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Superman-inspired documentary features 6-year-old Gig Harbor cancer survivor

Featured in a documentary film “Look to the Sky” is Gig Harbor’s own 6-year-old superhero and former Gig Harbor Police Chief for a Day, Violet Brielle Spataro.
Featured in a documentary film “Look to the Sky” is Gig Harbor’s own 6-year-old superhero and former Gig Harbor Police Chief for a Day, Violet Brielle Spataro. Courtesy

Superheroes are popular with people of all ages, with clothing, merchandise and new movies appearing frequently to delight fans.

Building on the popularity of these (typically) fictional characters, filmmaker Brett Culp decided to focus on a few real-life superheroes, specifically youth who have demonstrated the “Superman spirit” through various challenges.

Featured in his documentary film “Look to the Sky” is Gig Harbor’s own 6-year-old superhero and former Gig Harbor Police Chief for a Day, Violet Brielle Spataro.

“It’s a film about hope and it’s about young people who’ve shown the spirit of Superman … half of them have overcome obstacles and done something to give back,” explained Shenay Spataro, Violet’s mother. “We just briefly exchanged info online (with Culp) and then spoke online. Then he scheduled a time to come out to our area to film her for a few days. We had seen his other documentary on Netflix and it was so good. We were so excited when he asked her.”

A cancer survivor — now five years in remission — Violet’s mission with her nonprofit organization, the Live Love Foundation, is to comfort and support other children in their fight with cancer with her Blessing Bundles, a collection of gifts to encourage and bring smiles. She also served as the Gig Harbor Police Department’s Chief for a Day last year.

It’s a film about hope and it’s about young people who’ve shown the spirit of Superman …half of them have overcome obstacles and done something to give back.

Shenay Spataro

Violet’s Live Love Foundation has partnered with the Jaycox-Gig Harbor Police Benevolent fund to host special showings of the film at the Galaxy Uptown Theatre on Tuesday (June 27) and Wednesday (June 28).

Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey said that Spataro first told them of a screening of the film in Seattle. Though the department couldn’t make that showing, it decided to bring the film to Violet’s hometown.

“She’s still doing such great things. (Violet’s) representing her foundation, and one of us will be there speaking about the Jaycox fund,” Busey said. “In a world that’s focused on so much negativity right now, we need more of this. If we could show (the film) to everybody in the Harbor it would be a good thing.”

Both Spataro and Busey said that the Galaxy Theatre in Gig Harbor’s Uptown shopping center has been enthusiastic and helpful in their partnership with the documentary showing. All proceeds from the event will go to the Live Love Foundation and the Jaycox-Gig Harbor Police Benevolent Fund.

She’s still doing such great things. (Violet’s) representing her foundation and one of us will be there speaking about the Jaycox fund. In a world that’s focused on so much negativity right now, we need more of this. If we could show (the film) to everybody in the Harbor it would be a good thing.

Kelly Busey, Gig Harbor police chief

The Jaycox-Gig Harbor Police Benevolent Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to charitable and educational purposes within the Gig Harbor community. Annually the nonprofit hosts the Holiday Heroes program to bring holiday gifts to students in the Peninsula School District every December.

“Look to the Sky” is produced by The Rising Heroes Project, a nonprofit organization started by Culp and his wife, Tricia, to create uplifting and educational films.

Culp’s previous film, “Legends of the Knight,” was inspired by a Batman theme and screened in more than 110 cities around the world, raising almost $100K for charity. The film is available now in iTunes and Amazon.

“Look to the Sky” is also available for charity and educational screenings, like the ones held next week in Gig Harbor.

It’s really cool to see the effect it has on everyone right after they see the film.

Spataro

“For many of us, the world seems very dark,” Culp said in a release. “It’s easy to feel that noble heroes have vanished from the earth. We want to show that the hope superhero stories embody still exist, and we believe this spirit is most clearly seen in the hearts of the heroic young people who are shaping the future. Our goal with ‘Look to the Sky’ is to help renew our faith in tomorrow, for ourselves and our communities.”

Violet — a regular on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and at Make a Wish fundraisers — and her family were delighted to be included in the film, Spataro said, and to continue their work supporting other children and families fighting cancer.

“It’s really cool to see the effect it has on everyone right after they see the film,” Spataro said. “This is a great movie for people that would want to get their child to see the difference they can make as a child. It’s just so inspirational … you really leave the film really just awe inspired because of the limitations we put on things as adults and these kids don’t have those.”

The “Look to the Sky” screenings will be held beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 27) and Wednesday (June 28) at the Galaxy Theatre Uptown. Tickets are available online at galaxytheatres.com.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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