1 Billion People Gasping for Air

Imagine if every night while sleeping You. Just. Stopped. Breathing. Multiple times per hour. OUT OF BREATH is the first feature documentary to focus on sleep apnea. Follow Victor, Danielle, Billy, and Kalyn as they take us on their paths from struggling with life-altering symptoms to embracing life-restoring treatments.


A feature documentary by acclaimed director George T. Nierenberg



OUT OF BREATH shines the spotlight on the human cost paid by people living with sleep apnea and their loved ones. Yet, for all the darkness they face there is also light at the end of the tunnel as their hope, courage, and perseverance brings them closer to the promise of successful treatment.

Filming themselves over a 2-year period, OUT OF BREATH follows the lives of Victor, Danielle, Billy, and Kayln. Through their eyes, we see how sleep apnea transcends gender, race, and socioeconomic status.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker George T. Nierenberg—himself a lifelong sufferer of sleep apnea—has crafted a documentary that is riveting, moving, and dramatic. It’s a celebration of the human spirit and a rallying cry to raise public awareness about a danger we may unknowingly go to sleep with every night.

Real Voices

OUT OF BREATH captures Victor, Danielle, Billy, and Kalyn’s frustration, guilt, and loss of motivation. However, their struggle with sleep apnea is not in vain, because for the over 80% of undiagnosed people to follow—they symbolize the courage, strength and determination needed to overcome this debilitating disorder.

Victor Boyd

In North Carolina, outgoing family man Victor Boyd sees his previously solid marriage unraveling as his wall-shaking sleep apnea-related snoring keeps sending his wife Terah to the couch. As they raise their 3 children (two on the autism spectrum), they know dying is not an option for Victor. But with sleep apnea disproportionately harming Black and Brown people, it’s becoming a real possibility.

Danielle Davidson

Across the ocean in England, single mom Danielle’s sleep apnea often leaves her exhausted and bedridden for days at a time, jeopardizing the job she loves—caring for the elderly. She’s stuck riding an emotional rollercoaster, wondering if she can muster the strength to keep a roof over her sons’ heads while being the strong “mum” her boys need.

Billy Toto

In New Hampshire, former marine Billy Toto had been toughing out his battle with sleep apnea, until it forced him to leave his job as an emergency medical driver out of fear of killing his clients. Even his passion for motocross must take a back seat as he can’t help but nap between races. After 5 prior procedures for his apnea proved unsuccessful, Billy and his wife Michelle each have their own reasons to hope that surgery number 6 will be the charm.

Kalyn McKenzie

In California, young Kalyn McKenzie hid her sleep apnea from Fran during their dating phase. Now the secret is out, as Fran is learning first-hand what it means to build a life around a partner who spends her days sleeping around the house. But even though Kalyn exemplifies the struggles of the roughly 25 million Americans who suffer with sleep apnea—she’s still one of the lucky ones. Because unlike most she was diagnosed early on as a teenager.



OUT OF BREATH, an impactful film on the realities of living with sleep apnea is now available for screenings. Rather than focusing only on the condition and its treatments, the film tells the human stories that have the power to inspire audiences to take action.

This film serves as a powerful conversation starter on the significance of recognizing, diagnosing, and treating this often-overlooked condition. OUT OF BREATH is an investment in the well-being of your community or workforce.

Contact us today to arrange a screening that inspires positive change, greater awareness, and an understanding of how untreated sleep apnea impacts us all.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while sleeping. If you think you have sleep apnea see your healthcare provider. Treatment could ease your symptoms and help prevent complications such as diabetes, cognitive impairment, depression, stroke, and heart failure.


Your donation can help elevate this film’s goal of promoting “patient self-advocacy.”

Working with our non-profit, tax-exempt fiscal sponsor, The Film Collaborative, OUT OF BREATH can become an important communication tool to highlight both the burden of sleep apnea to patients, families, and our communities and the enormous benefit of medical treatment.

Help us turn our outreach impact campaign into a powerful conversation starter that will promote greater awareness, research, and support around sleep apnea.

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.