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Flight of the Butterflies Opens at American Museum of Natural History LeFrak IMAX Theater, 1/5

Flight of the Butterflies, a breathtaking new giant-screen adventure that takes viewers on the epic 3,000-mile journey traveled every fall by half a billion monarch butterflies, opens at the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday, January 5, 2013. The film is the awe-inspiring story of two unlikely heroes that share a common strength. Based on true events, it follows the perilous journey of the iconic monarch butterfly in one of the most incredible migrations on Earth and the determined scientist, Dr. Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to discover the mysteries surrounding their journey and secret winter hideaway.

Produced by SK Films, with considerable funding support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Flight of the Butterflies is directed by Mike Slee (Bugs 3D, Legend of Loch Lomond), who co-wrote the script with co-executive producer Wendy MacKeigan (Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta, The Water Brothers). The film's executive producer is Jonathan Barker (Bugs! 3D,Into the Deep 3D, Mission to Mir).

What began with a small boy daydreaming about where butterflies went each winter became a lifelong pursuit by Dr. Urquhart, who ingeniously enlisted the help of legions of volunteers across North America, known as "citizen scientists," to help with tagging and tracking the butterflies. The decades-long quest yielded the ultimate discovery of the monarch butterflies' overwintering sites in the sanctuaries set 10,000 feet high in the remote mountains of Mexico.

The film followsthe butterflies' amazing journey in what is the longest insect migration on Earth. Audiences are transported into the tiny world of one intrepid creature, Dana (Danaus Plexippus), and her offspring as they migrate north from Mexico and back south again. As the film illustrates, it takes two to three generations of butterflies to migrate north from Mexico through the U.S. to Canada and one "super generation" to complete the migration back south to Mexico. In the immersive giant-screen environment, moviegoers will experience this journey up close and see the evolution from egg to caterpillar to pupa to butterfly, captured for the first time thanks to MRI and micro CT scans, which bring audiences closer to the action than ever before.

The film also includes an extensive Educational Outreach Program with lesson plans for all curriculum levels, and is supported by the NSF, in partnership with The Maryland Science Center. Monarch butterfly experts, including Dr. Chip Taylor, Dr. Karen Oberhauser, and Dr. Lincoln Brower, served as scientific advisors to the film. Major support has also come from the Mexican Federal Government (Environment & Tourism) and the States of México and Michoacán, as well as Coca-Cola FEMSA, and Grupo Bimbo. Significant portions of the film's box office revenue will go towards Monarch butterfly conservation.


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