It's hard to say when social worker Rocky Braat received his call to care for children and women suffering from HIV and AIDS at an orphanage in India.
"Rocky had a difficult childhood," says film director and Braat's good friend, Steve Hoover. "Some of that is addressed in 'Blood Brother.' I think he was looking for an authentic experience, something that was real."
"Blood Brother," directed and narrated by Hoover and produced by Danny Yourd, documents Braat's personal strife living among the people at the orphanage. Life is hard there. He lives in a concrete hut with no running water. He wants to heal everyone in his charge, but in reality can't cure even one. Some days, he despairs. Other days, there are surprising moments of joy.
What: The Daedalus Film Fest
When: Friday through Monday, Aug. 16-19
Where: Varsity Theatre, 166 E. Main St., Ashland
Call: 800-219-8161 or see www.osfashland.org/daedalusfilmfest
Tightly edited from high-definition video footage, hand-held cameras, photographs and other archive video, Hoover's film has the emotional swell of a narrative feature, with portrayals of real people in real situations.
"Big Brother," released in 2012, won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for documentary and Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The documentary kicks off the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's new Daedalus Film Fest — produced in partnership with the Ashland Independent Film Festival and Coming Attractions Theatres.
Five award-winning documentaries about the ongoing global HIV and AIDS crisis will be screened Friday through Sunday, Aug. 16-19, at the Varsity Theatre, 166 E. Main St., Ashland. Tickets cost $10 for each screening and can be purchased at the OSF box office, not at the Varsity box office. Call 800-219-8161 or see www.osfashland.org/daedalusfilmfest.
Q-and-A discussions will follow most screenings, and the film festival will culminate at noon Monday, Aug. 19, with a panel discussion titled "Acting Up: Artistic Responses to HIV/AIDS," moderated by actor Anthony Heald in OSF's Carpenter Hall. The panel will include filmmakers and OSF company members.
The film festival is a new addition to OSF's annual Daedalus Project, a fundraiser that includes a play reading in the Angus Bowmer Theatre and a variety show on the Elizabethan Stage on Aug. 19. Call the OSF box office for showtimes and ticket availability. All proceeds support OSF's efforts to assist people living with HIV or AIDS.
At the Varsity Theatre, "Blood Brother" shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 18; "The Dreams of Elibidi" — a 2010 HIV-awareness drama first written as a play by British actor Nick Reding and Kenyan actor and director Kamau Wa Ndung'u, then produced by Sponsored Arts for Education — shows at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; "Fire in the Blood" (2012), directed by Dylan Mohan Gray — a story about pharmaceutical companies and governments blocking access to low-cost drugs in Africa and India causing millions to succumb to AIDS — shows at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18; "How to Survive a Plague" (2012), directed by David France, shows at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17-18; and "We Were Here" (2011), directed by David Weissman, shows at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.