J. Cole Executive Produced Doc 'Raising Bertie' to Premiere on PBS August 28th

The truth is, I made a film about three kids I met and I cared about. The individuals in this story are representative of their community and they matter.
— Margaret Byrne

http://pitchfork.com/news/j-cole-executive-producing-new-pbs-documentary/

Raising Bertie trailer reviewed in Slash Film

"It’s compelling viewing when you cut through the chaff of our collective experience. When you dial into a person’s essence you are seeing them the way they deserve to be seen and this trailer is more dramatic than I would give some other fictional films credit for being." - Christopher Stipp

http://www.slashfilm.com/this-week-in-trailers-my-life-without-air-hounds-of-love-raising-bertie-score-a-film-music-documentary-machines/

Raising Bertie heads to Atlanta Film Festival April 1st

Team Bertie is excited to be part of the Atlanta Film Festival! Raising Bertie will screen April 1st at 5pm at Plaza Theatre. Director, Margaret Byrne, will be in attendance.

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW: http://bit.ly/2lO0vB5

Raising Bertie to hold world premiere at Full Frame Documentary Festival

Feature-length doc is also an official selection at Sarasota Film Festival

Raising Bertie, a coming-of-age tale of three young black men in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, will hold its world premiere at the 19th Annual Full Frame Documentary Festival in Durham North Carolina on April 9, 2016.  The feature-length documentary is a co-production between Beti Films and documentary collective Kartemquin Films. The premiere is also the debut of first-time feature-length director Margaret Byrne.

Filmed over the course of six-years, the film focuses on Reginald "Junior" Askew, Davonte "Dada" Harrell and David "Bud" Perry as they navigate unemployment, grief, violence, first love, fatherhood and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities as adults. The film's three subjects will be present at the screening along with Byrne, producer Ian Kibbe, cinematographer Jon Stuyvesant and editor Leslie Simmer.

Tickets for the Sarasota Film Festival can be purchased now. Follow the link below.

 

Tickets for Full Frame Documentary Festival go on sale April 1. Follow the link below.

For more information, please view our press release.

'Raising Bertie' headed to IFP, Fresh Docs, and Cucalourus

As the Summer draws to a close, here are some exciting developments taking place for Beti Films in the Fall.

'Raising Bertie' in NYC for IFP Independent Film Week

From September 20 - 25, the team behind Raising Bertie (#teambertie) will be in New York City for The Independent Filmmaker Project's (IFP) Project Forum at IFP Independent Film Week to be held at Lincoln Center. Raising Bertie was previously selected for IFP's Documentary Lab held in May. IFP has published the full slate of programming for Independent Film Week. More information can be found in this official press release by IFP.

ifp.jpg

 

Fresh Docs to screen 'Raising Bertie' in Durham, N.C.

We're excited to announce a special advanced work in progress screening of Raising Bertie, in Durham on Friday, September 25th! Raising Bertie will kick off the fourth season of Southern Documentary Fund's monthly work in progress series, Fresh Docs. The free screening will be held at the American Tobacco Campus' Full Frame Theater in Downtown Durham, NC. Following the screening, there will be a feedback session with the filmmaker that will be moderated by Southern Documentary Fund (SDF) director Rachel Raney. Fresh Docs is co-presented by Southern Documentary Fund and Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies. Read more.


'Raising Bertie' to present at Cucalorus Film Festival in NC

Raising Bertie is an official selection for this year's work-in-progress program at the Cucalorus Film Festival, which will be held on November 11 - 15 in Downtown Wilmington, N.C. Cucalorus is one of the largest film festivals held in the southern United States and was recently recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as "One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2014." More information on the festival can be found on the official site.



Margaret Byrne 1 of 7 'American Promise' editors nominated for an Emmy

Nominations for the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards were announced on July 22, 2015 by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). American Promise received three Emmy Nominations for Best Documentary, Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story-Long Form, and Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form. Of all the nominees in this year's Outstanding Editing category, American Promise has the largest number of editors nominated; over the course of thirteen years (the length of time covered by the documentary), seven editors were hired to work on the project. As part of the editing team for American Promise, Margaret Byrne, director of the upcoming Raising Bertie, received a nomination for her work on the project. Byrne is also credited as a cinematographer on the film, as is fellow Raising Bertie collaborator Jon Stuyvesant.

The News & Documentary Emmy® Awards will be presented on Monday, September 28th, 2015, at a ceremony at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall (formerly Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic), located at Lincoln Center on Broadway on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City. The event will be attended by more than 1,400 television and news media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists. Emmy® Awards will be presented in 45 categories.

