Press

Press

WEBSITE: monarchbutterflyfilm.com/

CONTACT INFO: kimsmith.designs1@gmail.com

SPECS: 56 minutes/HDCam/Stereo Mix/In English/Not Rated

SYNOPSIS

Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is a 56-minute narrated documentary film that takes place along the shores of Cape Ann and in the heart of Mexico’s forested volcanic mountains. Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from egg to caterpillar to adult, and set to the background of sea and forest, sun and wind. By the millions and millions the intrepid monarchs journey thousands of miles. The most magical thing is that this migration happens in our midst, unfolding in backyards, farms, meadows, and along the shoreline, wherever milkweed and wildflowers grow.

The Monarchs are in great peril. Although the butterfly’s spectacular migration evolved over millennia, the last decades of human activity have put this phenomenon in grave danger. Beauty on the Wing is a film for all ages, created for all to gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between habitats, wildflowers, and pollinators, and the vital role they play in our interconnected ecosystems. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserves at Estado de México and Michoacán, the film illuminates how two regions, separated by 3,000 miles, are ecologically interconnected.

DIRECTOR’S BIO

Kim Smith is a documentary filmmaker, wildlife conservationist, lecturer, photojournalist, author, illustrator, and an award winning landscape designer.

Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly, a narrated documentary, premiered in August 2020.

Since its premier, Beauty on the Wing has received a number of honors and awards at environmental film festivals and children’s film festivals. Beauty on the Wing was awarded Best Documentary at the Boston International Kids Festival in November 2020, Best Feature Film at the Providence Children’s Film Festival in February 2021, and received the environmental award at the Toronto International Women Film Festival in May 2021. One of the greatest hopes for the film is that it would be inspirational and educational to both adults and young people and we are overjoyed “Beauty on the Wing” is finding its audience.

In March 2020 Kim created a series of short films about the Snowy Owl: https://kimsmithdesigns.com/snowy-owl-film/

Kim was recently interviewed by the BBC and PBS for her work in documenting the Monarch Butterflies. She worked with the show’s producers in writing and creating the story, providing film footage from her film Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly for the BBC produced show “Autumnwatch: New England.”

In May of 2019, Kim was featured in Audubon Magazine for her work protecting and documenting Piping Plovers, “How Plover Chicks Born in a Parking Lot Spurred a City to Make Its Beach Safer.” Kim leads a group in safeguarding local populations of Piping Plovers and is currently creating a documentary about Plovers.

In April 2018 Kim was honored to receive the Salem State University “Friend of the Earth Award” and to give the keynote address for the University’s Earth Day Weeks events program. In 2017 she was named an Essex National Heritage Trailblazer and became an Essex Heritage Commissioner in recognition of her work connecting people to place.

Her short films, A Flight of Monarchs, which was created for the Berkshire Museum, and BomBom Butterflies, have won critical acclaim. Her 45-minute documentary Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is an inspirational story that both teaches about butterfly life cycles and reveals the connection between pollinators, plants, and the importance of conserving habitats.

In conjunction with Cambridge Seven Associates architectural firm, Kim designed the award-winning Gloucester HarborWalk Butterfly gardens. She specializes in creating pollinator habitat gardens utilizing primarily North American native wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and vines. https://kimsmithdesigns.com/design-projects/

Her book on landscape design, Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!, which she both wrote and illustrated, was published by David R. Godine, Boston. https://kimsmithdesigns.com/oh-garden/

For more information on Kim’s films and design projects follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Vimeo, and Twitter and visit her website https://kimsmithdesigns.com Kim Smith’s blog has an average daily readership of 12,000 viewers.

DIRECTOR’S BIO (shortened)

Kim Smith is a documentary filmmaker, wildlife conservationist, lecturer, photojournalist, author, illustrator, and an award winning landscape designer, specializing in creating pollinator habitat gardens. Kim recently completed a series of short films about the Snowy Owl and was featured in Audubon for her conservation work protecting the threatened Piping Plovers. She leads a group in safeguarding local populations of Plovers and is currently creating a documentary about the life story of the Piping Plover. In October, Kim provided critical background information for a televised BBC show about Monarchs and was interviewed by the network for her work in documenting the butterflies.

LOGLINE

Experience the inspirational story of a magnificent species found in our own backyards!

MORE ABOUT THE FILM

Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly is a documentary film that tells the story of the monarch butterfly at it unfolds along the shores of Cape Ann and in the heart of Mexico’s forested volcanic mountains. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserves at Estado de México and Michoacán, the film illuminates how two regions, separated by thousands of miles, are ecologically interconnected.

Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from egg to caterpillar to adult. Set against the background of sea and forest, sun and wind, by the millions and millions the intrepid monarchs journey thousands of miles. The most magical thing is that this migration happens in our midst, taking place in backyards, farms, meadows, and along the shoreline, wherever milkweed and wildflowers grow.

The monarch’s life story is one of nature’s most incredible examples of adaptation and survival. There are no other butterflies in the world that journey thousands of miles over such a great and vast area, ecologically linking Canada and Mexico, to nearly every region within the United States.

The story opens in the industrial port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Well known for her legendary fishing industry, Schooner Festival,  Italian feasts and fiestas, rich artistic heritage, and stunning coastline, Gloucester makes up much of the peninsula of Cape Ann, located on the coast of Massachusetts just north of Boston.

As are most regions along the length of the Eastern Seaboard, Cape Ann lies within a largely unrestricted north-south corridor for migratory species of birds and butterflies. This means that birds, butterflies, and other insects travel along the Atlantic flyway without being impeded by either mountain ranges or large bodies of water to cross. There is a tremendous sense of urgency in this great movement of life. Whether traveling by land or by sea, wildlife must reach its seasonal destination while life-sustaining food is abundant.

No other butterflies in the world journey thousands of miles over such a vast area. Monarchs do not see borders, religion, ethnicities, or political differences. They are a symbol of unity, ecologically linking Canada and Mexico, and nearly every region within the United States.

Primarily filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserves at Cerro Pelon, El Rosario, and Sierra Chincua, these four places emerge as characters in the film, places where we have much to gain by preserving the habitats of these unique ecosystems and where, through neglect, the loss will be devastating.

Beauty on the Wing is a film for all ages, created for all to gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between habitats, wildflowers, and pollinators, and the vital role that they play in our interconnected ecosystems.

Music: “Fields of Blue,” “You,” “El Cri,” and “Afternoon at “Saties. All music written by Jesse Cook, Jesse Cook Music publishing. jessecook.com

Pilar Monarch Day ©Kim Smith 2015