Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a live-action ‘dark faerie tale’ short film with an urgent environmental message. A tale about the loss of butterflies in our world, and why they are disappearing, as told by the last Butterfly Queens themselves.
Funded in part with a successful Kickstarter crowdsourcing campaign, Dreams of the Last Butterflies combines otherworldly costumes, epic faerie-tale poetry, cutting-edge cinematography, and a new song by electronic artist Kai Altair. The film features stunning performances by tribal bellydancers, ballerinas, fire masters, contortionists, and a cast of New York City’s underground stars. Each Butterfly Queen represents an endangered butterfly from around the world, and together they enter human dreams hoping to save the last of their kind.
Facing habitat loss, pollution and pesticides, invasive species and increasing temperatures, the real butterflies of this world are quickly disappearing. Dreams of the Last Butterflies tells their side of the story. Not only to bring awareness of the mostly man-made dangers that threaten these amazing beings of transformation, but to show that we are capable of transformation as well.
The filmmakers are proud to partner with groundbreaking conservation organization, SavingSpecies, headed by world-renown conservation biologist Stuart Pimm. Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a certified carbon-neutral film.
“Dreams of the Last Butterflies is a stunningly beautiful essay: like all Nature, butterflies are lovely, yet so very fragile. Our protection of them against greed is a matter of what future we gift to our children.” – Stuart L. Pimm – World leader in the study of present day extinctions; Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at Duke University.
“Director Zina Brown has made something rather beautiful and unlike anything I’ve really seen before.” (Saturday Shorts Pick)
We are very honored and excited to announce our partnership with groundbreaking conservation organization SavingSpecies.
This new partnership allows Dreams of the Last Butterflies to be one of the first carbon-neutral films made and produced in NYC, while raising awareness of conservation needs.
“A strikingly beautiful video with a Lorax-like message: human greed is destroying butterflies, it’s up to us to make the changes necessary for them to survive.”
“A beautiful short film on the plight of butterflies.”
“Dreams of the Last Butterflies is absolutely magical!” (Daily Shorts Pick)
Director Zina Brown was interviewed by the Jakarta Film Reporter about our Best Film win in Indonesia:
“This almost defies definition but Dreams of the Last Butterflies is certainly this – something very special. Combining poetry, song, dance, and flame throwing among other things, this performance-film had me spellbound from start to finish.” (Link)
International arts and fashion publication Miroir Magazine featured Dreams of the Last Butterflies with a multi-page spread, and interviewed Director Zina Brown.
“New York film director Zina Brown creates mesmerizing film masterpieces.” See the full article here.
Filmmakers World Festival – Jakarta, Indonesia (March 2015)
VISIONFEST 14 – New York City, NY USA (May 2014)
FICMA 21st Barcelona International Environmental Film Festival – Barcelona, Spain (November 2014)
Jaipur International Film Festival – Jaipur, India (February 2015)
Dingle International Film Festival – Dingle, Ireland (March 2015)
Toronto Independent Film Festival – Toronto, Canada (September 2014)
Dances with Kidz Film Festival – Hollywood, CA USA (June 2015)
International Film Festival for Environment, Health and Culture – Jakarta, Indonesia (June 2015)
FICA International Environmental Film Festival – Santiago, Chile (March 2015)
Green Vision 19th Environmental International Film Festival – Saint Petersburg, Russia (November 2014)
Phnom Penh International Film Festival – Phnom Penh, Cambodia (November 2015)
FENACO International Short Film Festival of Peru – Lima, Peru (November 2014)
Bangalore Shorts Film Festival – Bangalore, India (June 2015)
Out of Africa International Film Festival – Nairobi, Kenya (October 2015)
Berliner Trash Film Festival – Berlin, Germany (September 2015)
Films for the Forest – Austin, TX USA (March 2015)
Goa Short Film Festival – Goa, India (May 2015)
V FICAIJ International Film Festival for Youth – Mérida, Venezuela (May 2015)
Colorado Environmental Film Festival – Golden, CO USA (February 2015)
Garden State Film Festival – Atlantic City, NJ USA (March 2015)
Big Apple Film Festival – New York City, NY USA (November 2014)
Rainier Independent Film Festival – Ashford, WA (May 2015)
Indie Spirit Film Festival – Colorado Springs, CO USA (October 2014)
The Earth Day Film Fest – San Francisco, CA USA (April 2015)
Gen Con Film Festival – Indianapolis, IN USA (August 2015)
Wizard World Film Festival – Philadelphia, PA USA (June 2014)
San Diego International Kids Film Festival – San Diego, USA (September 2014)
Action on Film International Film Festival – Monrovia, CA USA (August 2014)
12 Months Film Festival – (May 2015)
Going Green Film Festival – Los Angeles, CA USA (April 2015)
Coney Island Film Festival – Brooklyn, NY (September 2014)
Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards – Los Angeles, CA USA (June 2015)
Galactic Film Festival – Santa Ana, CA USA (August 2014)
FilmQuest 2014 – Salt Lake City, USA (July 2014)
Planet Connections Film Festival – New York City, NY USA (July 2015)
May Day Sustainability Shorts Film Festival – Champaign-Urbana, IL USA (May 2015)
KO&Digital International Film Festival of Solidarity – Barcelona, Spain (September 2014)
Other Venice Film Festival – Venice, CA USA (October 2014)
Red Hook Film Festival – Red Hook, NY USA (November 2014)
Underexposed Film Festival – Rock Hill, SC USA (November 2014)
Chain NYC Film Festival – New York, NY USA (August 2015)
The Royal Film Festival – Benton, AR USA (March 2015)
Film Festival in the Woods – Riverwoods, IL USA (August 2015)
Los Angeles Fear and Fantasy Film Festival – Los Angeles, CA USA (September 2014)
Global Peace Film Festival Online – Orlando, FL USA (September 2015)
SFIndieFest – Another Hole in the Head Film Festival – San Francisco, CA USA (December 2014)
PEX Summer Festival 2014 (Arts and Music Festival, Maryland)
Zen Awakenings Festival 2015 (Arts and Music Festival, Florida)
*Also screening by special invitation at:
The Royal Entomological Society – Annual Conference and International Symposium 2015 – Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (September 2015)
AGU Fall Meeting 2015 – 46th Annual American Geophysical Union International Conference (24,000 attendees) – San Francisco, CA USA (December 2015)
These are the dreamers and magicians who came together to help Dreams of the Last Butterflies take flight.