You can find more on the upcoming 36th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards and the full list of nominees here.

Margaret Byrne-directed Segment for NBC's 'Red Nose Day Live' Airs Tonight!

Today kicks off the first official Red Nose Day in the US! Originally established in in the UK, Red Nose Day is "a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh.” The day will be commemorated in a three-hour, star-studded entertainment TV special on NBC. The special will highlight the issues for which Red Nose Day is fundraising and feature premier comedy and entertainment in both live and in pre-recorded segments. During the TV special, viewers will be encouraged to donate by phone and online.

Beti Films founder and director Margaret Byrne directed a segment for the special focusing on Feeding America. The segment will be narrated by Matthew Broderick.

Comic Relief, Inc. is working in partnership with NBCUniversal in the production to produce the first Red Nose Day. The Red Nose Day special will premiere on NBC on May 21st, 2015 at 8 PM/7PMc.

Learn more about the special here.

'American Promise' Nabs Britdoc Impact Award

American Promise is one of five recipients of the Britdoc Impact Award which recognizes documentary films "that have made the greatest impact on society." Each filmmaking team receives $15,000 to "recognize their achievements and continue their campaigns." In particular, American Promise is being recognized for using "...an ambitious traditional theatrical release in over 60 cities to build a national platform for building awareness, dialogue, and action around issues of black male achievement and educational equity, effectively using a traditional theatrical release as an outreach vehicle."

American Promise follows two middle class black families over thirteen years as they navigate the ups and downs of parenting and educating their sons. Beti Films' Margaret Byrne and Jon Stuyvesant served as a cinematographers on the project. Byrne also served as an editor.

You can read more about the outreach campaign for American Promise here.

Britdoc Impcact Award | American Promise

'Raising Bertie' to Present at Good Pitch Chicago 2015; Official 'Raising Bertie' Instagram Now Live and Other News

We've got some exciting new developments in the works at Beti Films. Here's a rundown:

 

Raising Bertie to Present at Good Pitch Chicago 2015

Raising Bertie has been selected to present at Good Pitch Chicago 2015!

The event is sponsored by Chicago Media Project and will bring documentary filmmakers together with “foundations, NGOs, campaigners, philanthropists, policy makers, brands and media around leading social and environmental issues to forge coalitions and campaigns that are good for all these partners, good for the films and good for society.” Filmmakers will have the opportunity to present a seven minute pitch and then receive feedback from an audience of 300 potential partners and investors. Good Pitch is based on a partnership between BRITDOC and Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.

Raising Bertie is one of only six documentaries to be selected. There were over 100 international submissions vying for spots in the 2015 round. On deciding upon the six films to be showcased, Reel Chicago reports:

In keeping with Good Pitch’s mission of addressing a topic of social change, “We arrived at projects on a wide range of topics that balance bringing world class filmmakers to town and showcasing Chicago’s own strong documentary scene,” notes Danny Alpert, Planning Committee board member.

Congrats to Director-Producer Margaret Byrne, DP Jon Stuyvesant and Associate Producer Ian Kibbe on this exciting opportunity!

Good Pitch Chicago 2015 will be held on May 5, 2015 Pilsen’s Historic Thalia Hall venue. Click here for the official announcement and for more information on the event

You can read the rest of the Reel Chicago article here.

 

Official Raising Bertie Instagram Now Live!

You can now follow Raising Bertie (@raisingbertie) on Instagram! Every week we will share photos offering a rare glimpse into everyday life in Bertie County, North Carolina. Delve deeper into the world of Bertie County by viewing more images in their full, HD glory on Tumblr as well as behind-the-scenes production stills on the film's Facebook site.

Follow us: @raisingbertie

 

Coming Soon: Official Raising Bertie Blog and Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with all things Raising Bertie. In the next few weeks, the official Raising Bertie site will launch a blog featuring news on the production, Bertie County, and issues related to rural education and education reform. Also in the works is a monthly e-newsletter so be sure to check out the official site and join our mailing list.

 

 

 

 

Margaret Byrne one of Newcity's "Chicago Screen Gems"

Congrats to our very own Margaret Byrne who Newcity named as one of their "Film 50 2014: Chicago Screen Gems"!

