Heather Anderson
School of the Arts

Film and Media Studies to host prize-winning, independent film screening

Thu, 09/04/2014

LAWRENCE – Telling the story of a young man escaping a troubled past, “Blood Brother” follows the journey of Rocky Braat as he leaves his life in the United States to live with a group of HIV-positive children in an orphanage in India. This unknown documentary won the Sundance 2013 Grand Jury Prize and the Sundance 2013 Audience Award, as well as a host of other awards at film festivals across the country. The University of Kansas Department of Film and Media Studies will host a screening of the film Thursday, Sept. 11, at Liberty Hall.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the screening at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

“Opportunities like these are so enriching to film and media studies students, as well as students across KU. We strive to connect storytelling with real people and situations that students can learn from,” said Tamara Falicov, chair and associate professor of film and media studies. “I know our students will benefit from seeing how a low-budget documentary, shot in a personal style with an interesting main character, can teach us something about the power of digital storytelling.”

Immediately following the screening, Dr. Subbarao Polineni, of St. Louis, will talk about his current efforts to build a school for children very much like those in the film. Polineni grew up in a small hut in India not far from where the school he built now stands. Polineni was fortunate to have an uncle pay for his education, and he hopes to provide more opportunities like he was given for the children of his hometown.

The event is presented by KU Film and Media Studies, KU International Programs, KU Center for Global & International Studies, KU South Asian Studies, Bright Light Foundation, Tugg, and the Polineni family.

The funding of “Blood Brother” was supported through donations, allowing the proceeds to be used to help support the orphanage and the children with HIV in India, as well as Braat and his continuing efforts. Filmmakers have partnered with several nonprofits to help with some of their goals: The Red Hot Organization and ACT V: The End of AIDS. LIGHT (Living to Inspire Global Healing Today) is a 501c3 accredited nonprofit organization created in response to the film as a way to directly help and support Braat, the children and other orphanages.

For more information visit or

Bright Life Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to improving the lives of “at-risk” children in the United States and India. The inaugural project serves such a population including orphans, street children and those infected with or affected by HIV in Andhra Pradesh, India.  The organization is committed to providing children a free education of the highest-quality room and board, health care, and counseling services to empower them with tools for a brighter future. Visit for more information.

The Department of Film & Media Studies is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

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Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (, associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.

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