Los Angeles, CA, September 10, 2013 – Beginning September 27th, Flight of the Butterflies
3D will soar onto the IMAX® Theater screen at the California Science Center. This spellbinding
nature documentary has left audiences around the world stunned by the cinematic elegance,
pioneering technology and story-telling skills used to showcase the longest-known insect
migration on Earth.
“We are thrilled to provide guests the opportunity to experience the incredible journey of these
delicate, yet beautifully evolved navigators as generations of monarch butterflies travel the
annual migration between Canada and Mexico,” said Jeffrey N. Rudolph, President and CEO of
the California Science Center.
The iconic monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes
one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent, with pinpoint navigational accuracy, to
a secluded place it has never been. Follow the monarchs’ perilous and extraordinary journey and
join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico. For the first
time ever, look inside a chrysalis, thanks to advanced MRI and micro CT scans.
Be captivated by the emotional and compelling true story of an intrepid scientist, Dr. Fred
Urquhart and his wife Norah and their 40-year search to find the monarchs’ secret hideaway.
What began with a small boy daydreaming about where butterflies went each winter became a
lifelong pursuit that ingeniously enlisted the help of legions of volunteers, known as “citizen
scientists,” to help with tagging and tracking the butterflies in a decades-long quest that yielded
the ultimate discovery of the monarch butterflies’ overwintering sites in the sanctuaries of
The first citizen scientists in Mexico to be tapped by Urquhart, American Ken Brugger and his
Mexican wife Catalina Aguado, spent two years searching in the mountains west of Mexico City
under Dr. Urquhart’s guidance before finally making the discovery that graced the cover of
National Geographic magazine in August 1976, featuring an iconic image of Catalina covered
with and surrounded by thousands of colorful monarchs. The only surviving member of the
original discovery team, Catalina was on hand as an advisor for Flight of the Butterflies 3D and
accompanied the SK Films production team to the site during filming.
“Could you imagine working all of your life for something and someone telling you they found
it?” asked Catalina about discovering the overwintering sites. “It was very exciting and a sight
that impresses a person very deeply,” stated Catalina.
Through breath-taking Giant Screen / IMAX® technology, audiences are transported into the tiny
world of one intrepid creature – Dana (Danaus Plexippus) – and her off-spring as they migrate
north from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada and back south again to the breath-taking hidden
butterfly sanctuaries set 10,000 feet high in the mountains of the States of Michoacán and
México. Supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the film interweaves spellbinding
natural history with an uplifting human story.
Flight of the Butterflies 3D is a trilateral co-production between Mexico, Canada and the U.K.
Director Mike Slee (Bugs! 3D) co-wrote the script with co-Executive Producer Wendy
MacKeigan (Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta, The Water Brothers). The film’s
Executive Producer is Jonathan Barker (Bugs! 3D, Into the Deep 3D) and is produced by SK
Films, a leading producer and distributor of Giant Screen Content.
Flight of the Butterflies 3D is a private-public partnership project, which received major funding
from the National Science Foundation, and has a comprehensive Education Outreach Program
(available in English and Spanish) in partnership with the Maryland Science Center.
The world’s top monarch butterfly experts, including Dr. Chip Taylor, Dr. Karen Oberhauser and
Dr. Lincoln Brower, served as scientific advisors to the film. Major support has also come from
the Mexican Federal Government (Environment & Tourism), the Mexican states of Mexico and
Michoacán, and from two leading Mexican companies: Coca Cola FEMSA and Grupo Bimbo
(the world’s largest baked goods company). For more information on the project, please visit
The California Science Center IMAX® Theater will provide Spanish audio for audience
members who want to experience the film in Spanish.
Flight of the Butterflies 3D is rated G and has a run time of 45 minutes.
Kristina Kurasz, California Science Center, (213) 744-7446, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ingrid Moran, LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS, (323) 469.8680 ext. 227,
About SK Films:
SK Films is a Toronto-based, multi-platform entertainment content provider and a world leader
in 3D film production and distribution. The company was founded in 1998 together with the late
Robert Kerr, the visionary co-founder of IMAX Corporation.
About the California Science Center:
The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can
explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative
programs and awe- inspiring films. Its mission is as follows: “We aspire to stimulate curiosity
and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we
value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and
inclusiveness, and enriching people’s lives.”
The Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the
Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For recorded information,
including IMAX show times, call 323.SCIENCE (323.724-3623). IMAX ticket prices range
from $5.00 to $8.25. For advance ticket purchases, group rates, or to make reservations for any
visiting group of 15 or more (required), call 213.744-2019. Parking is available in the guest lot at
Figueroa and 39th / Exposition Park Drive at $10 per car, and $25 for commercial buses or
oversize vehicles. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For
further information, please visit our website at www.californiasciencecenter.org.