Bonerman is a heartfelt comedy mockumentary that follows Brian, a mild-mannered and recently dumped accountant, on his mission to become the superhero LA deserves but never asked for. He’s having difficulty breaking into the superhero scene, but is confident that if he keeps trying, eventually he will succeed as a “sexual vigilante” (a job of his own creation that involves sleeping with people who badly want to be slept with.) The project is shot through the lens of self-proclaimed auteur-director, the unbearably pretentious Jork Jaques-Cousteau, with a minimal filmmaking setup consisting of a single cameraman, a shoulder mount, and a tripod. We watch as the documentary crew follows Brian and his alter ego Bonerman through quitting his job, going into debt, living out of his car after being kicked out by his ex-girlfriend, getting sued by his arch-nemesis Drive Truckman, attempting to convince the world of his worth as a sexual superhero, and making lasting friendships along the way.

The film explores millennial isolation and alienation through a failed superhero narrative. The emotional tone is similar to the works of Christopher Guest or Documentary Now!--mixing absurdist and dry humor--than to the traditional mockumentary touchstones of The Office or Parks and Rec. It takes characters and situations bordering on the zany--a failed superhero running around with a bright green dildo flopping off the front of his suit; a much more successful superhero whose sole ‘power’ is owning a truck in Los Angeles, an inexperienced director willing to follow his subjects into financial ruin--and grounds them in the sometimes ugly and heartbreaking reality of being dangerously broke in the city: sitting in a sun-baked car, showering at friends’ houses, and screaming at city officials on the phone.

The impetus for the story, on the outside, is that our protagonist has just been catastrophically dumped and has snapped in a major, lycra-covered way. But we also want to draw attention to the world that Brian is snapping in--one we inhabit ourselves, where the days at work are long, and the opportunities for connection are few, and our only outlet for personal expression is often something as small and depressing as an organized toothbrush drawer. Many of us have been in Brian’s shoes: lovelorn and trapped in jobs we dislike but can’t survive without. We want to explore the pathos and comedy that comes from watching him commit wholeheartedly to his dream...and then fall flat on his face. The heart of this story is in watching Brian come to a compromise with himself--although he has to return to a job he hates and doesn’t get his ex back, he ends the film as someone with true friends, and as someone who has, through blowing up his life in the most bizarre way possible, recaptured and nurtured the part of his personality that makes him him.

  • Jax Ball
  • Deirdra Angelucci
  • Katie Eiler
  • Harim Sanchez
  • Adam Stern-Rand
    Key Cast
  • Garrett Botts
    Key Cast
    "Drive Truckman"
  • Brendan Mulligan
    Key Cast
  • Isabel Schnall
    Key Cast
  • Harim Sanchez
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Mockumentary, Comedy, Heartfelt, LGBTQ
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 21 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 26, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Harim Sanchez

Harim Sanchez is a queer Chicano filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. Originally a playwright and stage director, Sanchez makes his directorial debut in film with "Bonerman" (2021) written by long-time collaborator and partner-in-crime, Jax Ball. Sanchez is currently building his body of work as a director by working as an assistant director and production assistant for various indie films and music videos in Los Angeles.

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Director Statement

The idea of Bonerman was born in a kitchen in Los Feliz during our morning coffee and tea. I can't recall what we were joking about, but Jax and I were riffing about something that eventually culminated into a rough concept of Bonerman itself. I recall telling Jax that they have to write this, it's too ridiculous not to. Within a week, they dropped a script in my lap and said "Have fun." It was the greatest gift they had ever given me. Jax and I have collaborated in the past but only in the world of theatre - where you have to be there for it to live and it then dies after its run. However, Bonerman was an opportunity for our brainchild to outlive us. One of the main reasons I wanted to direct Bonerman was to bottle the bizarre beauty that comes from putting our heads together. To me, it is a love letter to our collaboration: past, present, and future.

Bonerman also drew a lot of inspiration from the struggle of trying to break into the entertainment industry itself. Bonerman as a character represents the struggling creative who is constantly sacrificing in pursuit of their dream. Leading up to, and even after filming, I was struggling to find production assistant jobs. I was laid off from the Dodgers Stadium vaccine center - along with everyone else who worked there - and I vowed never to take another spirit-crushing day job. There would be months where I had little to no work and had issues paying rent. I felt a lot like Brian, struggling to make his dream work. I feel that everyone can relate to Brian. Everyone knows how it feels to keep trying to no avail, how it feels to take a step forward only to be knocked back twenty yards. All the while, others are looking at you confused and casually asking "Oh, you're still doing that huh?" As someone who took that huge leap myself, I wanted others in a similar situation to know that they are not alone and that support is closer than one would expect.