In 2008, Rocky Braat took an impromptu trip to India with the hope of finding some sense of purpose. The Pittsburg native became disenchanted with his life as a graphic designer at 25, and took time off to travel around the South Asian continent. But after a wrong way ticket landed him at an orphanage for HIV/AIDS positive children in Chennai, Braat realized he had found the purpose he was looking for and decided to move to India and dedicate his life to the children he fell in love with.
“Blood Brother” documents Braat’s journey back to India through the lens of Steve Hoover, his close friend and the director of the film. Hoover’s ability to tell a heavy story with such sincerity makes for a truly moving and beautiful piece of filmmaking. “I only intended the film to tell a story, but it’s become a vehicle for aid and relief,” says Hoover. “I want to show (the audience) how an ordinary, unlikely person can make an incredible difference…practically, without having people notice or care.”
The film ended up being entirely funded through donations-the crew even used crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to raise $15,000 for travels expenses for the six-person crew. Braat’s living expenses in India come entirely from donations through his website and blog. The proceeds of the film will go towards HIV/AIDS charities and Braat’s upcoming project- to build a halfway house for the teens who must leave the orphanage at age 15 to live on their own.
It’s difficult not to fall in love with Rocky and the wonderfully brilliant children of Chennai. “Blood Brother” is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and reminds us that we do have an incredible power to make a difference under any circumstance. Love is really all it takes.
Red Hot is incredibly excited and honored to have worked with the Blood Brother team. Be sure to keep a look out for the film at Sundance 2013, and in theaters next year.