Eighty-two-year-old Peter Anton has spent decades obsessively chronicling his life story in a massive, illustrated autobiography, and nothing - not poverty, isolation or crippling disabilities - will stop him from seeing it published. With his immediate family long dead, Anton's house has fallen into squalor and his health is failing. ALMOST THERE tells the story of the controversial art exhibit the filmmakers collaborated on with this charismatic yet curmudgeonly character, and what happens to Anton when his lifestyle as a hoarder causes the housing department to condemn his home. Along the way, the filmmakers meet those like themselves who are compelled to help this elderly artist survive, while asking: What responsibilities do we have to others in need, and where should boundaries be drawn?
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
Almost There Co-Director and Co-Producer Aaron Wickenden is a filmmaker with extensive experience as an editor and cinematographer. In July, Aaron received an Emmy Award nomination for co-editingThe Interrupters, a feature documentary by Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here). The project marked Aaron’s fifth significant collaboration with James and his third with Kartemquin. Aaron’s most recent editing credits include the 2013 feature documentaries The Trials of Muhammad Ali and Finding Vivian Maier. Aaron’s past credits include: Editor of Scrappers, which was named one of the top 15 docs of 2010 by Roger Ebert; and Documentary Cinematographer of the film Andrew Bird: Fever Year.Almost There Co-Director and Co-Producer Dan Rybicky is an artist and teacher whose photographs, installations, and plays have been seen in venues throughout New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. While receiving his MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Dan helped found The Playwrights Collective and began working in various production capacities for filmmakers Martin Scorsese, John Sayles, and producer Sarah Green (The Tree of Life). Dan is currently an Associate Professor in the Cinema Art + Science Department at Columbia College Chicago where he oversees the school’s documentary program.