Sun Come Up

An Academy Award nominated film about an island community being displaced by climate change
Year Released
Film Length(s)
39 mins
Closed captioning available
Remote video URL


Sun Come Up is an Academy Award® nominated film that shows the human face of climate change.

Featured review

Sun 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.
Anthropology Review Database- David Eller
Anthropology Review Database- David Eller


Sun Come Up is an Academy Award® 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.


Sun 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
Sun 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
Sun 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
This 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
LA Times
The film opens up gnawing questions of belonging, identity, and planetary consequence.
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The locations are stunning, and director Jennifer Redfearn captures the moral complexity of the well as the incredible sadness of the islanders trying to protect their culture as their ancestral home slips into the sea.
The Capital Times
The Capital Times
An intensely human story with global underpinnings.
The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Star
Quietly engrossing.
The Village Voice
The Village Voice
NY Daily News
NY Daily News

Awards and Screenings

Academy Award® Nominee – Best Documentary Short , 2011
US Broadcast – HBO Documentary Films, 2011
IDA DocuWeeks –Theatrical Showcase, 2010
Winner – Crystal Heart Award, Heartland Festival, 2010
Winner – Golden Cine Best of Festival, Montana Cine Festival, 2010
Winner – Best Cultural/Human Interest Film, Flagstaff Mountain Festival , 2010
Special Mention – Cinemambiente, Italy, 2010
Official selection – Full Frame , 2010
Official selection – Camerimage , 2010

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Closed Captioning

Subtitle/Caption Languages

  • English

Promotional Material

Promotional Stills

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