Price: $350.00

    Code: 2545

    Directed by Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden
    2015, 93 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125
    Optional closed captions
    Digital Site License available

    Humorous and candid, Kartemquin Films' documentary Almost There is a fascinating portrait of eccentric "outsider" artist Peter Anton. Living in a home that has been consumed by mold and filth, the octogenarian has produced a startling collection of unseen paintings, drawings, and notebooks. The film's remarkable journey follows this witty and gifted artist through startling twists and turns.

    An "outsider" artist - defined as self trained and one that works outside the mainstream - Peter lives and works in the same house he lived in since 1941 in East Chicago, Indiana. For many, his house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting, and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. He is discovered by filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden at an Indiana pierogi festival drawing portraits of passers by. They become enamored with Peterís frank and eccentric character and the ever growing scrapbook(s) titled "Almost There," his autobiography.

    Dan and Aaron eventually meet Peter at his Indiana home and, after returning later with sanitary masks, find that Antonís home is a treasure trove - a massive collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings, and notebooks, all created over decades. Anton, though aging, infirm, cranky, and solitary, is also funny and utterly resilient. The film also documents when the artist is finally given the opportunity to have a solo exhibit of his work at the Intuit: The Center of Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago. However, when a disturbing secret comes to light, the show is threatened to come down and the filmmakers are faced with a moral dilemma. Forced to re-examine their relationship between subject and filmmaker, the directors reflect how their lives have filtered into Peterís life, and Peterís into theirs - they too have become a part of his story.

    A stunning and unpredictable journey of a man who reveals everything and nothing of himself, Almost There provides insights into mental illness, aging in America, and the redemptive power of art.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Winner, Best in Non-Fiction Top 10 List, Film Comment Magazine, 2016
    Winner, Unforgettables Award, CinemaEye Honors, 2016
    Winner, Audience Award, EIDF International Documentary Festival - South Korea, 2015
    Winner, Special Jury Award for "Visionary Storytelling", Indie Memphis Film Festival, 2015
    Winner, Special Jury Award for "Complex Hands-On Storytelling", Sarasota Film Festival, 2015
    Official Selection, DOC NYC
    Official Selection, True False Film Festival
    Official Selection, Cleveland International Film Festival
    Official Selection, Sheffield Doc/Fest
    Official Selection, Wisconsin Film Festival
    Official Selection, Arizona International Film Festival
    Official Selection, Nantucket Film Festival
    Official Selection, Camden International Film Festival
    Official Selection, Jacksonville Documentary Film Festival


    "The documentary homes in on the ideas of community, about caregiving and giving care, about human nature and humanity, about parenting and becoming parents to the people we once called mom and dad. It is about surviving and survival ó or to quote lyrics from an old standard, itís about dusting yourself off and starting all over again." ó Chicago Sun-Times

    "Almost There is a Midwestern Grey Gardens. Itís accompanied by Antonís art, an oeuvre thatís far sunnier than his actual life. It is art, seasoned for better or worse, with humanity." ó Artinfo

    "An affable character portrait that reveals the thorny relationship between filmmaker and subject and a quietly spectacular exploration of aging, outsider art, and cats." ó Indiewire

    "A thoroughly self-examining, and open-ended rumination on filmmaker-subject complicity, responsibility, and purpose... Itís rare for a film to be both sincerely outwardly and inwardly focused, and pretty much unheard of for one to explore, as Almost There does, how they can be effectively the same thing." ó Reverse Shot

    "An intriguing, narratively unpredictable work embracing a hornet's nest of ethical issues." ó Chicago Tribune

    "Almost There reveals how an individual can connect with others and follow his artistic obsessions despite adversity, even (or especially) if that adversity is himself." ó The University of Chicago Magazine

    "Beautiful - the heart of Almost There lies in the unmistakable persistence of compassion, seen not only in the directors, but also in the people who choose to help a man who struggles mightily to help himself." ó Vox Magazine


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