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Raising Bertie

Raising Bertie is an intimate six year portrait of three African American boys growing into adulthood in rural North Carolina, exploring complex relationships between generational poverty, educational inequity, and race.

Recorded over six years, Raising Bertie delivers an authentic and tender portrait of the lives of three young boys as they face a precarious coming of age within Bertie County, a rural African-American community in North Carolina. This raw and starkly poetic vérité documentary weaves the young men’s stories together as the boys navigate school, unemployment, violence, first love, fatherhood, and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities. Intimate access depicts an honest portrayal of the boys’ perspectives and an in-depth look at issues facing rural America’s youth and what happens in the everyday lives of young people caught in the complex interplay of generational poverty, economic isolation and educational inequity. Raising Bertie is an experience that asks us to see this world through their eyes and incites recognition and empathetic understanding of lives and communities too often ignored.

A co-production of Kartemquin Films and Beti Films. The film is funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation.


Director of Photography / Producer

Jon Stuyvesant

Original Score

Eric Andrew Kuhn

Original Music and Title Track

J. Cole / Dreamville Records


Margaret Byrne
Leslie Simmer

Story Consultant

Gordon Quinn

Director of Production

Hillary Bachelder

Post Production Supervisor

Ryan Gleeson

Additional Camera

Margaret Byrne

Additional Editor

Hillary Bachelder
Ryan Gleeson

Assistant Editor

Francis Cedro
Eugene Kobayashi
Nancy McDonald

Editing Consultant

David Teague

Technical Supervisor

Jim Morrissette

Composer (Additional Music)

Robin Landy


Drew Anagnost
Leah Gibson
Jonathan Henderson
Eric Kuhn
Robin Landy
Dina Maccabee
Lewis Patzner
Rachel Rollins

Music Mixers

Ari Picker
Eric Kuhn


Mark Argenti
Jillian Dudziak

High Definition Finish

Nolo Digital Film

Digital Colorist

Elliot Rudmann
Boris Seagraves

Online Edit

Elliot Rudmann
Boris Seagraves

Producer at Nolo Digital Film

Joe Flanagan

Assistant at Nolo Digital Film

Audio Post Facility

Marina Monks

Re-recording Mixer/Dialogue Editor


Re–recording Mixer/Sound Editor

Michel Marrano

Audio Post Supervisor

Aaron Keane

Vice President of Finance and Operations

Eric W. Johnson

Director of Communications and DistributionDirector of Programs and EngagementFinance

Suzanne Niemoth

Development Associate

Tim Horsburgh

Office and Events Associate

Beckie Stocchetti

Diverse Voices in Documentary Coordinator

Marriah Kern
Pedro Urgiles

Post Production Manager

Mo Johnson


Emily Strong

Legal Counsel

Justin Williams

Additional Kartemquin Staff

Al Williams

Kartemquin Interns

Lauren Feinman
Matt Mele
Andrea Swanson
Will Swanson

Beti Films Interns

Holland & Knight LLP
Robert Labate
Joi Thomas
Cheryl Kang


Eleanor Bryan
Gregory Collins
Colleen Fitzpatrick
Tamara Fouche
Maria Galent
Nicole Gotthelf
Alison Hanold
Andrew Jones
Matt Lauterbach
Christine McAlonan
Alex Stein


Abbie Brasch
Alexander Skalomenos
Alexandra Cox
Andrea Blake
Aniluz Mercedes
Anna Hull
Arpita Aneja
Ashley Mills
Ben Schamisso
Brent Bandemer
Brian Gersten
Brooklyn Demme
Bucher Almzain
Carlos Cova
Charlie Kessler
Clancy Calkins
Cody Wallace
Dain Evans
Daria Taylor
David Granskog
Douglas Henry
Eileen O'Donnell
Emily Strong
Erica Avery
Eugene Kobayashi
Evan Dolan
Eve Studnicka
Felix Ofosu Yeboah
Hannie Lee
Hans Glick
Jessica Naudziunas
Justin Williams
Kayla Lane Freeman
Kazuko Golden
Kevin Hammontree
Kristen Zelenka
Kristin Leffler
Laura Kinter
Madeleine Burdzy
Marcus Davis
Marriah Kern
Martine Granby
Michael Zarowny
Mihaela Popescu
Natalie Stone
Nehemiah Stark
Nushmia Khan
Rachel Dickson
Rachel Glass
Rachel Rozycki
Reginald Rice
Reid Compton
Rondell Merrill
Rubin Daniels Jr
Spenser Gabin
Stacy Moon
Stephanie Sunata
Tracy Ko
Will Thwaites
Zachary Vanes

Minjin Han
Mimi Wilcox

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Ford Foundation
One Economy Corporation
The Dobkin Family
Southern Documentary Fund
Harper Foundation
David Roswell & Maggie Heraty
Mark Trustin & Marcia Angle
Denny Cummings
Chaz Ebert
Judy Rice
Amy & Michael Tiemann


Awards and Distinctions

Atlanta Film Festival

Official Selection

Honorable Mention - Best Documentary


Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection


Portland International Film Festival

Official Selection


AFI Docs

Official Selection


Ashland Independent Film Festival

Official Selection


Atlanta Docufest


Best Documentary Feature


Atlanta Underground Film Festival


Best Director


Bentonville Film Festival

Official Selection


Capital City Black Film Festival

Official Selection


Chicago International Film Festival

Official Selection


Citizen Jane Film Festival

Official Selection


Cucalorus Film Festival

Official Selection


Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival


Best First-Time Director


Driftless Film Festival

Official Selection


Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection

World Premiere


Roxbury International Film Festival

Official Selection


Sarasota Film Festival

Official Selection


St.Louis International Film Festival

Official Selection


Good Pitch Chicago

Official Selection


IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs / IFP Film Week

Official Selection