Arizona-based airline pilot turned actor, Herb Jackson Jr’s latest work will preview at the 16th Arizona Underground Film Festival, September 15th – 23rd.
Jackson Jr teamed up with actor and writer Whitney Wegman-Wood to tell the story of The Last Butterflies, a gripping short film which charts the fortunes of a small family facing environmental disaster and a perilous choice.
Written by Wegman-Wood and directed by Patrick Rea, the short follows family patriarch (Cooper Andrews), a brilliant NASA scientist, who finds himself at the forefront of a world on the brink of ecological collapse and societal breakdown. As chaos engulfs his family's once peaceful lives, he and his wife (Whitney Wegman-Wood) become determined to protect their young daughter (Ivy Hickman), at all costs. When widespread environmental catastrophe begins to spur massive civil unrest, Dad, Mom, and their young daughter face an agonizing decision: stay and risk their lives in a crumbling society, or embark on a perilous journey into the unforgiving Canadian wilderness in search of refuge.
Their final destination: Baker Lake, a potential safe haven where they may find clean water, shelter and hope. Their story is a journey that is fraught with challenges: treacherous terrain, harsh weather, and the ever-present threat of desperate, fellow survivors. Each step forward is marked by setbacks and heartaches, testing the limits of their endurance and the strength of their familial bonds.
Jackson Jr. served as associate producer and has a small role in the film. He said, "I feel extremely fortunate to have worked on The Last Butterflies. I really appreciate Whitney for reaching out to me. She wrote an amazing story, which was based on a series of nightmares she had, and I’m so happy to have been involved with her project.
“Working with Cooper Andrews & Adam Boyer was beyond incredible and our crew, led by Patrick Rea, was really fun to work with. Also, a big shout out to the folks in Mildred, Kansas. They could not have been more welcoming and supportive during filming there. Everyone involved with this project has been wonderful to work with and I can’t wait to see it shown in Arizona.”
The Arizona Underground Film Festival showcases some of the best new films in categories such as narrative, horror, documentary, experimental and animation. It’s held at The Screening Room, located at 127 E. Congress St., Tucson, AZ 85701.