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"The Butterfly Circus" To Get Full-Length Treatment
"The Butterfly Circus" To Get Full-Length Treatment

"The Butterfly Circus" To Get Full-Length Treatment

By Jacob Sahms

Forty million people have streamed the short film “The Butterfly Circus” since Josh and Rebekah Weigel unveiled their creation in 2009. In a world where exploitation and bullying are all too common, “The Butterfly Circus” tells a story about what it means to recognize that you are were made for a reason. Now, producers of ABC’s The Quest, Mark Ordesky (a producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Jane Fleming of Court Five, will develop the twenty-two-minute version into a full-length, feature film. Casting and production will begin in 2015.

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The short film, headlined by Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer), is a magical parable about being liberated from our despair by grace and hope. It stars Nicholas Vujicic, a motivational speaker from Australia who was born without arms or legs, and who has shared his story in Random House’s A Ridiculously Good Life. The film itself won awards at The Doorpost Film Project, the Method Fest Independent Film Festival, and The Feel Good Film Festival in 2010. 

In the midst of the Great Depression, Ringmaster Mendez (Eduardo Verastegui, Bella) discovers Will (Vujicic), a limbless man in a carnival sideshow. Mendez tells Will that he sees him as a beautiful creature but Will’s anger and bitterness prevents him from seeing his own potential. Still, he hitches a ride in the back of a Butterfly Circus vehicle, and ends up catching on with the troupe. At first, his old way of doing things and his failure to see his own gifts prevent him from finding a place. One day, Will experiences an unexpected baptism of sorts, and discovers that he can swim; his new purpose frees him to be a role model for others seeking to escape their own cocoons.

Mendez tells Will, “the greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.” Apparently for the Weigels, waiting six years to write and direct again will just make the final, full-length version even that much sweeter!


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