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September 25: Fall Fresh Docs Kicks Off With “Raising Bertie,” Stories of Youth in Rural America

Film still from "Raising Bertie"

Film still from “Raising Bertie”

The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund are pleased to present a free screening of director/producer Margaret Byrne’s Raising Bertie, which makes the case that rural America does matter. The film is presented as part of the Fresh Docs series featuring documentary works-in-progress; following the screenings, SDF director Rachel Raney moderates a conversation with the filmmaker(s) during which the audience provides valuable feedback.

Raising Bertie
Friday, September 25, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina

Note: Fresh Docs screenings are free, but attendees must reserve a ticket via Eventbrite. 

In its intimate coming-of-age portrayal of three youth in a small African-American farming community in Bertie County, North Carolina, Raising Bertie humanizes the complex issues of education, poverty, and race in these rural areas and compels us to reconsider—and find value in—the hopeful lives and rich resources that are often ignored by the mainstream. Following Reginald, David, and Davonte as they struggle for an education against all odds, Raising Bertie puts a spotlight on the barriers facing rural American youth and offers a direct challenge to the education reform movement, which has primarily focused on the needs of students in urban schools. The film will be completed and released in 2016. Follow Raising Bertie on Twitter and Facebook.

Margaret Byrne was a cinematographer and editor for Emmy-nominated American Promise (POV 2014), a thirteen-year feature film following the education of two African American boys from New York City. Margaret was a creative director at Universal Music Group and produced the documentary series, MTV Base 100th Live, which launched MTV across Africa in 2005. She is director and producer of Raising Bertie, a documentary feature following three at-risk youth in rural North Carolina for six years. She is founder of independent film company Beti Films.

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