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ALMOST SUNRISE tells the story of two friends, Tom and Anthony, who embark on an epic journey to heal from their time in combat. Read more

New York, NY Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 10, 2014.

ALMOST SUNRISE tells the story of two friends, Tom and Anthony, who embark on an epic journey to heal from their time in combat.

New York, NY Documentary
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About this project

An intimate story that exposes the growing epidemic of soldier suicides and moral injury, ALMOST SUNRISE follows Tom and Anthony on a journey of hope and healing as they walk across America.

Their passage is one of redemption, an outer transformation and inner awakening brought on by a rediscovery of the power of community, bringing these young men out of their battered psyches and into a renewed sense of relationship with the people and world around them.

Last July, when I met Tom and Anthony, I was shocked to learn about the challenges that face many returning military after their time in combat.  Homelessness, unemployment, PTSD, traumatic brain injury and the suicide epidemic that sees 22 veterans a day take their own life, are some of the many issues that ravage the veterans community. In fact, more soldiers have died from suicide since the war in Afghanistan began than have died in combat there.

Through Tom and Anthony’s cross-country journey, ALMOST SUNRISE meets veterans who battle these issues every day, issues that experts say will continue to grow as vets of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq come home and grapple with a return to daily life.

ALMOST SUNRISE also frames the compelling issue of moral injury, an emerging term in the mental health field identified by professionals frustrated with the failure of traditional institutional efforts to make a dent in the suicide rate.  Moral injury is used to describe the psychological damage service members face when their experiences on the battlefield challenge their moral beliefs.

Despite the overwhelming challenges, this film is A STORY OF HOPE.  Of moving through adversity and finding a way to the other side. Throughout their journey, Tom and Anthony encounter strangers whose kindness and generosity lead them to the reconnection they seek.

Documentary film is a powerful medium.  With compelling characters and stories, documentaries can communicate with and inform audiences about the most pressing challenges facing society today - and inspire them to take action.

My last film, Give Up Tomorrow, told the story of Paco Larrañaga, who was falsely accused of murder, wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death in the Philippines. The extensive outreach campaign saved Paco’s life and helped abolish the death penalty in the Philippines.

Equipped with all that I learned and achieved through the Free Paco Now campaign, I want to bring my passion for impact, awareness and action to an advocacy campaign that ignites this timely and much needed national and international dialogue around veterans issues.

In partnership with several non-profit organizations who do important work around this issue, we will engage veterans, their communities, and policy-makers in a frank conversation about the realities of “coming home”.  We will support the physical and mental health work of veterans organizations by highlighting successful holistic therapies such as meditation, breath work and physical exercise in nature, as well as supporting community initiatives that serve veterans and work to bridge the gap between the military and civilian communities. 

The outcome we hope for (and will campaign for through our outreach partners) is one of a broader public awareness about veterans issues.

This is not just a challenge for the veterans community.  This is our responsibility.

(If you or your organization is interested in partnering with the ALMOST SUNRISE team on this outreach campaign, please contact us at info@sunrisedocumentary.com)

So please SHARE THIS KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN with your friends and family, on Facebook and Twitter - and show the world that you care.

And PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN.  Any amount will be gratefully received and put to good use.

These young men and women, and their families, have given us so much, often putting themselves in harms way so we don’t have to, knowing they may never come home. We all need to better understand their experiences so we tackle the challenges they face together.

                           
                                
 

We are at a critical point in production.  Tom and Anthony completed their trek on February 1st 2014 and (aside from a few more pick-up shoots), we have wrapped up primary filming.  We are ready to dive into the edit and we need your support to do that.

The funds we raise through KickStarter will allow the SUNRISE team to line up all the essential components for post production - media management, archive, graphics, music composition etc - and get to work on constructing the film.  And with over 400 hours of footage (not even including Tom and Anthony’s GoPro footage!) there’s plenty to do!

We are aiming to raise $70,000 to get busy in the edit suite.  But with your support and generosity, we hope to surpass that goal so we can make this film the best it can be, ready to be used as an advocacy tool in the outreach campaign.

This KickStarter campaign is more than just a fundraising push for us.  It is an opportunity to begin building support and igniting a conversation around the issues that we intend to address in the film.

                                     

Risks and challenges

Primary filming is already complete for this documentary so the biggest risk we face is not raising enough funds to launch the edit and start constructing the film as quickly as we'd like!

With the funds we hope to raise on KickStarter, we will have all that we need (since we have the skills, experience and passion!) to get to work on getting ALMOST SUNRISE made.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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  • You selected
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    23 backers

    **IN REMEMBRANCE CREDIT** In honor of Memorial Day, dedicate your support for Almost Sunrise in the name of a soldier or veteran who is close to your heart. Their name will be added to the special ‘In Remembrance' section of the film's credits and to a memorial wall on sunrisedocumentary.com. (Suggested donation is $20 but all names will be included regardless of donation level - email us the name as you would like it to appear at memorial@sunrisedocumentary.com)

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    62 backers

    **THANK YOU**
    You will receive our unending and heartfelt thanks for your generous support on the film’s website. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’re helping an important film that supports veterans get made!

