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Sun Come Up

by Jennifer Redfearn, Tim Metzger

An Oscar® nominated film about some of the world's first environmental refugees.

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Sun Come Up is an Oscar® nominated film that shows the human face of climate change. The film follows the relocation of the Carteret Islanders, a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean, and now, some of the world’s first environmental refugees.

When climate change threatens their survival, the islanders face a painful decision. They must leave their ancestral land in search of a new place to call home. Sun Come Up follows a group of young islanders as they search for land in war-torn Bougainville, 50 miles across the open ocean. 

Sun Come Up provokes discussion about climate change, displacement, and the rights of vulnerable communities around the globe.


Recommended by educators as a valuable teaching companion for courses in:

Environmental Studies

Environmental & International law

Human Rights

Anthropology, Sociology & Ethnography

Peace and Conflict Resolution

Multicultural & Religious Studies

Political Science & International Relations

Documentary Filmmaking & Media Studies


quoteSun Come Up is a lovely, moving, and valuable report on the environmental and social consequences of the global warming. People in America who still doubt the reality, let alone the cost, of global warming should be required to watch this film, and all students, teachers, and members of the public would be benefit from seeing it.
David Eller
Anthropology Review Database

quoteSun Come Up gives a human face to the global crisis of climate change. This moving account of climate refugees' search for a new home is a powerful way to introduce students to the most urgent issue of our time.
Professor of English and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin
Rob Nixon

quoteSun Come Up offers a thought-provoking and inspiring glimpse into how one community is adapting to climate change.
Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies Program, Wellesley College
Jay Turner

quoteSun Come Up was a stunning and engaging opening to my Environmental Ethics class. It has resonated with students throughout the semester.
Professor of Humanities, Aims Community College
Anne M. Machin

quoteThis debut doc captures a poignant historical transition as the Carteret Islanders search for a new home in the South Pacific, their tiny piece of paradise doomed to the rising oceans of climate change.
LA Times

More Reviews


  • Academy Award® Nominee – Best Documentary Short 

  • US Broadcast – HBO Documentary Films

  • IDA DocuWeeks –Theatrical Showcase

  • Winner – Crystal Heart Award, Heartland Festival

  • Winner – Golden Cine Best of Festival, Montana Cine Festival

  • Winner – Best Cultural/Human Interest Film, Flagstaff Mountain Festival 

  • Special Mention – Cinemambiente, Italy

  • Official selection – Full Frame  

  • Official selection – Camerimage 

Resources to Download

Download Here

Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerabilities, and Adaptation in Developing Countries

Download Here

IPCC 2007 Climate Change Report Summary

Download Here

Suffering the Science: Climate Change, People and Poverty

Download Here

Atoll Island States and Climate Change: Sovereignty Implications

Download Here

State of the Climate in 2011

Visit the official website for Sun Come Up

Sun Come Up

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Appropriate for: Elementary School Middle School High School College/University

Special Features:

Sun Come Up is available with Spanish subtitles by request.