The Butterfly Queen

Event Details

Date: October 1, 2023
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: Burns Court Cinema
Duration: 87 min
Year: 2023
Language: English
Director: Liam O’Connor-Genereaux


Seana Testa, Liam O’Connor-Genereaux, Clay Neuger

Cast: Despoina, Kade Pintado, Sophia Anthony

Genre: Fantasy, Action-adventure, Coming-of-age, LGBTQ+

Country: USA

The Butterly Queen
2023 | USA |  76 MIN | English

Five years ago, best friends Casey and Robin parted ways. Casey wanted to draw cartoons and take over their grandparents sheep farm, Robin wanted to leave town and never look back. 
Now, five years later, Casey and Robin find themselves (against all odds) chasing a teenager through a magical, monster-infested forest, struggling to regain Casey’s stolen sketchbook so that they can get the hell back home. Trouble is, The Butterfly Queen wants the sketchbook as well, and A) she’s clever, B) she’s desperate and C) she makes the rules.

Director Biography – Liam O’Connor-Genereaux

Liam grew up in Vermont. He started out making movies with his other homeschooled friends: shooting stop-motion and little adventures on his parents farm. He’s pretty much just kept scaling that philosophy up. He shot his first almost-feature when he was 13, his next when he was 17, and competed in local and regional 48-film slams throughout his teenage years.

Liam shot his first feature, “Zephyr,” at age 20, with $18K and a cast & crew of long-time VT friends and classmates from Emerson College. “Zephyr” went on to win awards at several festivals, including “Best of Fest” at the Endless Mountains Film Fest and “Best Feature” at the Milwaukee Edge and Smoky Mountains Film Festivals.

“The Butterfly Queen” is by far Liam’s biggest project to date, begun when he was 22, spanning 5 years and involving over 80 people to date.

Liam believes that artists shouldn’t have to choose between creating their art and living where they find their passion. He wants to continue making films in his home state, and continue to grow opportunities for others to do the same.

Director Statement

I wanted to make a movie about having a best friend. And I wanted to show how difficult that can be. There are so many films where the fact of a friendship is a given, a constant. But that’s not how I experience friendship. For me it’s like any other kind of love: it can be hard, it takes continual work and if the friendship doesn’t keep growing then it dies. So that’s where I focused with the relationship between protagonist Casey and their best friend Robin (and the relationship between Ash and Luca).

It was really important for me to tell a story featuring queer characters but with a plot that doesn’t revolve around their queerness. The film’s characters had to be real people who happen to have queerness as a piece of their identities, and who also just happen to be living through this film.

And lastly, I really love fantasy. Odd, Terry Gilliam, Terry Pratchett, Holly Black-style gritty sardonic fantasy. The kind where you can see the wrinkles and the stitches.

And so I built a queer-inhabited fairy-tale that was driven by the twists and turns of trying to keep your friendships alive.

I hope you enjoy!

*** That was the short version, read on if you want ***

I can’t really describe how home-grown this project is. Vermont has very little film infrastructure or filmmaking networks. When gear breaks it’s a 6-hour drive to replace it. The nearest casting hub is in Boston. Many towns don’t even have cell service. So to pull off something this big required huge investment from the community.

We shot most of it on my parents farm, the rest in the immediate surrounding villages. We were able to create a complete magical world (during the pandemic) because neighbors loaned garages and power tools, universities gave us access to rehearsal rooms, we used library WiFi for endless Zoom calls and our art team worked thousands of hours through nights and weekends to hand-carve armor, build weapons and dress and paint our huge sets.

I’m really proud of this film, of everything we managed to bring to life.


Venue Details

Burns Court Cinema Downtown Sarasota 506 Burns Ct, Sarasota, FL 34236

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