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    156 backers

    **THANK YOU CREDIT**
    You will receive our heartfelt thanks for your generous support on the film’s website AND in the film’s credits. Thank you for contributing towards our fundraising goal!

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    Pledge $15 or more

    44 backers

    **EXCLUSIVE POSTER** Exclusively for this KickStarter campaign, illustrator Daria Zaitseva designed an original work of art especially for our KickStarter campaign and at this level you’ll get our eternal thanks and a 12x18 poster featuring this beautiful illustration of Tom and Anthony. (This illustration is the campaign image)

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    298 backers

    **THE FILM**
    When the film is complete, you will receive your very own copy to watch over and over again! (DVD or Digital Download - TBD)

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    36 backers

    **EXCLUSIVE WATER BOTTLE**
    This super useful water bottle features our original illustration and is perfect for taking on a trek across the country or just walking to the end of the block! And best of all, it’s BPA free!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    25 backers

    **EXCLUSIVE TOTE**
    Our original illustration on a canvas tote (look to the left to see what it looks like) AND a copy of the film when it’s released.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    8 backers

    **THE FREE PACO NOW PACKAGE** The FREE PACO NOW Campaign from Michael and Marty’s last film, Give Up Tomorrow lives on! For the first time, this exclusive t-shirt - as seen on Martin Gore of Depeche Mode - is now available HERE! Join the FREE PACO NOW movement while supporting their new film! This package also includes a signed copy of Give Up Tomorrow!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    85 backers

    **EXCLUSIVE T-SHIRT**
    Our original illustration on either a white or grey T-shirt AND a copy of the film when it’s released.

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    Pledge $50 or more

    74 backers

    **VETS TREK TSHIRT PACKAGE**
    Support the film AND let everyone know about the incredible work Tom and Anthony are doing to support veterans with this T-shirt featuring the Veterans Trek logo. You’ll also receive a personalized dog tag telling the world that you supported our film on KickStarter AND a copy of the film when it’s released!

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  • You selected
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    5 backers

    **THE YUKA AND NELS PACKAGE - No.1**
    Get your hands on an ALMOST SUNRISE poster signed by Yuka C. Honds, Nels Clineand the director, Michael
    as well as your choice of signed CD (Cibo Matto, Floored by Four or If By Yes) and the film when it is released!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    7 backers

    **WARRIOR SPIRIT KIT** Almost Sunrise’s own WolfWalker has created this beautiful, hand-crafted kit exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign. The kit contains a quartz arrowhead beaded necklace representative of the significance of the Native American warrior, a Medicine Feather and three original flute songs played by WolfWalker himself. And the film went it’s released!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    27 backers

    **VETS TREK HOODIE PACKAGE**
    Support the film AND let everyone know about Tom and Anthony with this hoodie featuring the Veterans Trek logo. You’ll also receive a personalized dog tag telling the world that you supported our film on KickStarter AND a copy of the film when it's released!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    41 backers

    **THE HIKING PACKAGE**
    Trek like Tom and Anthony wherever in the world you are with this exclusive Veterans Trek Hiking (100% moisture-wicking) T-shirt PLUS water bottle featuring the original illustration designed for this KickStarter campaign AND a copy of the film when it's released!

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  • You selected
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    18 backers

    **ORIGINAL PRINT BY EMMET CULLEN**
    Photographer Emmet Cullen served alongside Tom in Iraq and happens to be an incredible photographer. This is a rare chance to get one of Emmet’s unique 8x10 matted photographs AND a copy of the film when it's released!
    Click on PHOTO GALLERY to view this exclusive collection of images.

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    0 backers

    **THE RESILIENCE MEDITATION PACKAGE** Get an introduction to the techniques that Tom & Anthony learned on their trek. Join a 90 minute video INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION WORKSHOP with a senior meditation teacher. And you can rest and recharge anytime with the 3 guided PWHT RESILIENCE MEDITATIONS as MP3 files donated by Project Welcome Home Troops. Finally, learn from Dennis Harness just as Tom & Anthony did with a signed copy of his book The Nakshatras.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    18 backers

    **THE SWAG BAG**
    All the ALMOST SUNRISE swag for KickStarter in one bag! A signed poster, signed DVD, exclusive T-shirt, water bottle and personalized dog tag inside the exclusive tote bag!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    10 backers Limited (40 left of 50)

    **PRINT OF ORIGINAL 'ALMOST SUNRISE' PAINTING BY PATRICK VOSS**
    While Tom and Anthony were walking across the country, Tom’s father, Patrick, created a painting inspired by a picture taken by his son. Own one of a limited run of prints of this beautiful piece of original artwork - numbered and signed by the artist. AND a copy of the film when it's released!

