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A female song and dance duo overcomes a Kings Cross cyber cult, to win the Australasian song competition.


Moana and Eva are a song and dance duo which is up for the Australasian Song Awards; however Eva has become involved in a cult, the Dreamguides, which is into virtual-dreaming and astrology. In her struggle to rescue Eva and keep Butterfly Crush in the Awards, Moana is lured into the cult by a young member, Matt. However as this relationship develops, Moana instead attracts him to leave, and also secures Eva’s participation in the Awards, which they then go on to win.

Theatrical Release

Butterfly Crush enjoyed an indie release in New Zealand in cities throughout the country in 2010. The film will be released in Australia in April 2012.

Festival Awards

Butterfly Crush won a string of Best Feature Drama awards at US festivals in 2011 and an 'Accolade Award of Excellence' for Best Supporting Actor for Amelia Shankley's protrayal of the Dreamguides leader, Star.

The film won the 'Best International Narrative Feature' award at the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas, which presents ‘the year’s best films about personal and civil liberty’. It has also won the 'Best Feature Drama' at the Indie Gathering Film Festival in Ohio and the 'Best Feature Film' award at the Reel Independent Film Extravaganza in Washington D.C.

On Set

The main roles in the film were cast following extensive auditions in Australia and New Zealand. The part of Moana is played by Courtney Hale (pictured left). Eva is played by Hayley Fielding.  Matt is played by Richard Adams (pictured below) and Angel by Sally Kelleher, both of Sydney, and the cult leader Star by Amelia Shankley (pictured below right) from Brisbane.

The film was shot over 28 days, which was broken into 2 interior shoots in Wanganui, New Zealand and one exterior shoot in Sydney, Australia. There was a wonderful cooperative spirit amongst the cast and crew, which resulted in a creative and enjoyable working environment on set and some awesome performances.

Cutting Edge Images

Butterfly Crush was shot on the Canon 5D Mark II, a revolutionary HD camera with a 35mm sensor plate. This is the largest of any HD camera on the market and so gives wonderfully clear images, similar to 35mm film.

The Director of Photography on the interior scenes was New Zealander Ben Ruffell. For the past 7 years Ben has worked as DOP on a range of music videos, commercials, documentaries and TV programmes, such as Border Patrol, Mitre 10 DIY, Rescue, The Amazing Race and Mai Time.

The Director of Photography on the exterior shoot in Sydney was Garfield Darlington. Garfield has accrued credits at short film festivals, both in Australia and internationally, and a High Distinction for his film studies. He has worked as a DOP on numerous short films and music videos since starting in 2003, in addition to lighting assistant work on films such as Mao’s Last Dancer, Australia, Mask 2, Superman and TV series such as Master Chef, All Saints, and Rescue.

Adapted from the novel, Dance Sisters

The script for Butterfly Crush is an adaptation of Alan Clay's second novel, Dance Sisters.

"What a refreshing read! Dance Sisters, by New Zealander Alan Clay, had me hooked from the first explosive page. A female song and dance trio threatens to self-destruct on the brink of fame when its lead performer becomes involved with a manipulative cult, touting sex, astrology and virtual dreaming. The Sydney based author, actor and drama tutor has crafted a provocative gem, portraying the relationship between the characters with consummate skill. It is a real treat."  Otago Daily Times (NZ)

Dance Sisters eBook Release
Dance Sisters has just been released as an eBook for the Kobo reader and the eBook can be purchased in New Zealand through Whitcoulls or in Australia through Borders or Angus & Robertson. It is also available for the Apple iPad through the iBooks app at iTunes. (eBook ISBN: 9780957884465)


On this site you find the latest news, and press releases or can check out the production credits and photos, read an outline of Butterfly Crush, watch the podcasts  or the trailer for the film and read reviews of the novel on which the film is based.


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last updated 01 December 2011

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