64 – Margaret Byrne Leads a Documentary Life

No other guest that we’ve yet had on the show exemplifies what we’ve been defining over the past 21 months here on TDL as living and leading a documentary life, quite as well as Raising Bertie filmmaker, Margaret Byrne.


Margaret went from working for MTV Networks in the US and then setting up the first MTV Network in Africa, working with Mary J. Blige and her production company, to eventually deciding to leave the New York life behind, moving to Chicago and starting making her own documentary films.


Her story of how and why she decided to this, her story of seven years working on the Kartemquin co-produced award-winning doc, Raising Bertie, is one of the most real and accessible conversations that I’ve ever had with someone on the show.


Find out why and how Margaret Byrne is truly leading a documentary life.


Topics Discussed

  • life considerations + sacrifices made to be a documentary filmmaker
  • how + why it took seven years to make Raising Bertie
  • how the original story for Raising Bertie
  • why she has chosen to stay close with her subjects long after filming
  • life as a single mom #DocLifer


Related Resources

° Watch the trailer for Raising Bertie:


° Watch Margaret discuss Raising during the Atlanta Film Festival.

(Thanks to fellow #DocLifer and HeartFireFilm’s Rich Gedney for the piece!)


Sponsors & Thank You’s

Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!



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Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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