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  • You selected
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    2 backers

    **THE YUKA AND NELS PACKAGE - No.2**
    This one’s for music lovers! An ALMOST SUNRISE poster signed by Yuka C. Honda, Nels Cline and director Michael Collins, as well as your choice of 2 signed CDs (Cibo Matto, Floored by Four or If By Yes) inside a signed Cibo Matto Tote Bag that you can carry while wearing your signed Cibo Matto T-shirt! AND the film when it is released!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $225 or more

    5 backers

    **TWO FRAMED ORIGINAL PRINTS BY EMMET CULLEN**
    Own two of the unique 8x10 images available for KickStarter donors from photographer (and good friend of Tom) Emmet Cullen - individually matted, framed and signed by the artist. AND a copy of the film when it's released! Click on PHOTO GALLERY to view this exclusive collection of images.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    **VEDIC ASTROLOGY READING**
    Have your astrological natal chart read by Vedic Astrologer, Dr Dennis Harness who met and read for Tom and Anthony as they passed through Arizona at Christmas. Ask him questions about your karmic patterns of destiny and access this ancient predictive system to consider the future. You can receive this incentive from wherever you happen to be - on the phone, via Skype or if you’re lucky enough to be visiting the Red Rocks in Sedona. AND a copy of the film when it's released!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    **THE NELS CLINE BUNDLE** For the ultimate Nels Cline fan, this package includes a signed copy of DIRTY BABY (Collector's Book + 4 Disc Set), a signed copies of Cline’s new record "Macroscope", his solo record “Coward” and "Floored by Four" - all inside a Wilco tote. You’ll also receive a signed ALMOST SUNRISE poster AND a copy of the film when it’s released!

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    **NATIVE AMERICAN SMUDGING KIT**
    This is a unique opportunity to own a custom crafted smudging fan made from feathers and featuring a hand carved wooden handle. ALMOST SUNRISE’s own WolfWalker will craft each fan specifically for its owner and include a smudging stick made of Rocky Mountain sage and juniper and a Paua shell bowl in which to store it.

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  • You selected
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    0 backers

    **THE ART LOVERS PACKAGE** In this collection of Almost Sunrise artwork, you will receive THREE of Emmet Cullen’s prints - individually matted, framed and signed by the artist, a print of Patrick Voss’ original painting and an exclusive Almost Sunrise poster signed by the director, Michael Collins. AND a copy of the film when it’s released!

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    4 backers All gone!

    **FILM FEST PACKAGE - MILWAUKEE**
    This one’s for Wisconsin (where Anthony and Tom are from!) natives. Receive two tickets to the movie’s Milwaukee premiere and attend a dinner reception with the filmmakers as well as Tom and Anthony. AND you’ll get the ALMOST SUNRISE Swag Bag! (Travel and accommodation for the premiere not included)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    **THE HAPPINESS PACKAGE** 1 hour Phone Consultation with Emma Seppala, PhD, on applying the psychology of happiness to your life. Emma is a Stanford University writer, speaker and consultant on the science of well-being, social connection, and compassion and she is widely acclaimed for her ground-breaking research on yoga and meditation for social connection, happiness and health - www.emmaseppala.com

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    4 backers All gone!

    **FILM FEST PACKAGE - NEW YORK**
    Receive two tickets to the movie’s New York premiere and attend a dinner reception with the filmmakers as well as Tom and Anthony. AND you’ll get the ALMOST SUNRISE Swag Bag! (Travel and accommodation for the premiere not included)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    **SEE THE FILM FIRST!**
    Attend an exclusive test screening in NYC (with a friend!) and attend a dinner reception with the filmmakers where you can ask them all the questions you want! AND you’ll get the ALMOST SUNRISE Swag Bag! (Travel and accommodation for the screening not included)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer

    **JOIN THE PRODUCERS CIRCLE**
    Become part of the ALMOST SUNRISE team by entering into our Producer’s Circle and make this film a reality with your generosity! Receive tickets for two to a US film festival screening of your choice plus a ALMOST SUNRISE Swag Bag. Your name will be included in the credits as a member of the documentary’s ‘Producer’s Circle’. (Travel and accommodation for the festival not included)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    **CONTRIBUTING ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT**
    At this level of support, you’d be contributing HUGELY to the completion of the film! In return, you’ll receive tickets for two to the WORLD premiere as well as VIP access to all premiere events and parties. Have dinner with the filmmakers and go home with the ALMOST SUNRISE swag bag full of merchandise and unique memories! (Travel and accommodation for the premiere not included)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    **CONTRIBUTING PRODUCER CREDIT**
    Have an ENORMOUS impact on how quickly we can finish the film and get this important story out there! In return, we will host a private screening in your home town with the filmmakers in attendance. You will also join us at the WORLD premiere as well as gain VIP access to all premiere events and parties and all the swag we can throw at you! (Travel and accommodation for the premiere not included; private screening in the continental US only)

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Funding period

- (32 days)