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Meet the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers #24: Chad Hartigan Gets Inside the Mind of Middle-Aged Man Starting Over in 'This Is Martin Bonner'

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire January 12, 2013 at 1:47PM

Chad Hartigan was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with fellow filmmakers Aaron Katz, Zach Clark, Brendan McFadden, and Karrie Crouse. "They and all the other students were my mentors," he told Indiewire. In 2008, he wrote and directed his first feature, "Luke and Brie Are on a First Date," which had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival before screening at several others. A Latin-American remake entitled Luna en Leo is set for release in 2013. "This Is Martin Bonner" is Hartigan’s second feature film.
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Sundance "This Is Martin Bonner"
Chad Hartigan was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts with fellow filmmakers Aaron Katz, Zach Clark, Brendan McFadden, and Karrie Crouse. "They and all the other students were my mentors," he told Indiewire. In 2008, he wrote and directed his first feature, "Luke and Brie Are on a First Date," which had its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival before screening at several others. A Latin-American remake entitled Luna en Leo is set for release in 2013. "This Is Martin Bonner" is Hartigan’s second feature film.


What It's About: "Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the issues he left behind."

What It's REALLY About: "The difficulties of starting over at a late stage in your life."

My Biggest Challenge: "Aside from the obvious financial challenges, it was difficult to tell the story of characters completely outside of my own age and experiences in a truthful way."

Films That Inspired This Movie: "Hunger," "You the Living," "The Band's Visit," "Day Night Day Night," "California Split," "Tuesday After Christmas," "Umberto D." and dozens more.

What We Shot On: "We shot on the RED One MX."

In the Works: "I'm working on a script about first love that takes place in Germany, but writing doesn't come naturally to me so I'm also open to directing someone else's material and perusing those options."

Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.

Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: Meet the 2013 Sundance Filmmakers, Sundance Film Festival