NHdocs: the New Haven Documentary Film Festival 2021

Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly & Nial Adams

Expired August 22, 2020 3:00 PM
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NOTE: this screening also includes a Q&A with Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly director Kim Smith, moderated by NHdocs festival supervisor Karyl Evans

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, specializing in creating butterfly 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 Plover. 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. 

  • Year
  • Runtime
    56 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
    New England Premiere
  • Director
    Kim Smith
  • Screenwriter
    Kim Smith
  • Producer
    Kim Smith, Lauren Mercadante, Susan Frey