About Film

Synopsis

Almost Sunrise is a story of veteran resilience and recovery.

The film follows two Iraq veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, who struggle with depression upon returning home from service. Fearful of succumbing to the epidemic of veteran suicide, they seek a lifeline and embark on a 2,700-mile walk across America as a way to confront their inner pain.

The film captures an intimate portrait of two friends suffering from the unseen wounds of war as they discover an unlikely treatment: the restorative power of silence and meditation.

Festivals & Awards

Our Team

Michael Collins

Michael is an Emmy® nominated filmmaker and the founder of Thoughtful Robot. In 2005 he directed Caught in an Injustice, a one-hour documentary broadcast on Spanish national television that received Special Mention at the 15th International TV3 Actual Awards. In 2010 Michael’s short film, Gerthy’s Roots, won the Belief Matters Award and was selected for the Media that Matters collection.

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Michael is an Emmy® nominated filmmaker and the founder of Thoughtful Robot. In 2005 he directed Caught in an Injustice, a one-hour documentary broadcast on Spanish national television that received Special Mention at the 15th International TV3 Actual Awards. In 2010 Michael’s short film, Gerthy’s Roots, won the Belief Matters Award and was selected for the Media that Matters collection. In 2011 Give Up Tomorrow premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Best New Director. The film went on to screen in over 75 festivals in 40+ countries, winning 18 major awards including seven Audience Awards, four Human Rights Awards and the Activism Award at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Recently Give Up Tomorrow was selected for the Puma Impact Award and was nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.

Marty Syjuco

Originally from the Philippines, Marty moved to New York City in 2000 and worked in film distribution at Focus Features, booking the theatrical releases of independent, commercial and Academy Award-winning films. In 2004 he took a leap of faith to pursue his passion: documentary filmmaking. In 2005, he produced the one-hour film Atrapado en la injusticia broadcast on Spanish national television. He developed it into the feature-length documentary, Give Up Tomorrow.

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Originally from the Philippines, Marty moved to New York City in 2000 and worked in film distribution at Focus Features, booking the theatrical releases of independent, commercial and Academy Award-winning films. In 2004 he took a leap of faith to pursue his passion: documentary filmmaking. In 2005, he produced the one-hour film Atrapado en la injusticia broadcast on Spanish national television. He developed it into the feature-length documentary, Give Up Tomorrow. The film was an ITVS co-production and commissioned by BBC Storyville, with support from the Sundance Documentary Film Program, CAAM, Tribeca Film Institute, The Fledgling Fund, Bertha Foundation and BRITDOC, among others. To date it has broadcast in over 10 territories, including BBC, DR, SVT, Canal+ and as part of POV’s 25th anniversary season. In addition to being nominated for an Emmy® Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, Give Up Tomorrow received recognition from the Grierson British Awards, Cinema Eye Honors, Amnesty International’s Media Awards, and the Puma Impact Award. Recently, in March 2015, the film had a global broadcast on the BBC World News, and had over 30 million viewers worldwide.

Eric Metzgar

Eric Daniel Metzgar is a two-time Emmy Award nominated filmmaker and fellow of the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program. He directed, shot and edited Reporter (2009), about New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, which premiered at Sundance, aired on HBO, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Long-form Programming, and the International Film Award by Cinema for Peace.

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Eric Daniel Metzgar is a two-time Emmy Award nominated filmmaker and fellow of the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program. He directed, shot and edited Reporter (2009), about New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, which premiered at Sundance, aired on HBO, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Long-form Programming, and the International Film Award by Cinema for Peace. He also directed, shot and edited Life.Support.Music. (2008) which was broadcast on POV, and The Chances of The World Changing (2006), which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and broadcast on POV. Metzgar also works as an editor, having collaborated on four additional documentaries that were broadcast on POV -- Give Up Tomorrow (Emmy-nominated), High Tech Low Life, Thank You for Playing, and Almost Sunrise.

Clarissa de Los Reys

Clarissa is an award-winning filmmaker born and raised in Manila, Philippines who migrated to New York City where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. When not working on her own projects, she collaborates extensively as a Director of Photography for narrative and documentary films and has worked in China, Taiwan, Philippines and the US. She has also served as a camera operator for Oscar nominated filmmaker John Sayles on his feature film “Amigo”, and most recently shot and co-produced “Documented,” a groundbreaking documentary on immigration that was in competition at IDFA in Amsterdam, among others, and was later acquired by CNN Films. She is currently developing her first narrative feature script “Johnny Loves Dolores.”

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Claire Ratinon

Claire Ration is a documentary filmmaker from London. Stepping away from a career producing prime-time content for BBC and Channel 4 in the UK, Claire moved to New York. Claire was granted an O1 Extraordinary Ability Visa and spent four years working on independent documentary projects. Claire has since moved back to London and now works as an urban organic farmer and educator.

