RAISING BERTIE, US, 2017, 102 min
Director: Margaret Byrne
An intimate, six-year portrait of three boys growing into adulthood in rural North Carolina.
Raising Bertie argues that rural black lives matter by showcasing people usually invisible in the media: African-American boys grappling with the precarious school-to-work transition in an impoverished and isolated rural community.
Set in Bertie County, located in Eastern North Carolina, the film offers viewers a respectful and tender insight into the emotional lives of Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell. This raw and starkly poetic cinéma vérité film weaves their stories together as they navigate school, unemployment, violence, first love, fatherhood, and estrangement from family members and mentors, subtly exploring the complex relationships between generational poverty, economic isolation, and educational inequity.
Directed and Produced by Margaret Byrne. Produced by Ian Kibbe. Director of Photography & Co-Producer: Jon Stuyvesant. Edited by Leslie Simmer. Executive Producers: J.Cole, Gordon Quinn, Justine Nagan.
A production of Beti Films and Kartemquin Films.
Supported by: MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Southern Documentary Fund, Good Pitch, IFP Labs, AFI DOCS Impact Lab.
Best Documentary Feature, Atlanta Docufest 2016.
Best Director, Atlanta Underground Film Festival 2016.
Best First Time Director, Downtown LA Film Festival.