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PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
  • Photo by Rob Bartlett

Joshua Martin

Film programmer | For opening our eyes to the (dis)comfort of strangers

Known mostly for the long-running Uncomfortable Brunch monthly film series at Will's Pub, Joshua Martin also helps program the More Q Than A series at the former Gallery at Avalon Island, as well as themed marathons at the Milk District's Nook on Robinson. His involvement in curating movies even extends to selections committees for the Florida Film Festival and Slamdance.

But Uncomfortable Brunch developed accidentally, in Martin's own living room, starting off with just he and his roommate watching Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses while eating blueberry pancakes and drinking mimosas. The pairing of arthouse cinema with a pleasant social activity struck a chord with Martin, and the monthly gatherings eventually moved to Will's Pub. "I thought it was an idea that would just die. Like movie nerds would think it's funny for a few months." But Uncomfortable Brunch is still going strong in its fifth year.

Martin is quick to credit a lot of that longevity to the perspective of his partner in Uncomfortable Brunch. "It was a huge benefit when Kat Whitacre came on board a few years ago, because while our sensibilities are similar, they are very different in some respects. There've been times when we've shown stuff that I flat-out didn't want to show," says Martin. "But she said 'No, this is a movie that fits what we're doing and people are going to be into it.' And then it's standing room only."

In an entertainment landscape with seemingly endless options for viewing formerly hard-to-find films from the comfort of a living room, Martin is "still a big proponent of watching movies together in a room," he says. "It's hard to articulate, but there's just an energy in the room that's different when you watch with other people, especially strangers."

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