A new title to keep an eye on as it travels, from our friends at Kartemquin Films – a company responsible for some of the most significant documentaries made during the last 20 years (some we’ve covered on this blog) such as “Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters,” “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” and “Roger Ebert, Life Itself” – titled “Raising Bertie.”
Produced by Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan, and directed and produced by Margaret Byrne, the documentary, set in Bertie County, a rural African American community in Eastern North Carolina, 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; unemployment, institutional racism, violence, first love, fatherhood, death, and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities.
“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 previously. “The individuals in this story are representative of their community and they matter.”
Directed and Produced by Margaret Byrne, Ian Kibbe is also producer, with Jon Stuyvesant co-producer, and executive producers J.Cole, Gordon Quinn, and Justine Nagan.
Beti Films and Kartemquin Films are producers.
The profound work of cinéma vérité made its world premiere at the Full Frame Documentary Festival in Durham, North Carolina on April 9, 2016. It also screened at the Bentonville Film Festival, and AFI DOCS in DC in June.
Upcoming screenings are set for Austin (TX), New York City, and Los Angeles. See the image below for specific locations and dates. And underneath, you’ll find a clip from the film.
Also, the filmmakers need every bit of support in getting this film seen as widely as possible, so you’re strongly encouraged to tweet about it, especially after you’ve seen it, with the hashtag #teambertie and/or #ncstoriesmatter
Watch a clip below: