Raising Bertie Highlighted in Paste Magazine's Best Documentaries of 2017


"The best documentaries of 2017 will only become more vital as we leave this year behind, gaining perspective the further we drag ourselves from the past 12 months. It’s no small gesture to call a documentary film “essential,” but in a year in which so many of our lives have needed something essential, something urgent, to push us forward, ranking these films feels futile..."

Paste Magazine, The 15 Best Documentaries of 2017

Raising Bertie Screening at Duke University on October 20th

RB_2017_10_20_Duke screening.jpg

Raising Bertie will screen at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy on Friday, October 20 at 5:30PM.

Director Margaret Byrne, producer Ian Robertson Kibbe, Vivian Saunders (CEO and founder of The Hive) and film subject Davonte 'Dada' Harrell will be present for a post-screening discussion moderated by Professor Jay Pearson.

The screening is co-sponsored by the Sanford School's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion; the Center for Documentary Studies; the Center on Law, Race, and Politics; the Department of African and African American Studies; and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University.

The event is free but registration is required.

Sanford School of Public Policy Room 04
201 Science Drive Durham NC

'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 to preview upcoming ‘Raising Bertie’ for audiences


April 22, 2014


Media Contact: 

Frances Cedro

Beti Films



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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