Butterfly Skin

A contemporary metamorphosis of gender identity, courage, and acceptance.
In this ten-minute Art House film, we meet Nik, a young person living in Canberra, who is struggling with their gender identity. We follow the personal struggles they have with their own body, their relationship with their mother and being the subject of cruel bullying. This coming-of-age short film is a raw, emotional, heart-aching and yet magical story of a young person’s courageous struggles to be themself.

  • Ruby Elliott
  • Elaine Obran
  • Aaron Evans
  • Jamie Couter
    Key Cast
  • Isabelle Faure
    Key Cast
  • Gabrielle Gregoire
  • Nicholas Wilson
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Arthouse, drama, LGBTQ+
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 30, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of Canberra
Director Biography - Ruby Elliott

Ruby Elliott Grew up in Canberra, the capital of Australia. She has always been creative, whether it's singing or playing the violin, making films or taking photographs. She loves and appreciates the beauty in every creative medium. She studied a BA majoring in film at the University of Canberra and graduated in 2021. In her last year of University, she directed the film Butterfly Skin.

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Director Statement

Ruby's vision for Butterfly Skin was to make a coming of age film that explored gender identity and fluidity in an arthouse style. The film’s narrative is be divided into three chapters, subtitled ‘Her’, ‘Him’, and ‘Them’. The chapters follow the struggles and transitions of Nik played by Jamie Couter ( who is a non-binary person), the main character, across three different gender identities. Ruby has always been a part of the LGBTQIA+ community as she is a rainbow baby. She grew up with two mums and a family that “always challenged gender stereotypes”. She believes that “This is a crucial time in history to keep pushing for change by deepening everyone’s awareness about how gender power relations and stereotypes can create unnecessary boundaries and cause suffering for so many people’’.