Kent Martin has made well over a hundred films and television series dealing with history, economics, the arts, the environment, spirituality, and humour. In his career, spanning almost forty years, he has produced, directed, edited, photographed and written. These films, for the most part produced by the National Film Board of Canada, have played in Festivals all over the world from the Berlin Film Festival to Sundance and from the Toronto International Film Festival to Amsterdam’s IDFA. They have been broadcast on the world's major television networks including the BBC, Channel 4, Arte, ZDF, SBS, APTN, the Sundance Channel, Discovery, PBS, National Geographic, CBC, Global and CTV. His productions have garnered twenty Genie and Gemini awards and he has been nominated six times for the prestigious Donald Brittain Award.
Early work as a director included an hour long documentary about the artist Miller Brittain and In Love and Anger, a portrait of the great poet Milton Acorn. He produced Who’s Counting with economist Marilyn Waring. It is still in widespread distribution eighteen years after its release. The feature documentary Westray, directed by Paul Cowan, was short listed for an Academy Award®. The multiple award winning film Passage produced with director John Walker, was called “one of the great triumphs in Canadian documentary film history”, by the Toronto Star. The CBC television series about the Second World War, Canada Remembers, was called "a splendid piece of filmmaking" by the Globe and Mail. Men of the Deeps, about the Cape Breton coal miners choir, had one of the largest audiences ever for a documentary on Canadian television. JoDee Samuelson’s animated film Mabel's Saga was selected as the Best Short Film at the Montreal World Film Festival. The Strangest Dream, about the life of Nobel Prize winner, Joseph Rotblat, the only scientist to walk away from the Manhattan Project, had a special screening at the United Nations and the European Parliament. Hofmann’s Potion, directed by Connie Littlefield, a film about the early history of LSD is a web favourite.
** The films or trailers of the titles mentioned can be linked to at a complete description of each film under PROJECTS or COLLBORATIONS on this site.
Kent is also interested in the world of spirituality and has produced documentaries including Forgiveness with Johanna Lunn, the celebrated Words of My Perfect Teacher with Lesley Ann Patten, Tulku with Gesar Mukpo, The Sacred Sundance directed by Brian Francis, a film much valued as a teaching by First Nations elders, and Glimpses of Yarne a portrait of a six week retreat with Pema Chödron. Forgiveness won Best Short Form Documentary at Hot Docs.
As well in recent years he co-produced
A Drummer’s Dream, featuring seven of the world's best drummers. It premiered to great acclaim at Hot Docs and has had a theatrical run. The Chocolate Farmer by filmmaker Rohan Fernando tells the story of Eladio Pop, a Mayan organic farmer of cacao in Belize, who calls himself “a traveler on this Earth”.
After leaving the NFB, where his last job was the Executive Producer for Atlantic Canada, Kent is back to where he started as an independent filmmaker, forming his own company Unceasing Play Productions. He has fallen in love with the possibilities and economy of working with HD DSLR cameras and has
made a feature documentary called Raising Windhorse about the oldest working example of sustainable forestry in Canada. He completed nine short films for the project A Beautiful Forest, produced for the Aboriginal People’s Television Network.
Kent's recent releases include
Wayne's Deer which premiered at the Atlantic Film Festival in 2015 and was broadcast several times on PBS in New England, Wi'kupaltimk:Feast of Forgiveness which screened at the Atlantic Film Festival in September 2016, and Every Living Thing which was broadcast on the CBC (short version) and screenings of the feature length version by The New Brunswick Museum, The United Nations Secretariat on Bio Diversity in Mexico and Eastern Europe and the Alliance of Canadian Museums across Canada. More recent productions have been A Scattering of Stars
a feature music documentary of Baroque and Traditional Celtic music.and Nakatuenita - Respect a documentary history of the Innu Nation in Labrador. A book of his landscape photography. The Peggy's Cove Barrens, was published in 2021.
Kent is also working a feature documentary, What Really Counts and on two still still photography projects, one on the Pandemic and the other, The Halifax Project.
Aside from this Kent is a grandfather and active in the community having served on the Boards of GPI (Genuine Progress Index) Atlantic, the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association and is a member of DOC. He is an advisor to the Nunavut Film Development Corporation and served on the Awards Committee for the Yorkton Short Film Festival.