×

Documentary ‘Raising Bertie’ Gets Early Summer Release From Gunpowder, Kartemquin (EXCLUSIVE)

Gunpowder & Sky Distribution and Kartemquin Films are teaming for the theatrical and digital release of Margaret Byrne’s documentary “Raising Bertie,” Variety has learned exclusively.

“Raising Bertie” is a six-year portrait of three African American boys growing into adulthood in rural Bertie County in eastern North Carolina, exploring complex relationships between generational poverty, educational inequity and race. The film follows Reginald “Junior” Askew, David “Bud” Perry, and Davonte “Dada” Harrell through disappointments, heartbreak and triumphs.

Byrne initially self-financed the project, and eventually received funding from various sources including the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation and the Southern Documentary Fund.  The film premiered last year at the Full Frame Documentary Festival. J. Cole is the executive producer.

“Raising Bertie” will open at the at the Maysles Cinema in New York City on June 9, followed by an expansion on June 16 to San Francisco, Chicago, North Carolina and other locations.

Gunpowder & Sky is releasing a new trailer, which features one of the leads declaring that he does not want to work on a farm for the rest of his life. The trailer starts with a speech by Barack Obama who says “At the end of the day, where you come from, how much money you have — there is no excuse for not trying.”

Gunpowder & Sky acquired full control of Supergravity Pictures, the startup in which it had previously held a minority investment, earlier this year. G&S last fall acquired independent content sales and distribution company FilmBuff. The company was founded in 2015 by Van Toffler, former CEO of Viacom’s Music Group, and Floris Bauer, former head of corporate development and strategy at Endemol, together with Otter Media.

Watch the new trailer below:

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

  • Isabelle Huppert, receives the Honorary Heart

    Isabelle Huppert on Fateful Encounters, the Nature of Acting and Judging a Good Script

    Celebrated actress Isabelle Huppert, speaking at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday, looked back on her illustrious career in a candid discussion that touched on her acting, the many renowned directors with whom she’s worked, and the importance of dialogue. The festival honored Huppert with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo award “in recognition of her [...]

  • Inauguracion SANFIC 2019

    15th Sanfic Touts Attendance Rise, Hosts Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura

    SANTIAGO — Chile’s Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic) launched its 15th edition Sunday Aug. 18 with three of Latin America’s best-known actors, Gael Garcia Bernal, Wagner Moura (“Narcos”) and Graciela Borges (“La Cienaga”), to which it bestowed career recognition awards. “It’s been 15 years in which we have presented more than 1,400 films,” noted Francisca [...]

  • Sarajevo, Intl. Casting Directors Network Look

    Sarajevo Film Festival and International Casting Directors Network Look to Launch Local Stars

    The Intl. Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Sarajevo Film Festival are joining forces to turn the popular Bosnian film fest into a springboard for regional actors looking to launch international careers. After kicking off with a pilot version last year, the initiative expanded to include a series of masterclasses with leading casting directors and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content