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ANNOUNCEMENT: Chicago premiere of ALMOST SUNRISE special event

September 6, 2016



Chicago Media Project, the premier Chicago non-profit organization supporting social-issue documentary film, is pleased to announce the launch of its 3rd year of programming with a series of events on September 8th and 9th in downtown Chicago. Cementing the organization’s support of impact media, the two-day launch will feature the Midwest premiere of “Almost Sunrise” on September 8th, 7:00pm at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater in partnership with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.  More information about the film and the event this week can be found below….

Directed by Michael Collins, “Almost Sunrise” tells the story of , Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, two veterans from Milwaukee who were tormented by depression and thoughts of suicide for years after they returned home from Iraq. The film follows the pair as they embark on an extraordinary journey – a 2,700 mile walk across the country from Wisconsin to California –  in order to reflect on their haunting experiences of war and raise awareness of veteran suicide. Along the way they encounter new approaches to finding peace and acceptance, including understanding the emerging concept of “moral injury.”

The premiere will be followed by a reception and Q&A with film veteran Anthony Anderson, PTSD specialist Katinka Hooyer, director Michael Collins and producer Marty Syjuco.




“The support that came from Good Pitch Chicago meant so much in getting the film finished and connected to the right partners,” says Collins. “We couldn’t be more excited for CMP to bring us back for the Chicago premiere and to continue the conversation with our supporters and veteran networks in the area.”

In addition to the documentary premiere and Q&A, Chicago Media Project and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology will co-host a brain trust luncheon on September 9th featuring a panel of researchers, policy-makers, and advocates to comment on the film and strategize ways to broaden the outreach within the veteran and service provider community in order to create lasting change.

Later that day, Travis Leanna, a veteran featured in the film who finds relief through a meditation practice called “power breath”, will lead a guided session in the technique for veterans and interested community members affected by this issue.

“We’re so proud that our next season of Chicago Media Project begins by highlighting a film that will do so much to change the conversation around veterans’ mental health,” says Chicago Media Project co-founder and CEO Paula Froehle. “For two years now we at CMP have been funding and championing films that make a difference, and we are delighted to share an exemplary film like this with our whole community to kick off our third year.”

“What we mean by ‘impact media’ is beautifully demonstrated in these events,” says Steve Cohen, Chicago Media Project co-founder and Board Chair. “You bring films with compelling, character-driven storytelling together with the tireless advocates working on an issue, and invite the community to listen and get involved. Paula and I first envisioned CMP over three years ago as a magnet that would draw filmmakers and philanthropists together to make a real difference, and we’ve been humbled to see the incredible traction this idea has had. The ALMOST SUNRISE events really bring this home for us, and for our entire Chicago community.”

Chicago Media Project is a membership-based non-profit founded in early 2014 for those who love documentary film and understand its power to enlighten, to inspire and to change lives. The organization uses a community model of philanthropy to offer programs and grants that support the power of non-fiction storytelling to effect social change. CMP now has over fifty members not only in Chicago, but also Los Angeles, New York, and the South.

Chicago Media Project was also the main sponsor and host of the 2015 Good Pitch Chicago, an event that raised over $300,000 for six documentary films in one day. ALMOST SUNRISE was one of the six invited films, and the events of September 8th and 9th bring the filmmakers back to Chicago for the first time to screen the finished film in front of the supporters and partners who first committed to their project over a year ago.

Further information and registration for events can be found at





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