Private Project

The Butterfly Effect (revised!)

A delightful film combining animation, narration, individual stories, and experimental film, about people making a difference for monarchs, one milkweed at a time.

  • Deb Wallwork
    Independent Lens
  • Janet Bayliss
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 23, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Plains Art Museum
    Fargo, ND
    United States
    March 1, 2019
    Plains Art Museum
Distribution Information
  • Deb Wallwork
Director Biography - Deb Wallwork, Janet Bayliss

Deb Wallwork is a documentary filmmaker. Best known for her short film, C. Beck, about a woodcut artist, she has won numerous awards including the 2004 Independent Lens Grand Prize, a Cine Gold Eagle, Best Feature Documentary from the the American Indian Film Festival, and has had her work broadcast nationally on PBS.

Her work has also screened at major festivals institutions including the Plains Art Museum, the Minnesota Historical Society, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

For her latest film The Butterfly Effect, she received a Legacy Grant from the Minnesota State Arts and Cultural Fund. This documentary is a humorous and lyrical essay film that features portraits of rural people who are saving the monarch butterfly, one milkweed at a time.

Deb has an M.F. A. from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She currently lives in Fergus Falls, MN

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Director Statement

First off, what we have here is a humorous little film that is meticulously crafted, lyrical. philosophical and, yet educational--in a friendly way. This is a film is for gardeners and teachers and artists and natural resource managers. I started with this conundrum, how does one construct a film that talks about a pressing environmental issue to a broad audience that reaches out with warmth, resilience, and hope.
I've been lucky to find some festivals that appreciate all that.

Secondly this film was made to reach out to rural America and raise consciousness there. Rural America is in control of a vast majority of land that, after years of corporate farming and widespread pesticide abuse, is in desperate need of restoration if wildlife is to survive.

So this film particularly features rural people; farmers, educators, Native people, even a pastor, who all care about the environment around them and advocate in various ways to restore and recover habitat that monarchs and other beneficial insects need to survive.

Perhaps you, yourself, will come away from this film with ideas for plants for your very own garden that will attract butterflies and help our wild neighbors thrive. Take a look!