Raising Bertie sells out Chicago Premiere at CIFF; filmmakers discuss recent visit to resilient, post-flood Bertie

Raising Bertie, the intimate, visually rich and compassionate portrait of three African American boys coming of age in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, had its Chicago Premiere yesterday to a sold-out crowd at the Chicago International Film Festival.

Following the screening, Director Margaret Byrne, Producer Ian Kibbe and Director of Photography Jon Stuyvesant discussed the making of the film–particularly the importance of the relationships they have (and continually sustain) with their subjects; rural youth and communities in America and their goals for the film's impact campaign.

The filmmakers also addressed the devastation caused in Bertie County due to flooding. North Carolina was one of the hardest hit states with over 34 counties affected and 22 lives claimed by the aftermath of Tropical Storm Julia and Hurricane Matthew. The filmmakers spoke about their recent visit to Bertie, the resilience of the community, the importance that rural communities such as Bertie experiencing such devastation not be forgotten, and ways in which to help the post-flood efforts.

Also during the Q&A DP Jon Stuyvesant brought up a notable update on the film subjects Junior, Dada and Bud, sharing that Junior had recently completed a short screenplay and pitched it to Stuyvesant, and the two are in the process of collaborating on it.

Below are some of the most memorable quotes from the Q&A: