Press Kit



SPECS: 45 minutes/HDCam/Stereo Mix/In English/Not Rated


Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly is a 45-minute narrated film that takes place in a garden and at the sea’s edge. Every stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is experienced in vibrant close-up, from conception to pupation to metamorphosis. The film is for adults and for children so that all can gain a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between wildflowers and pollinators and the vital role they play in our ecosystem. Filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts.


Experience the inspirational story of a spectacular species in our midst; filmed in vibrant close-up in the garden and at the sea’s edge, Gloucester, Massachusetts.


One evening at dusk I watched as thousands of Monarch butterflies streamed across Gloucester Harbor and flew into nearby trees for shelter from the chill of a late summer evening. At dawn the following morning I returned to the trees with my camera and waited for several hours for the Monarchs to awaken. Luminous light and wingbeats, blossoms and butterflies—and all set to the stage of sea and sun and wind—I wanted more than anything to share what I was witnessing.

Experiencing that wonderment during the summer of the extraordinary migration fueled myriad questions. Where did the butterflies come from and why in such great numbers? Would they find nectar to fortify their long journey? Did this happen every year? Why this particular tree over another? How long would they stay? And why was I the only one noticing—why were there not more people from my community there to see this magnificent event unfolding in our own backyard?

My passion for creating this trilogy of butterfly films grew from my interest in documenting the beauty of the natural world and the connection between wild creatures and their habitats. We are all so wrapped up in our daily lives, with raising our children, working, and individual pursuits that we are mostly disconnected from the fact that the habitats all around us are becoming increasingly fragmented and are largely ignored. The neglect is due to no great malice, but is pervasive because of a lack of basic knowledge and understanding of their importance. As informed individuals and, even better, as a community, we can both support existing and create new wildlife habitats by protecting and planting wildflowers and discontinuing the use of pesticides and herbicides.

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly is a stunning species in our midst. We don’t need to travel the world to marvel at the wonders of nature. These marvels live in all our own backyards! My hope for this trilogy of films is that we all will gain a deeper understanding of the interconnected world we share with wildflowers and wildlife, and that by understanding the species that are in our midst we can connect that knowledge to our environment.

Butterflies have long been a symbol of transformation and their beauty has inspired poets and artists universally across time and cultures. The ephemeral grace of the butterfly not only inspires hope but also gives us courage to be active in the search for solutions. The all-too-fragile link of the butterfly to the health of the environment embodies the urgent need for positive change.

Celebrating our wild places and wildlife is not only a place where we can all meet, a lens is focused on what we can become. 


Kim Smith Director, Producer, Camera, Editor, Script

Life Story of the Black Swallowtail is the first to be completed in a trilogy of films about butterflies and will be followed next year by Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly.  Also underway and near to Kim’s heart is the film project The Feast of San Giuseppe, a documentary about Gloucester’s Sicilian American community’s celebration of the annual nine-day novena honoring Saint Joseph. She is currently editing the film, which will premier during the Feast of Saint Joseph in 2014.

Craig Kimberley Supervising Editor

Craig Kimberley is a director, director of photography, editor, and content creator for multipleformats. He is currently directing, editing, and shooting several programs for the Outdoor Channel.

Movie PosterFINAL blog- Seaside graphics Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Movie poster CACC -1


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