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Claire Ration is a documentary filmmaker from London. Stepping away from a career producing prime-time content for BBC and Channel 4 in UK, Claire moved to New York. Focusing on producing independent documentary projects, she has worked with various production companies and was recently granted an O1 Extraordinary Ability Visa. She is most recently working as an urban organic farmer and educator, based in Hackney.

Gideon de Villiers

Gideon De Villiers is a Production Artist from Austin, TX. He received his film degree from the University of Texas with a focus on cinematography, editing and art installation, and spent three years specializing in the creation of content for online learning modules, commercial video production and custom interactive lighting installation at Houndstooth Studio.

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Gideon De Villiers is a Production Artist from Austin, TX. He received his film degree from the University of Texas with a focus on cinematography, editing and art installation, and spent three years specializing in the creation of content for online learning modules, commercial video production and custom interactive lighting installation at Houndstooth Studio.

Erin Sorenson

Erin Sorenson is an impact producer and the founder of Third Stage Consulting working with social-justice themed documentary film projects (Homestretch, Private Violence, Almost Sunrise, Chasing Coral, Borderline, Monster in the Mind, Driving with Selvi, Home Truth). Erin graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

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Erin Sorenson is an impact producer and the founder of Third Stage Consulting working with social-justice themed documentary film projects (Homestretch, Private Violence, Almost Sunrise, Chasing Coral, Borderline, Monster in the Mind, Driving with Selvi, Home Truth). Erin graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Prior to founding Third Stage Consulting, Erin spent 5 years as the Chief Programs Officer for the BeCause Foundation working with creative outreach and engagement projects.

Chris Sheridan

Executive Producer - Chris is an award-winning co-director and co-producer of “ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story”, produced in association with the BBC, and executive produced by Academy Award winner, Jane Campion. The film, which was broadcast nationally on PBS, and on major international networks, won multiple honors, including the prestigious DuPont-Columbia University award, honoring the best in documentary journalism.

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Executive Producer - Chris is an award-winning co-director and co-producer of “ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story”, produced in association with the BBC, and executive produced by Academy Award winner, Jane Campion. The film, which was broadcast nationally on PBS, and on major international networks, won multiple honors, including the prestigious DuPont-Columbia University award, honoring the best in documentary journalism. Chris served as consulting producer on the Emmy-nominated feature documentary “Give Up Tomorrow”. Chris has produced works for a variety of broadcast media outlets, including National Geographic Channel, NBC, CBS, among others.

Patty Kim

Executive Producer - Patty is the writer, co-director and co-producer of the award-winning feature documentary “ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story” produced in association with BBC Storyville and executive produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jane Campion. The film was broadcast nationally on PBS and aired on major networks around the world.

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Executive Producer - Patty is the writer, co-director and co-producer of the award-winning feature documentary “ABDUCTION: The Megumi Yokota Story” produced in association with BBC Storyville and executive produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jane Campion. The film was broadcast nationally on PBS and aired on major networks around the world. The film, which centers around the kidnapping of a child by North Korean secret agents, was screened at the United Nations in Geneva and New York, for audiences including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as part of a movement supporting an international treaty to outlaw enforced disappearances. Patty also acted as consulting producer on “Give Up Tomorrow”, which won two top prizes at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

Peter Cooper

Peter is the founder and Manager Director of Cooper Investors Pty Ltd, which was established in 2001. He is passionate about applying the CI values (gratitude and humility; intentionality; curiosity and passion; being in the moment and present; and authenticity) to both investment management, his personal and philanthropic life.

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Peter is the founder and Manager Director of Cooper Investors Pty Ltd, which was established in 2001. He is passionate about applying the CI values (gratitude and humility; intentionality; curiosity and passion; being in the moment and present; and authenticity) to both investment management, his personal and philanthropic life. Peter was instrumental in setting up the CI Philanthropy Fund and the Cooper Family Foundation in 2008. Together they have made grants and loans over the last 6 years to more than 50 not-for-profit projects and social enterprises in Australia, USA and overseas.

Suparna Bhasin

Suparna is the founder and CEO of She Creates Change where she has dedicated herself to empowering women to transform their lives through community, her 12 C’s proprietary process full of practical tools for better living combined with a facilitator to hold the space.

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Suparna is the founder and CEO of She Creates Change where she has dedicated herself to empowering women to transform their lives through community, her 12 C’s proprietary process full of practical tools for better living combined with a facilitator to hold the space. Committed to serving her community, Suparna is currently serving on the board of YES! For Schools where the same commitment lies to give young people the tools to make themselves and their future better. She is certified coach from both Coach for Life and The Life Purpose Institute.

Paulo Araujo

Paulo earned a bachelors in Economics with a specialization in Finance and Business Strategy. After graduating he worked professionally in an international corporation for four years. He has a service-oriented mind and believes that business, values and ethics are inseparable things.

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Paulo earned a bachelors in Economics with a specialization in Finance and Business Strategy. After graduating he worked professionally in an international corporation for four years. He has a service-oriented mind and believes that business, values and ethics are inseparable things. With Almost Sunrise, Paulo is working as a consulting impact producer helping with strategy to maximize the reach and effective's of the campaign. His talent for research and organization has proven a vital part of connecting the film and campaign to targeted partners, communities, and educational institutions across the country.

