‘Raising Bertie’
‘Raising Bertie’

The critically-acclaimed documentary “Raising Bertie” hails from our friends at Kartemquin Films – an indie production company responsible for some of the most significant documentaries made during the last 20 years including a few we’ve covered on this blog like “Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters” and “The Trials of Muhammad Ali.”

Produced by Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn and Justine Nagan, and directed and produced by Margaret Byrne, “Raising Bertie” is set in Bertie County, a rural African American community in Eastern North Carolina, and 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.

The profound work of cinéma vérité made its world premiere at the Full Frame Documentary Festival in Durham, North Carolina in the spring of 2016. It also screened at the Bentonville Film Festival, and AFI DOCS in DC that summer, and went on to others.

And now Gunpowder & Sky Distribution is teaming up with the film’s producer, Kartemquin, to distribute “Raising Bertie” both in theaters and on digital.

The film kicks off its theatrical tour today, June 6, in Fayetteville, NC at the Cameo Art House, and in Larkspur, CA at the Lark Theater. It will then open in New York this Friday, June 9 at Maysles Cinema and Pelham, NY at Pelham Picture House; then it continues to travel and expand. To find out if the film will come to a theater near you, see the image below (or visit: http://raisingbertie.com/screenings/).


“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 in a previous statement. “The individuals in this story are representative of their community and they matter.”

Beti Films and Kartemquin Films are producers.

An official trailer for “Raising Bertie” follows below; underneath the trailer, you’ll find a previously-released clip from the film.

Watch a clip below: