God Honors Two Close Friends at Sundance Film Festival

Monday, 25 February 2013 02:42

Rocky Braat and Steve Hoover met in the fall of 2001 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. The two lived on the same floor in student housing and quickly became friends. In the winter of 2001 Rocky began studying the Bible and before long invited Steve into his studies. On January 22, 2002 Steve and Rocky were both baptized on the same night. The two went on to finish school and began their careers in Pittsburgh. Very recently,a documentary they made together won the two highest awards at the Sundance Fim Festival. And their efforts are bringing help to HIV/Aids stricken orphans.

Through the course of time Steve and Rocky maintained a close bond, sharing jobs and living in the same apartment for nearly seven years. Rocky eventually made a trip to India in the summer of 2008 and payed a visit to a HOPEworldwide home for children displaced and suffering from HIV/AIDS. A long story short, Rocky fell in love with the kids and made the decision to give up his career and dreams in the U.S. to serve the kids at the home and become family to them.

Meanwhile Steve had been pursuing his career in media production. He spent six years directing music videos and commercials, all the while having a dream to one day make a documentary. With no strong direction or subject, he never pursued the dream. Rocky had been inviting Steve to visit him in India, but Steve never went. Rocky would send emails to Steve, journaling his experiences, some of them fun and exciting, others tragic and heartbreaking. Steve said the decision to make a documentary about Rocky just clicked one day after reading some of Rocky's stories and realizing how amazing his new life was. So the two agreed to move forward with the project. Steve would finally pay a visit to Rocky in India. Before long people began to offer their talents to the cause. One person in particular was Tyson Vanskiver, a brother who was baptized several days before the first trip to India to film took place. It was exciting to see someone become a disciple in the process.

Steve's goal with the documentary was to simply tell Rocky's story, but it soon turned into more than either of them had ever imagined. After three years, from beginning to end, the film was finished and set to premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival>>> This was an opportunity that only seemed attainable in dreams. The film went on to win the Audience Choice Award and the Grand Jury Award for the U.S. Documentary Competition at Sundance. The most exciting part about all of this is that all profit from the film is going towards Rocky's efforts and other HIV/AIDS efforts around the world for children displaced by the disease. The plans for distribution are still in the works. Here is one of the trailers ...

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Read 3836 times Last modified on Monday, 25 February 2013 07:27