Press Room

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D Soars Into the Extreme Screen Theater

Opens March 13, 2013

Monarchs in the Sky from Flight of the Butterflies in 3D

COLUMBUS, OH – Flight of the Butterflies in 3D, a breathtaking new Giant Screen adventure from Canadian film producer and distributor SK Films, is coming to COSI's Extreme Screen Theater. This epic 3D adventure captures one of the longest migrations on Earth and the inspiring true story of a scientist's stunning discovery. The film opens March 13.

Being compared to the March of the Penguins and based on a remarkable true story, the epic film immerses audiences in a triumphant journey of perseverance that spans thousands of miles, three countries and several generations – tracking real monarch butterflies that leave Canada to their mysterious Mexican winter haven where audiences will discover a truly spectacular sight: hundreds of millions of REAL live butterflies in one of the most amazing places on Earth! Based on true events, it follows the extraordinary journey of the iconic monarch butterfly and the determined scientist, Dr. Fred Urquhart of Toronto, who spent 40 years to discover where they went each fall.

The film is produced by veteran Canadian producer Jonathan Barker (Bugs!, Into the Deep), a world leader in 3D films for IMAX cinemas, along with the co-executive producer and co-writer Wendy MacKeigan. The film is directed and co-written by the U.K.'s Mike Slee (Bugs!) and stars the iconic Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent (Away From Her, The Shipping News) as Dr. Urquhart, and fellow Canadian actors Patricia Phillips and Shaun Benson. The film is narrated by Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables) and edited by noted Canadian editor Susan Shipton. IMAX Corporation was started by three Canadians in 1967, and Robert Kerr, one of the founding partners, created SK Films in 1997 along with Jonathan Barker.

Through spectacular Giant Screen technology audiences are transported into the tiny world of one intrepid creature – Dana (Danaus Plexippus) – and her offspring as they migrate north from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada and back south again to the captivating hidden butterfly sanctuaries set 10,000 feet high in Mexico.

The monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth, with pinpoint navigational accuracy, to a place it has never been. Moviegoers will see inside a chrysalis captured for the first time in 3D thanks to MRI & micro CT scans. The close-up/macro photography work was undertaken in collaboration with Oscar® winner Peter Parks (The Tree of Life, Bugs!).

Flight of the Butterflies received major funding from the National Science Foundation and includes an extensive Educational Outreach Program built in partnership with The Maryland Science Center. The world's top monarch butterfly experts served as scientific advisors to the film. Major support has also come from the Mexican Federal and State Governments, as well as from two of the largest companies in Mexico – Coca-Cola FEMSA, and Grupo Bimbo (the world's largest baked goods company), who are all committed to monarch conservation.

On May 6th1998, Fred and Norah Urquhart were jointly appointed to the Order of Canada. They were credited with "one of the greatest natural history discoveries of our time."

In 1976, at the time of Dr. Urquhart's discovery, there were around a billion butterflies and that number has been cut in half. In 2008, UNESCO declared the monarch butterfly reserve in Mexico a World Heritage Site. Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed and milkweed habitats for their survival, which have been greatly reduced. Significant portions of the film's box office revenue will go towards Monarch butterfly conservation.

For more information on the film, visit

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D is supported locally by Telhio and Time Warner Cable.

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D – Specifications:
Theatrical Release: October 5, 2012
Run Time: 44 Minutes / Rating: G
Film Formats: 3D & 2D 15/70 and digital formats
Sound: 6.0 IMAX® & 5.1 Dolby® Digital
Language: English (Spanish, French, Mandarin, Arabic language tracks available)

Author; Jaclyn Reynolds

About the Author

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds is the Public Relations and Social Media Manager for COSI. She has worked in communications and PR for more than 15 years. She has worked as a TV news producer in cable news and as a public information officer and communications specialist in state government.