March 10, 2016 10:45 am
Raising Bertie, a new film from debut director Margaret Byrne and Chicago’s award-winning documentary collective Kartemquin Films, will world premiere at Full Frame Documentary Festival in Durham, North Carolina on April 9, 2016.
Set in Bertie County, a rural African American-led community in Eastern North Carolina, the film takes the viewer deep into the emotional lives of three young boys - Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell - as they face a number of challenges over six years as they grow into adults. All three will attend the world premiere.
This raw and starkly poetic longitudinal cinéma vérité film weaves the young men’s stories together as they navigate unemployment, institutional racism, violence, first love, fatherhood, death, and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities.
Partial funding has come from sources including the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the Southern Documentary Fund, along with support from IFP and Good Pitch Chicago, though for the majority of production Byrne, a single mother, self-financed the film.
“This film has been a labor of love. Over the last seven years, we have maintained close, trusting relationships with each family in the film. I love them and am honored that they trusted me, gave me an unfiltered window into their lives, and believed what we were doing was important,” said director Margaret Byrne. “The individuals in this story are representative of their community and they matter. I’m so thrilled to be showing the film for the very first time in public at Full Frame.”
“Raising Bertie challenges us to see the value in lives too often ignored, those of rural America and emerging adults” said Gordon Quinn, an Executive Producer on the film and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films. “We always knew we had to premiere this film at Full Frame, a festival with which we have held a long and fond association over many years, and which is adept at facilitating the type of nuanced and multifaceted conversation Raising Bertie we hope will generate there, and throughout the 2016 election year and beyond.”
About Raising Bertie
Director Margaret Byrne’s debut documentary is an intimate six year portrait of three African American boys growing into adulthood in rural North Carolina, exploring complex relationships between generational poverty, educational inequity, and race.
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. www.raisingbertie.com.
Link to full press kit.
Link to images.
Special congratulations also to our friends at Meridian Hill Pictures, as their film City of Trees will also play at Full Frame 2016. We assisted the film through our KTQ Labs program and with additional consulting. Find out more at http://www.cityoftreesfilm.com/