June 20, 2016 1:37 pm
Ahead of its Washington, D.C., premiere at AFI DOCS this weekend, Raising Bertie has been selected to participate in the 2nd annual AFI DOCS Impact Lab, "a two-day intensive designed for filmmakers with issue-driven films who aim to create broader social and political change through the power of story and film." Raising Bertie is a tender portrait of three African American boys coming of age in the rural community of Bertie County, North Carolina. Filmed over the course of six years, Margaret Byrne’s documentary was praised this week as "the Boyhood of this year's AFI DOCS, but with more of an urgent social subtext" by Dean Essner of Washington City Paper. Raising Bertie will have two screenings at AFI DOCS 2016, with filmmakers and subjects attending: June 25, 1:45pm, AFI Silver 2, Silver Spring, MD and June 26, 3:00pm, E Street Cinema, Washington, DC. Get tickets. As part of the Impact Lab, which begins tomorrow, director Margaret Byrne and producer Ian Kibbe will participate in training workshops that focus on advocacy, grassroots communications, and grasstops engagement to help increase the scope of impact for the film. In addition to great opportunities on the social level, the Impact Lab provides opportunities for filmmakers to engage their issues on a political level; Byrne will get the chance to share the story of Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell and their lives in Bertie, North Carolina with policymakers and Congressional aides who are working on legislation relevant to issues such as the school-to-work transition, institutional racism, generational rural poverty, and educational discrimination. The film will also have its Boston premiere this weekend at the Roxbury International Film Festival on Sunday June 26 at 2pm at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Al Alexander of The Patriot Ledger singled out the film for praise in his festival preview, calling it “easily one of the fest’s best... riveting”, and stating that “after spending two hours with these remarkable people and gaining an understanding of their plight, it renews your faith in the human spirit.” For more information about Raising Bertie, and to bring the film to your city, visit http://www.raisingbertie.com.
Raising Bertie 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.