Film Subjects

Tom Voss

Anthony Anderson

Katinka Hooyer

Holly Anderson

Wolf Walker

Emment Cullen

Tom Voss

Tom served on active duty in the United States Army for three years, from 2003 to 2006. Tom served with the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, and element of the 1st Brigade 25th Infantry Division. October 2004, Tom was deployed to Mosul, Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Iraq, Tom was proud to participate in hundreds of combat missions, convoys, security patrols, raids, area clearance operations, and humanitarian relief operations including providing security for the first democratic elections in Iraq since the invasion. Currently, Tom travels around the country giving talks and lectures on Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Moral Injury, and the benefits of yoga and meditation for moving through trauma.

Anthony Anderson

Anthony Anderson served 6 years in the infantry including two tours of duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004-2005 and again from 2007-2008. While there, Anderson participated in and lead several actions ranging from combat patrols to humanitarian missions. After leaving the military, Anderson completed his education and began working with Veterans as a peer mentor assisting Veterans with the host of issues that impact reintegrating into post-service life. During this time, Anderson also performed both community outreach in the Veteran community, as well as educating the non-Veteran community about the issues impacting Veterans and their families.
Anthony and his wife, Holly, live with their daughter, Madeline, in Wisconsin. Anderson continues to be a mentor for Veterans seeking healthy, peer-to-peer assistance dealing with PTSD, substance abuse, depression, and suicidal ideation, along with understanding the concept of moral injury. Anderson continues to lead and participate in educational talks and summits aimed at bringing synergy between Veterans, non-Veterans, and both local and national policy makers.

Katinka Hooyer

Katinka Hooyer, PhD is a medical anthropologist and research fellow in Family and Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She focuses on designing and testing interventions for Veterans with post-traumatic stress and moral injury. Katinka collaborates with Veterans to study how their transformative experiences with nature, collective ritual and alternative therapies can provide opportunities to feel more connected to society and facilitate healing. As a community-engaged scholar, she uses interactive art to translate research and share social science knowledge with the public.

Holly Anderson

Holly intimately understands the difficulties of being a military spouse. She openly discusses the challenges she faced with her husband's military service and deployments to Iraq hoping to show those who are struggling that hope is very much alive. Her story as a wife of a veteran provides critical insight into the lives of family members whose veteran struggles with PTS and moral injury.
Holly currently lives in WI with her husband, Anthony, and daughter, Madeline.

Wolf Walker

Wolf Walker is a Native American Spiritual Teacher. He has spent much of his life studying with traditional elders from many cultures. He incorporates this knowledge with that of his own upbringing to help people gain a new understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Emment Cullen

Emmet, an Army veteran who fought as a sniper during two tours in Iraq, received¬¬¬ his masters in Education at UCSB. He began taking photos during his first deployment to Iraq in 2004, and has gone on to exhibit them in galleries across the US. Emmet, now a Buena High School social studies teacher, received the Bronze Star with Valor for his exceptional actions in protecting his platoon and saving the lives of fellow service members during his deployment in Mosul, Iraq in 2006.

The Journey

Milwakee, WI

Milwakee, WI

Monroe, WI

Dyersiville, Iowa

Independence, Iowa

Council Bluffs, Iowa/ Omaha, Nebraska

York, Nevada

Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Spruce Mountain, CO

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Kingman, Arizona

Mojave Desert, CA

Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica, CA

Milwakee, WI: Tom and Anthony attending a meeting for their trek from Milwaukee Wisconsin, to Los Angeles, California.
Milwakee, WI: Tom and Anthony meet with the Thoughtful Robot production team.
Monroe, WI: Anthony making his way in Wisconsin
Dyersiville, Iowa: The endless cornfields of Iowa.
Independence, Iowa: This little guy is giving Anthony some problems. It's like a horror movie.
Council Bluffs, Iowa/ Omaha, Nebraska: Finally made it to Nebraska! Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
York, Nevada: Tom, Miranda, Anthony. York to Aurora, Ne. Crushin miles.
Colorado Springs, CO: That's a frozen beard.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: Garden of Gods
Spruce Mountain, CO: Tom is taking the opportunity to show you how it's done.
Colorado Springs, Colorado: My daughter loved the "Garden of the Gods"
Albuquerque, New Mexico: Making our way through New Mexico.
Kingman, Arizona: Route 66 Arizona.
Mojave Desert, CA: Sunset in the mojave
Santa Monica, CA: Every Sunday morning, a display goes up next to Santa Monica pier to show military deaths and suicides.
Santa Monica, CA: End of the trek.

Media

Click on the link below to view, and/or download, the Almost Sunrise Press Kit, including the film synopsis, director’s statement, character descriptions, filmmaker bios, production stills, and impact campaign.

Our Press Kit

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