Blood Brother, Winner of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury and Audience Award, Premieres on Independent Lens Monday, January 20, 2014, on PBS

“An incisive and compassionate documentary that’s as much a transformative experience for audiences as it was for the filmmakers.”— Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

“A stirring documentary directed with narrative depth and unguarded heart.” — David DeWitt, The New York Times

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Why would someone leave everything behind to devote their life to helping others? Director Steve Hoover explores that question in Blood Brother, the remarkable story of his longtime friend Rocky Braat, who did exactly that. Winner of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury and Audience Awards,the film premieres on Independent Lens,hosted by Stanley Tucci, on Monday,January 20, 2014, 10:00 to 11:30pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

Rocky, a young man from a fractured family and a troubled past, went traveling through India without a plan. There he met a group of HIV-positive children living in an orphanage — a meeting that changed everything for him.

Rocky left his life, friends, and career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to live with the kids. Filmmaker Steve Hoover, his best friend, was unsettled and intrigued by this drastic action. In an effort to find out what compelled Rocky to give up every source of stability in his life, Hoover decided to trace Rocky's story, following him to India.

He witnessed Rocky and the kids endure disease, abject poverty, and death. But in the midst of these troubles, he also saw their deep joy. And he came to understand why Rocky had given up everything he had to experience it. 

Blood Brother is a story of friendship and of life stripped down to its essence. Most of all, it is a story about love that endures — even in the face of death. Blood Brother was funded through donations, and all of the proceeds from the film will be used to support the orphanage and the children with HIV in India, as well as Rocky Braat and his continuing efforts.

Visit the Blood Brother companion website ( features information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker plus links and resources pertaining to the film’s subject matter. The site also features a Talkback section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips from the film, and more.

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About the Filmmaker

Steve Hoover (Director/Editor/Writer) has been directing commercials and music videos for the past six years. His work has been shown on virtually every media outlet, and has amassed over 100 million YouTube views. Steve is a director at Animal, Inc., a production and VFX house in Pittsburgh, PA. This is his first feature film. 

Director: Steve Hoover
Producer: Danny Yourd
Writers: Steve Hoover, Tyson VanSkiver & Phinehas Hodges
Executive Producers: Leigh Black, John Carlin, Steve Hoover, Kathy Dziubeck, Michael Killen, & Jim Kreitzburg
Cinematographer: John Pope
Editor: Steve Hoover 

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The senior series producer is Lois Vossen. More information at

Posted on November 18, 2013