Martin Hawkes was born in Toronto, Ontario Canada in 1969. Growing up in 1970s and 1980s in Cabbagetown afforded him the luxury of being exposed to and surrounded by art and artists of many disciplines.
His mother worked at a contemporary art gallery and his father was a journalist so he was no stranger to the visual and the written as forms of expression. The medium that finally found Martin was cinematography. He studied Audio Visual Arts at Seneca College in Toronto from 1990-1992.
In 1993 Martin relocated to Stavanger, Norway and it was here that his career as a cinematographer took off. In 2000 he started his production company, Saft film. Saft has gone through a few different constellations of people but the main core of freelancers has remained the same.