Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Honors Sundance Film Festival Winners

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Honors Sundance Film Festival Winners

Article excerpt

Rocky Braat was on his way back to India, Robert Redford was nowhere on the premises and the key crew behind "Blood Brother" back at work at a Downtown agency.

But the ripple effects of their Sundance award-winning movie are just beginning to be felt as the filmmakers took a break Tuesday to be saluted on their home turf.

City Councilman Corey O'Connor declared it "Blood Brother Day" in the city and honored director Steve Hoover, producer Danny Yourd, editor-writer Tyson VanSkiver and others connected to the film.

"It's great that it's a Pittsburgh company, Pittsburgh kids doing something that's pretty historic. I don't remember the last time a Pittsburgh group won the Sundance Film Festival and I'm a pretty big movie buff," Mr. O'Connor said after the proclamation ceremony.

Not only that, but the documentary dovetails with the introduction of a city HIV/AIDS commission, which had its first official meeting in January, when "Blood Brother" captured the grand jury prize and the audience award for U.S. documentaries.

It chronicles Mr. Braat trading life in America for India, where he works with children living at an orphanage for those infected with the AIDS virus.

"It proves what somebody with love and care and compassion can really do," the councilman said. "I think that's a good Pittsburgh story in and of itself. That's what we are; we care about each other."

Mr. Hoover, Rocky's best friend, is back working at Animal Inc., a production and visual effects studio Downtown. It produced the movie and employs most of the crew.

"I really didn't think we'd get into Sundance, let alone win awards at Sundance. It's amazing to see where it's come," Mr. Hoover said, with negotiations for distribution into theaters, on television and on-demand still in the works.

"It's such a mix of excitement, insecurity, hope, all these interesting emotions that just were kind of swirling about throughout the whole experience," he said of the festival in Park City, Utah. …

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