The Butterfly Tree

Evelyn, a burlesque queen, bewitches single dad Al and his teenage son, Fin with her zest for life. When father and son discover they are competing for the affections of the same woman, old wounds are reopened over the death of Fin’s mother. Through the vivacious Evelyn, Fin learns the power of forgiveness and relinquishes his goddess in return for a family. In this seductive and heart-warming story, both men will discover the power of selfless love.

  • Priscillla Cameron
  • Priscilla Cameron
  • Bridget Callow - Wright
  • Melissa George
    Key Cast
  • Ewen Leslie
    Key Cast
  • Ed Oxenbould
    Key Cast
  • Sophie Lowe
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Fantasy, Romance
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 37 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Melbourne International Film Festival
    World Premiere
    Official Selection - MIFF Premiere Funded Project
  • MIFF @ Cinefest
    August 24, 2017
    WA Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Toronto International Film Festival
    September 11, 2017
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • AACTA Awards (Australian Acadamy of Cinema and Television Arts)

    Nominated for Best Actor (Ewen Leslie), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score
  • Ozflix Independent Film Awards

    Nominated for Best Film (Under $5m Category), Best Actor (Melissa George), Best Production Design, Best Costume - Winners still to be announced
    October 6, 2017
    China Premiere
    Winner - Best Picture, Best Actor (Melissa George)
  • Film Critics Circle Awards Australia

    Nominated for Best Actor (Ed Oxenbould)
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Santa Barbara
    United States
    February 11, 2018
    North America
    Official Selection
  • Ankara Film Festival

    April 1, 2018
    Turkey Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Vendetta Films
    Country: Australia
    Rights: All Rights, Theatrical
    Country: New Zealand
    Rights: All Rights, Theatrical
  • LevelK International Sales
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Priscillla Cameron

The Butterfly Tree is Priscilla’s debut feature film as Writer / Director. It will shortly be having its Australian premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival with its soon to be announced international premiere to follow.

It was developed through the prestigious BINGER International film lab after Priscilla was selected for the intensive six-month residential director’s programme. The Butterfly Tree was one of the final 10 feature projects to be selected for the new talent s showcase at Berlinale Co-Production market. It was selected from 4167 entrants from 79 countries. It was the only Australasian project selected. The Butterfly Tree was also awarded the AWG Monte Miller award (Best un-produced screenplay by a new writer) during its development.

Priscilla presently has a number of feature films in development and early financing including, The Breathing Sea as co-writer/ director, Dust as writer/ director, Man-Shy as writer, Croak and Thunderbolt and I as co-writer, and TV series Hell, West and Crooked as writer.

The Breathing Sea has won The Australian Writers Guild (AWG) and the Adelaide International Film Festival’s INSITE award for best unproduced screenplay in Australia and was one of the 24 projects selected out of 400 entrants worldwide to participate in the Belinale Co-Production Market.

Her short films have won awards, screened in national and international festivals and have been sold nationally and internationally.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This story was inspired by a special person whom I lost to breast cancer. I had already started writing the script when she was diagnosed. Whilst getting to know her and falling in love with her, on an emotional / spiritual level, I was also physically losing her in exactly the same increments. In this intense period of time I got to know this fabulous woman who was also human with her own fragility and failings and I witnessed a family sacrifice their own wants and needs for the sake of someone they dearly loved.
This became the heart of THE BUTTERFLY TREE in which Fin learns to put the needs of those he loves before his own, relinquishing ‘goddess’ Evelyn to his father. While still a sexual coming of age story my intention was for Fin’s attraction to Evelyn to go beyond simple teenage desire – it needed to exist in a more spiritual realm where he falls in love with the fantastical essence of her and her world. When Fin does enter Evelyn’s physical world (her flower shop and glass house) he feels as though he has entered one of his own private butterfly fantasies in which he rediscovers the touch of his dead Mother. The combination of a mother figure and a sensual goddess who shares his same definition of beauty is a powerful lure and one he fights fiercely to protect against the human, raw and messy failings of his father, Al, who has been dealing with the loss of his wife by screwing his students.
Evelyn, like Al, outside her and Fin’s fantastical world, is also dealing with her own vulnerabilities – breast cancer and a past abusive marriage – and being with Fin allows her the opportunity to inhabit the present and play again. However, it is an adult she needs to ‘hold’ in her time of need and Fin slowly realises this. Conversely as Evelyn faces her own mortality she recognises Fin’s need to reconnect with his father and encourages Fin to make peace, which he does. In the final act Fin is able to let go of the loss of his mother and forgive his father for her death.
One of the film’s great cinematic strengths is that most of it resides in a sensual, beautiful, slightly hyper real realm where Fin and Evelyn’s special relationship transports the viewer into their shared definition of beauty. Outside this world - the real world - while not quite as fantastical, still crackles with richness and humour, particularly the interplay between Al and his current student Shelley whom is deliciously sexy in all her craziness and vulnerability.