Here's the excerpt on our talented Chief:

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Margaret Byrne

Documentarian Margaret Byrne’s “Raising Bertie” elapses across five years in the largely African-American North Carolina farming community of Bertie County, following the lives of three young men growing into adulthood. A short preview shown in spring 2014 demonstrated a vibrant visual style, capturing events with vivid immediacy. Fundraising continues for post-production and outreach as a rough cut is assembled, and one of the first filmmaking grants from the Southern Documentary Fund was awarded at the end of September. Byrne’s a Chicago native who moved back to the city three years ago after a decade in New York. “I knew I could give my daughter a better life, but I thought I would be sacrificing the career I had worked so hard for. What I discovered was that Chicago was exactly where I wanted to be and exactly where I wanted to make films. New York taught me to be a bad-ass, and walk fast, but the Chicago film community has embraced me, supported me and given me a place to make the films I’ve been determined to create.” Byrne plans to shoot her first fiction feature, “The Pharmacist,” in Chicago in fall 2015. “I’m committed to working exclusively with Chicago talent, crew and vendors,” she says. “For the unforeseeable future, I plan to make all my films in Chicago.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Newcity Film | Film 50 2014: Chicago's Screen Gems

'Raising Bertie' awarded Southern Documentary Fund Filmmaking Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2014

 

Media Contact:

Frances Cedro

Beti Films

917.873.8282

raisingbertie@gmail.com

 

‘Raising Bertie’ awarded Southern Documentary Fund Filmmaking Grant

Documentary one of four recipients in grant’s inaugural year

Raising Bertie, an upcoming feature documentary co-produced by Beti Films and Kartemquin Films, has recently been awarded the Southern Documentary Fund’s Filmmaking Grant. This is the inaugural year for the grant and Raising Bertie is one of only four recipients. The funds from the grant will go towards post-production on the film. Raising Bertie was previously awarded a MacArthur Grant last year.

“We’re honored to be selected for the Southern Documentary Fund Filmmaking Grant,” said Director Margaret Byrne. “Especially given the organization’s roots in North Carolina, where we spent the last six years filming our story. We are pleased to have the support of North Carolina’s documentary community and look forward to supporting the community in turn.”

Raising Bertie is a feature documentary directed by Margaret Byrne and shot by Jon Stuyvesant. The film follows three young men over the course of five years as they grow into adulthood in Bertie County, a small African American-led farming community in North Carolina. Through the intimate portrayal of these young men, we see the issues facing America’s rural youth and the repercussions of a woefully underfunded rural public school system. Their stories shed light on the complex relationships between family, economics and education.

# # #

About Beti Films
Beti Films is an independent film company specializing in visually rich, socially minded content. Founded in 2004 by Margaret Byrne, Beti Films has worked on countless projects across the globe, believing that storytelling has the power to impact lives and be a catalyst for change.

About Kartemquin Films
Kartemquin Films is a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on over 45 years of being Chicago’s documentary powerhouse. Kartemquin is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

About Southern Documentary Fund
Founded in 2002, the Southern Documentary Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization that cultivates documentary projects made in or about the American South. Inspired by our core belief that documentaries have the power to change lives, SDF serves as a leading advocate for powerful Southern storytelling, providing filmmakers and artists with professional support, fiscal sponsorship, and creative community.

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Al Jazeera America's 'Fault Lines' to Premiere "Wisconsin Mining Standoff"

On Saturday, June 14 at 6 p.m. Central Time, Al Jazeera America's Fault Lines will premiere the "Wisconsin Mining Standoff," a half-hour episode which centers on the conflict over a proposed open-pit iron mine in the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin.  Produced by 371 Productions, the half-hour episode will spotlight the mining industry's push for what could become one of the largest open-pit mines in North America and the efforts of a coalition of tribes and locals to stop its creation. Beti Films founder Margaret Byrne traveled to Wisconsin earlier this year and served as a cinematographer on the episode. 

For more on the upcoming episode, catch Producer Devon Cupery's interview with WXPR here.

Find out how you can tune in to Al Jazeera America  here.

Official 'Raising Bertie' Site Now Live

The official website for Beti Films' Raising Bertie is now live! Raising Bertie is a feature documentary that follows three young men over the course of five years as they grow into adulthood in Bertie County, a small African American-led farming community in North Carolina. Through the intimate portrayal of these young men, we see the issues facing America’s rural youth and the repercussions of a woefully underfunded rural public school system. Their stories shed light on the complex relationships between family, economics and education.

Raising Bertie is directed by Beti Films founder Margaret Byrne and shot by Director of Photography Jon Stuyvesant. The film is a co-production with Kartemquin Films. Both Byrne and Stuyvesant will be presenting a sneak peak of Raising Bertie tonight at Kartemquin's 3rd Annual Spring Showcase.

The site is optimized for desktop viewing but can be viewed on mobile as well. You can view the website here.

