Sundance Award Winning Film Ready to Inspire SHU

Sundance award-winning film, “Blood Brother,” about a Pittsburgh graphic art student’s foreign journey, is set to be shown at Seton Hill University (SHU). “Blood Brother” has been shown at select theatres and universities around the nation. Having local ties, director Steve Hoover’s aunt recommended that it be shown at SHU.

“Steve did a thank-you screening at the Byham Theatre for friends, family and supporters of the project,” said Hoover’s aunt, Eileen Paul. Following the screening, Paul reported that she felt a calling to do something more.

The documentary was based on a book about the spiritual life of film subject, Rocky Braat. The first step for Paul was wanting to get the book into libraries. “Before I knew it the documentary went to Sundance and won.”

When Paul knew that the distribution would be available for private screenings, she started a new step of her personal mission.

“When I wasn’t getting anywhere with public theatres, I felt a pulling for this school,” Paul said. She then contacted SHU box office manager David Sykut, who is in charge of processing facility requests for the performing arts center.

“The request from Eileen caught my attention,” Sykut said. “The book that the documentary was based on was such a stirring book.” Sykut said that everyone who has to sign off on bringing events to SHU was behind this project 100 percent.

SHU’s mission statement was a part what pulled Sykut towards bringing the film to SHU. “We have a charity driven mission at Seton Hill,” Sykut said. “And this is a film about a creative soul that went out and began changing the world.”

David Tharp is an adult studies student and personal friend of Hoover, producer Danny Yourd and film subject Rocky Braat. “I’m grateful that Seton Hill is picking it up,” Tharp said. “It is a great outlet to promote something I wholeheartedly believe in.”

“The team recently flew an Indian student over and he came to my church,” Tharp said. He went on to say it was proof that anyone can make the impossible possible. “An orphan child with AIDs carries so much red tape so it was impossible to not get chills just seeing him,” Tharp said.

When the film company did a screening in August at a theatre in Dormont, Rocky was there for the screening and was able to bring one of the children from India.

“Rocky is just an excellent example of service; he is truly the hands and feet of Jesus with these kids,” Paul said. “This movie is a true virtue, Rocky’s not much older than our students, especially him being a student from Pittsburgh, there’s not a better opportunity to bring home this message.”

“The power and willing heart of one man inspires me to ask myself what can I do to live out my faith,” Tharp said.

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