Raising Bertie goes home; heads to D.C.

Raising Bertie is coming home! On Saturday, December 10, Bertie High School will host two FREE public screenings at 11AM and 1:30PM. This will be the first public screening in Bertie, and the film's subjects will be in attendance. Following each screening there will be panel discussions including the filmmakers: Margaret Byrne, Ian Kibbe and Jon Stuyvesant. After the 1:30PM screening, there will be a barbecue for the entire Bertie community.

The screenings are in collaboration with the Bertie County Board of Commissioners, Bertie High School, Perdue Chicken, Self-Help Credit Union, the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center and the North Carolina Community Development Initiative.

On the experience of being subjects of the film, Reginald "Junior" Askew, Davonte "Dada" Harrell and David "Bud" Perry told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald:

  • "The experience of filming (this) was life-changing. I grew from a kid who never spoke up for himself to a young man that can speak with confidence. I believe the sky's the limit." - "Dada" Harrell
  • "I'm just like everyone else in the world. I may have made bad choices, but I'm not letting those choices determine the outcome of my life. I'm glad I can look back and see my younger days and see how it was for me back then, keeps me on the road I'm on today." - "Junior" Askew
  • "I want a lot of kids to see (the film) and see how the Hive started. They'll see we live in the country and everybody doesn't have a lot, but we do our best to have a good community." - "Bud" Perry

On December 7th, the film will screen at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Following the now sold-out screening, there will be a panel discussion around the issues and themes presented in the film, including possible solutions for new opportunities in the communities that need them the most.

The panel will consist of director Margaret Byrne, producer Ian Kibbe, undersecretary for rural development for the US Department of Agriculture Lisa Mensah, founder of The Hive and film subject Vivian Saunders and president of the Urban Institute Sarah Rosen Wartell.

These screenings come on the heels of the film's successful week-long run at the Gene Siskel Film Center November 18-23, which included screenings hosted by IFP Chicago and the Chicago Media Project, as well as panel discussions with the filmmakers Margaret Byrne, Ian Kibbe, editor Leslie Simmer and executive producer Gordon Quinn. On opening night, the filmmakers were joined by Casey Owens, the CEO of Bertie County YMCA.

Stay up to date with upcoming screenings of Raising Bertie here!