Interview with Chad Hartigan on the red carpet of the Atlanta Film Festival
Chad Hartigan’s love for film began when he was a kid, “messing around” with a camera and reenacting Mortal Kombat scenes using ketchup packets for special effects.
True to the spirit of independent film making, his first film Luke and Brie Are on a First Date was experiential. In his words “I was young and trying to figure things out.” After proving to himself that he and his team could make a movie, they then set out to prove to that they could make a “really great movie,” and the efforts paid off with This is Martin Bonner, which won the 2013 Sundance Best of Audience Award and the 2014 Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.
Hartigan is back on the independent film circuit with Morris from America, bringing us an unusual coming-of-age film. The movie does rely upon some of the tested formulas of the genre: conflict with parents, unrequited love, road trip, experimentation; the unique angle to the story is its main character, an African American teenage boy finding his place in a foreign country, Germany. Morris is played by breakout star Markees Christmas. The father is played by Craig Robinson, in his first dramatic role. The anchor to the story is the bond between father and son, who in their own worlds are both facing the alienation of cultural dislocation.