The next US Documentary Competition title in my profile of the upcoming Sundance doc slate: BLOOD BROTHER, Steve Hoover’s portrait of his best friend, who has dedicated his life to an Indian orphanage for HIV positive children.
Sundance Program Description:
The unmistakable power of love is celebrated in this story of one man’s decision to move to India and restart his life among the dispossessed. “Rocky Anna,” as the children living at an orphanage for those infected with HIV know him, was dissatisfied with his life in America. Having grown up without a close-knit family of his own, he found his calling living and working with kids in need. Unlike others who simply passed through their lives, Rocky stayed, dedicating himself to their health and well-being. Despite formidable challenges, his playful spirit and determination in the face of despair proves to be an invaluable resource.
Director Steve Hoover—who is best friends with his subject—ventured to India to chronicle Rocky’s newfound life in this beautifully crafted and personal film. The bond Rocky forges with his friend and the deep connection he makes with the children he serves is BLOOD BROTHER’s testament to one’s ability to create a meaningful life.
This project marks Hoover’s directorial debut. Producer Danny Yourd has produced scores of music videos and commercials – this is also his feature debut. The film’s executive producers include the founders of the AIDS non-profit, the Red Hot Organization, John Carlin and Leigh Blake – the latter was also an associate producer on KIDS, and has been involved with numerous other HIV/AIDS organizations.
Why You Should Watch:
Hoover wholly embraces the personal in this affecting – and strikingly shot – film. Rocky isn’t simply a subject who he follows around; he’s Hoover’s best friend, and the director wants to understand why he’s taken this radical step to change his life. Furthermore, the connection between Hoover and Rocky echoes the intimacy between Rocky and his charges, a transparent, moving expression of unconditional love. Rocky, and through him, Hoover, immerse themselves in the kids’ world, sharing their joys and sorrows, deeply personalizing a population that might otherwise be too callously dismissed as HIV statistics.
The film’s trailer is available here. Hear Hoover speak about his doc in Sundance’s Meet the Artists profile. More information about the film may be found at its website – which includes a mailing list signup – and Facebook page. The filmmakers are wrapping up a successful Indiegogo campaign to raise needed funds for Sundance. There’s still time to contribute, with additional funds potentially allowing Rocky to come to Park City, or being donated to the orphanage instead. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.