This Is Martin Bonner

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This Is Martin Bonner
Directed by Chad Hartigan
Produced by Cherie Saulter
Written by Chad Hartigan
Music by Keegan DeWitt
Cinematography Sean McElwee
Edited by Julio C. Perez IV
Distributed by Monterey Media
Release date
Country United States
Language English

This Is Martin Bonner is an American drama film written and directed by Chad Hartigan. The film stars Paul Eenhoorn as Martin Bonner, a man in his late 50s forced to relocate to Reno, Nevada, for a new job and his attempts to acclimate and make new friends. Through his work at a non-profit organization, he meets Travis Holloway (Richmond Arquette), and the two men form an unlikely friendship. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, where it won the Audience Award for Best of NEXT.


Martin Bonner has just moved to Nevada from Maryland, leaving behind his two adult children and a life he spent more than two decades building. He is there working at a new job as the volunteer coordinator for a non-profit organization that helps prisoners make the transition from incarceration to freedom. It is Martin’s first job in two years and he has recently declared bankruptcy.

At the same time, Travis Holloway, a prisoner in the program, is being released after serving twelve years. Sent back into the world with nothing, Travis also finds life in Reno difficult to adjust to, despite the help from his program sponsor, Steve Helms.

The stories of Martin and Travis slowly converge, as the two men meet and find that they have much in common, not the least of which is an unspoken need for encouragement and support. Their unlikely friendship blossoms but is put to the test when Travis betrays Martin's trust in order to reunite with his estranged daughter.


This Is Martin Bonner was shot on location in Reno and Sparks, Nevada, using the Red One camera. Shooting took sixteen days during November 2011.[2]



This Is Martin Bonner was selected to screen at the following film festivals:


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 93% of 28 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 7.8/10. The site's consensus reads: "Solemn but heartfelt, This Is Martin Bonner is a slow-burning drama with an outstanding performance by Paul Eenhoorn as the title character."[11] Metacritic rated it 71/100 based on ten reviews.[12] John Anderson of Variety described it as "A mood piece, a character study and an exercise in poetic gesture possessed of a sort of evanescent, secular spirituality. Helmer Chad Hartigan's second feature is Americana of a very immediate sort, a tale of redemption that may leave its viewers with an uncanny sense of peace."[13] David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Acted with smart restraint and shot with corresponding composure, this is a somber drama built out of small but acutely observed moments of naturalistic behavior."[14] The New York Times reviewer Nicolas Rapold commented, "It's gratifying to see the care taken with his characters, though it would be no betrayal of them for Mr. Hartigan to flesh out their world and their lives further."[15]

It won the 2013 Sundance Best of Next audience award[16] and the 2014 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.[17]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Macaulay, Scott (September 2, 2013). "Day 10 of 16: Chad Hartigan and This is Martin Bonner". Filmmaker. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Sundance Film Sundance Film Guide". Sundance Film Guide. Sundance Film Guide. Retrieved 26 Feb 2013. 
  4. ^ "2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards". Sundance Film Blog. Sundance Film Festival Blog. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "SPOTLIGHT SCREENINGS REVEALED". Oxford Film Guide. Oxford Film Guide. Retrieved 26 Feb 2013. 
  6. ^ "The complete Festival film lineup". Florida Film Guide. Florida Film Guide. Retrieved 26 Feb 2013. 
  7. ^ "Nashville Film Nashville Film Guide". Nashville Film Guide. Nashville Film Guide. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Sarasota Film Guide". Sarasota Film Guide. Sarasota Film Guide. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Wisconsin Film Guide". Wisconsin Film Guide. Wisconsin Film Guide. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "River Run Film Guide". River Run Film Guide. River Run Film Guide. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "This Is Martin Bonner (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "This Is Martin Bonner". Metacritic. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ Anderson, John. This is Martin Bonner Sundance Review Variety
  14. ^ Rooney, David This is Martin Bonner Sundance Review The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ Nicolas Rapold (August 13, 2013). "Counselor and Ex-Con, Adjusting to New Worlds". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ Renninger, Bryce J. (January 28, 2013). "Sundance Futures: 'This is Martin Bonner' Director Chad Hartigan, Winner of Best of NEXT". Indiewire. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ Webber, Stephanie (March 1, 2014). "Independent Spirit Awards 2014: The Complete Winner's List". Us Magazine. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 

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