His first film as a producer was the quirky Wes Anderson comedy "Rushmore" in 1998. It was Anderson's breakthrough film (his second, after 1996's "Bottle Rocket"), and it featured a lead performance by Jason Schwartzman that launched his successful acting career. Mendel would go on to collaborate with Anderson on his two subsequent films, the eccentric comedies "The Royal Tennenbaums" in 2001 and "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" in 2004, each stylistically similar in its use of deadpan humor and a hip, frequently-implemented soundtrack. In 1999, Mendel was one of the producers on the mystery thriller "The Sixth Sense," a huge sleeper hit for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. Mendel would team up with Shyamalan again, first in 2000 on the fantasy thriller "Unbreakable," and then not again until 2008 on his sci-fi thriller "The Happening." In 2009, Mendel moved back into comedy, albeit black comedy, in Judd Apatow's 2009 tale of a fictional stand-up comic, played by Adam Sandler, in "Funny People." Another Mendel collaborator came in the form of Ellen Page: Mendel produced 2009's roller derby drama, "Whip It," and then in 2010 the thriller "Peacock," both films featuring the actress as a lead. Mendel also produced the successful period thriller "Munich" directed by Steven Spielberg.
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