A cameraman with years of professional experience, Ben is currently the video engineer on HBO’s smash hit Girls His creative and technical insights helped bring Dreams of the Last Butterflies to life. (See his other work here.)
Timur Civan is New York City born and raised. From his background in the fine arts, becoming a Director of Photography was a natural progression. After much experimentation with moving images in his artwork, he developed the desire paint an image with light to tell a story. His techniques in cinematography are at the forefront of creative imaging, bolstered by his exploration in optics, new and classic, innovative lighting styles and a deep understanding of the latest in industry technologies. Through apprenticeship in the camera department, he has honed his skill set in traditional set techniques and combined with his contemporary art sensibilities, has allowed him to provide a wide range of looks. From high end commercials to engaging narrative and documentaries, the story always comes first, and is always the primary motivation to his approach to lighting and camera work.
KEA (Kelly E. Alcock) – a graduate of The University of the Arts, she is classically trained in Art History and she received an MA from New York Institute of Technology in Communication Arts; Marketing, Advertising and PR. She has written and produced promos for A&E, USA, Biography and Nickelodeon. Kea’s most recent work includes producing for MTV On-Air, managing accounts such as Microsoft, producing commercial spots for Wheaties, Hot Pockets, NY Lotto, Lowes, Downy, Cover Girl, Pringles, E*Trade, and SONY. Kea was the Supervising Production Manager for the 3D CG feature film “Little Spirit: Christmas in New York” at Curious Pictures and line produced a stop motion and live-action viral spot “The Magical Classroom” in Argentina for Sharpblackmore EURO. Kea is also an amature raw power lifter; 175 105 210, and runs a Horse Rescue and Wildlife Reserve called Shadowfax Stables in Chester, NJ.
Gavin Behrman is an 18-year veteran of the movie industry. He has worked all over the world on the production of over 30 feature films – both Hollywood blockbusters and independently made film festival favorites such as Tower Heist, The Adjustment Bureau, The Book of Eli, Valkyrie, Thank You For Smoking, Spider-Man, Erin Brockovich and The Horse Whisperer. Gavin’s most recent projects include the Kickstarter financed award-winning short film Admissions, starring James Cromwell, which is currently touring the film festival circuit; and the feature film Love and Honor, sold at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Gavin believes that important films can send a powerful message to the world, influencing society’s views and ultimately the destiny of human kind. (See his full list on IMDB.)
Zina Brown’s unique visual and narrative style has been screened in film festivals across the world, including the FICMA Barcelona International Environmental Film Festival, the Miami Short Film Festival, the Jaipur International Film Festival in India, and New York City’s VisionFest. With over 15 years of directing and producing experience, Zina’s films display an emphasis on dreams and fantasy, and his commitment to wonder and entertainment is matched by his ability to capture otherworldly performances and places in his films.
Evgeniya Radilova: Acraea Swordtail
Ali Luminescent: Purple Spotted Swallowtail
Dina Nur: Hahnel’s Amazonian Swallowtail
Kai Altair: Malabar Tree Nymph
Kayla Jo: Monarch
Madeleine Belle: Large Blue
Melodee Morita: Gifu Butterfly
Natasha King: Luzon Peacock
Candice Vincent: The Liaison
Sal Genna: The CEO
Kea Kelly Alcock and Ben Cain
Director of Photography
Kay Adkins Brown
Tommy J. O’Brien
Theme Song “Change” by
Music Score and Sound Design
Michael W. Pflug
Butterfly Wing Design and Creation
Randy Carfagno Productions
David Crittenden, Lorena Torres, Stella Cheung
On–set Dressers: Stella Cheung, David Ort
Butterfly Queen Outfits: Wheylan Dean-Ford
Trapper Outfits: Xango Shola
Still Photography on this site
Digital Image Technician
Steadicam AR Operator
1st Assistant Camera
2nd Assistant Camera
Best Boy Electric
Best Boy Grip
Pyro Assit/Safety Coordinator
Dr. Debra Tillinger
Animation & VFX