PBS NC Reel South: Stay Prayed Up

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March 28, 2023
7:00pm Eastern Time
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Thank you for joining PBS North Carolina for the REEL SOUTH, Season 8 preview screening of Stay Prayed Up and virtual Q+A with the filmmakers!

Stay Prayed Up introduces us to 83-year-old Mother Perry and her legendary music group, The Branchettes.

Following the screening, we invite you to participate in a conversation with the filmmakers D. L. Anderson and Matt Durning. Deborah Holt Noel, executive producer of PBS North Carolina's Black Issues Forum and North Carolina Weekend will moderate the discussion. Audience engagement is encouraged by asking questions in the virtual chat feature.

Panel Discussion and Q+A with the filmmakers:

D.L. Anderson, director, Stay Prayed Up

Matt Durning, director, Stay Prayed Up

Lena. C. Perry-Williams, producer, Stay Prayed Up

Phil Cook, producer, Stay Prayed Up and founder/producer, Spiritual Helpline Records

About the film:

The only thing mightier than Lena Mae Perry's electrifying voice is her faith. Perry spent the last fifty years sharing and sharpening both as the steadfast bandleader of The Branchettes, a legendary North Carolina gospel group that has packed churches throughout the South and lifted weary hearts as far away as Ireland. Stay Prayed Up is a spirted celebration, inviting audiences into "Mother" Perry's close-knit community as the 83-year-old strives to extend her sacred song ministry ever forward.

More about Reel South:

The people, culture, landscape and history of the South both captivate and bewilder. In the cherished tradition of Southern storytelling, Reel South reveals the South’s proud yet complicated heritage, as told by a diversity of voices and perspectives, through the curation and distribution of feature-length and short documentaries.

Season 8 foregrounds the complexities and unyielding vitality of love—love for your home, your family, your God, your people and critically, yourself.

Reel South is a PBS documentary series co-produced by PBS North Carolina, South Carolina ETV, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and produced in association with Alabama Public Television, Arkansas PBS, Tennessee Public Television Council, Texas Tech Public Media, Texas PBS and Virginia’s VPM. Reel South is a platform for and a service to non-fiction filmmakers in the American South working within the region's tradition of storytelling. Reel South is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, South Arts, the Center for Asian America Media and South Carolina Educational TV Endowment. It is distributed by PBS Plus.

When and where to watch or stream Reel South:

Stay Prayed Up premieres on Reel South on Thursday, April 13, at 10 PM, on PBS NC. Watch online anytime or on the PBS App. Season 8 will be available to stream starting April 11. Watch Reel South Thursdays at 10 PM, on PBS NC.

Video Descriptions

Stay Prayed Up Countdown Clock

Stay Prayed Up | Virtual Event | Intro | 16x9

Stay Prayed Up

The only thing mightier than Lena Mae Perry’s electrifying voice is her faith. She’s spent the last 50 years sharing and honing both as the steadfast frontwoman of The Branchettes, a legendary North Carolina gospel group that has packed churches and lifted weary hearts throughout the South.

120 minutes


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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.