October 7th, 2012
New IMAX film, Flight of the Butterflies, Lands at the Science Center
Flight of the Butterflies, a breathtaking new giant screen adventure from SK Films, is now playing at the Heikoff Dome Theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center!
Based on a remarkable true story, the epic film immerses viewers in a triumphant journey of perseverance that spans thousands of miles and several generations. Audiences will join scientists in tracking monarch butterflies to their mysterious Mexican winter haven where they will discover a truly spectacular sight: hundreds of millions of live butterflies in one of the most amazing places on Earth!
Flight of the Butterflies is the awe-inspiring story of two unlikely heroes that share a common strength. Based on true events, it follows the epic journey of the iconic monarch butterfly in one of the most incredible migrations on Earth and the equally epic quest of determined scientist Dr. Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to discover the mysteries surrounding their journey and secret winter hideaway.
What began with a small boy daydreaming about where butterflies went each winter became a lifelong pursuit by Urquhart, who ingeniously enlisted the help of legions of volunteers, known as “citizen scientists,” to help with tagging and tracking the butterflies. The decades-long quest yielded the ultimate discovery of the monarch butterflies’ wintering sites in the sanctuaries of Mexico.
Through spectacular Giant Screen/IMAX 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 the mountains of the states of Michoacan and Mexico.
The iconic monarch butterfly is a true marvel of nature. Weighing less than a penny, it makes one of the longest migrations on Earth across a continent, with pinpoint navigational accuracy, to a place it has never been. While much has been learned, scientists are still unraveling the many interrelated aspects of this phenomenon of the natural world. 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 close-up/macro photography work was undertaken in collaboration with Oscar winner Peter Parks (The Tree of Life). The film team also travels high into the mountain ranges and up tree canopies into the monarch sanctuaries of Mexico to capture stunning real footage of hundreds of millions of these magnificent creatures.
Flight of the Butterflies will run in an open-ended engagement at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Heikoff Dome Theater, located at 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. For information on tickets and showtimes, visit the Science Center’s IMAX film webpage.
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