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Raising Bertie (work-in-progress)

Director: Margaret Byrne
Documentary Feature :: Works-in-Progress
Running Time:

Screening Info:
Friday, November 13
1:30 PM
Jengo's Playhouse
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Margaret Byrne

Margaret Byrne
Ian Robertson Kibbe

Director of Photography, Co-Producer:
Jon Stuyvesant

Leslie Simmer
In the fields of Bertie County opportunities are scarce. Like many rural areas across the country, Bertie struggles with a dwindling economy, a declining population and a high school graduation rate far below the state average. For many of the youth in this community, factory work, military or farming are their only options. There are, however, people and programs in Bertie County hoping to make a difference. In 2008 community activist Vivian Saunders partners with Bertie County Public Schools to open the Hive, a unique and critical alternative high school and community resource center for at-risk boys. There, we meet Reginald, David and Davonte, three engaging young men with difficult pasts working to turn their lives around. But what happens when funding for The Hive is cut and Reginald, David and Davonte are mainstreamed back into Bertie High School? How does a rural community support future generations? What does the future hold for teens in struggling Bertie County? And what does their future say about our future as a country?

Director Bio:
Margaret Byrne has worked on several projects for Rada Film over the past decade including the award-winning doc, American Promise (2012), a thirteen-year project that followed the education of two African American boys from New York City, and Slaying Goliath (2009), a feature documentary about an inner city youth basketball team. Margaret also produced and edited a music documentary series in Lagos, Nigeria, “MTV Base 100th Live” which launched MTV across Africa in 2005. More recently, she was a Creative Director at Universal Music and directed live concerts and music videos before moving back to her hometown, Chicago, to focus on developing her own film projects. She also works closely with Mary J. Blige’s foundation FAWN (The Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now) to develop content and branding opportunities to help further their work with inner city women. She is the founder of Beti Films.