September 26, 2014 12:37 pm
The Southern Documentary Fund has awarded their first ever SDF Filmmaking Grants, and we are delighted to announce that Raising Bertie is one of the four inaugural recipients. The Southern Documentary Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization that cultivates documentaries made in or about the American South. Inspired by a core belief that documentaries have the power to change lives, SDF serves as a leading advocate for powerful Southern storytelling, providing filmmakers with professional support, fiscal sponsorship, and creative community. "We are thrilled to receive this grant and have the support of the Southern Documentary Fund, an organization based in North Carolina where we spent five years filming our story," said Raising Bertie director Margaret Byrne. "It is an honor to be connected to North Carolina and the documentary community through such an amazing organization." The funding will be used for post-production. In Raising Bertie, we follow three young men over the course of five years as they grow into adulthood in Bertie County, a small African American-led farming community in North Carolina. Through the intimate portrayal of these young men, we see the issues facing America’s rural youth and the repercussions of a woefully underfunded rural public school system. Their stories shed light on the complex relationships between family, economics and education. Rural education is the next frontier in American school reform. One-in-four students attend school in a rural community and two out of every five of these students live in poverty. In spite of this, the national education reform movement has focused primarily on the needs of low-income urban students. Follow the film on Facebook and Twitter.