Margaret Byrne to preview upcoming ‘Raising Bertie’ for audiences

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22, 2014

 

Media Contact: 

Frances Cedro

Beti Films

raisingbertie@gmail.com

 

Margaret Byrne to preview upcoming ‘Raising Bertie’ for audiences

Director to screen excerpts of feature documentary at Kartemquin 2014 Spring Showcase

Director and Beti Films founder Margaret Byrne will screen excerpts of her upcoming feature documentary, Raising Bertie, at the 3rd Annual Kartemquin Spring Showcase on Friday, May 2nd at 8:30 p.m. at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Also presenting with Byrne will be the film’s Director of Photography and Co-Producer Jon Stuyvesant. The event will feature other works in progress including the upcoming Kartemquin-produced six-part documentary Hard Earned for Al-Jazeera America; Generation Food, an upcoming feature documentary from Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters director Steve James; and In the Game by Maria Finitzo. Raising Bertie is Executive Produced by Kartemquin’s Justine Nagan and Gordon Quinn. 

“I’m thrilled to be premiering a sneak peak of our film, Raising Bertie, at the May 2nd Kartemquin Showcase,” said Byrne. “Making Raising Bertie over the last five years has been a life changing experience.” 

“This project has turned Bertie into a second home for me and I hope the imagery in this film shows the respect I have for this beautiful community,” said Stuyvesant. “We cannot wait to share this film with a larger audience and show people the gift these brave young men have given us by sharing their lives with us and allowing us to become part of their families.”  

“It’s a real pleasure to be working on such a beautiful and complex film,” said Editor Leslie Simmer. “Margaret has a gorgeous aesthetic, and that combined with her intimate access into the lives of her subjects will make this film unique and memorable.”

Raising Bertie is a Kartemquin and Beti Films co-production directed by Margaret Byrne and shot by Jon Stuyvesant. The film follows three young men over the course of five years as they grow into adulthood in Bertie County, a small African American-led farming community in North Carolina.Through the intimate portrayal of these young men, we see the issues facing America’s rural youth and the repercussions of a woefully underfunded rural public school system. Their stories shed light on the complex relationships between family, economics and education. The film has already received attention from IndieWire, an online daily news site for the independent film community and leading source of information on independent films.

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About Beti Films

Beti Films is an independent film company specializing in visually rich, socially minded content. Founded in 2004 by Margaret Byrne, Beti Films has worked on countless projects across the globe. We believe that storytelling has the power to impact lives and be a catalyst for change. 

About Kartemquin Films

Kartemquin Films is a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. With a noted tradition of nurturing emerging talent and acting as a leading voice for independent media, Kartemquin is building on over 45 years of being Chicago’s documentary powerhouse. Kartemquin is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

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Sneak Preview of Kartemquin Films’ Documentary-In-Progress ‘Raising Bertie’ In Chicago 5/2

by Sergio via IndieWIRE

Just last week, I reported on a new cable TV documentary series, Hard Earned, being produced by Al Jazeera America and the Chicago-based Kartemquin Films, about the struggles of low income families (HERE).

But that’s not the only documentary that Kartmequin Films has on its slate - a company responsible for some of the most important and acclaimed documentaries made during the last 20 years such as Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, and the soon-to-be released documentary on the late film critic, Roger Ebert, Life Itself,.

They also have currently in the works, Raising Bertie, produced by Kartemquin co founder Gordon Quinnand Justine Nagan, and directed and produced by Margaret Byrne, which deals with "three young men as they grow into adulthood in a community where expectations are low and fighting is a way of life. In rural Bertie County, an African American led community in North Carolina, their leaders have the opportunity to improve the futures of their youth… and one women’s attempt to elevate Bertie’s underprivileged youth and raise their expectations for their future."

Now, Raising Bertie, along with Hard Earned, and two other works-in-progress - In the Game, about “how race, gender and class impact, the life of  a soccer coach and the young women he is committed to helping, andGeneration Food, about how a worldwide broken down food distribution system enables billions of people to be overweight, while at the same time billions go hungry - will be sneak-previewed at the Gene Siskel Film Center in downtown Chicago, on Friday May 2nd, starting at 8:30PM.

Tickets are now currently on sale; to get yours and to find out more info about the screening program, go HERE.

IndieWIRE Shadow and Act: on Cinema of the Diaspora | Sneak Preview of Kartemquin Films’ Documentary-In-Progress ‘Raising Bertie’ In Chicago 5/2

Making an Impact

Making an Impact

Margaret Byrne (BFA, 1998): UIC to Nigeria to Sundance to MacArthur Grant

“In the stories I tell, I hope to bring forward the essence of life in both it’s triumphs and struggles, “  Byrne said about her current work, “because they’re interrelated and in documentary, the most remarkable part is the relationships you make because you have been granted a unique license to witness who they are.”