Twelve-Time Grammy Winner Ruben Blades Provides Original Song to Animated Climate Change Feature ‘Black Butterflies’

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Twelve-time Grammy-winning Panamanian musician, actor and human rights activist Ruben Blades has provided an original song for the Spanish-Panamanian animated climate change movie “Black Butterflies” from director David Baute. The film will world premiere in the Contrechamp competition at this year’s Annecy Animation Festival.

Animated in 2D, and painstakingly researched by Baute, “Black Butterflies” is a timely feature about the real-world consequences of global warming as experienced by communities in the areas most impacted by the man-made phenomenon.

The film tells three separate but related stories about Lobuin, Vanesa and Soma, three women from very different parts of the world who face the same problem: climate change. The women and their families are condemned to lose everything because of the effects of climate change and are forced to emigrate to survive.

Explaining why the film was important to him, Blades said, “Climate change as a reason for human immigration is an effect that has not been studied in the necessary depth. ‘Black Butterflies’ raises an important question: Will there be a world where future generations can live?”

According to Baute, “I have always been concerned with telling stories about our environment to become more aware of our relationship with the world in which we live. I believe there was no better way to show the exciting journey of these three women from such different backgrounds than through animation. Thanks to a talented technical and artistic team, we were able to do so with a beautiful aesthetic in line with the different realities of our characters.”

“Black Butterflies” is produced by Ikiru Films, Tinglado Film, Anangu Grup and the Catalan Corporation of Mitjans Audiovisuals in Spain alongside Tunche Films in Panama. It received support from Radio Television España, 3CAT in Catalonia, Public Television of the Canary Islands and Mogambo, with financing from Spain’s Ministry of Culture-ICAA, and support from ICEC-Department of Culture-Generalitat de Catalunya as well as the government of the Canary Islands and the Island Council of Tenerife.

César Zelada at Panama’s Tunche, commented: “For us, it has been very rewarding to work on a project as relevant as ‘Black Butterflies’ and contribute decisively to the growth of the Panamanian animation industry. We want to underline that with the involvement of one of our greatest musicians.”

Ikiru’s Edmon Roch added, “From the very first moment, we knew this was a story we had to tell. It’s a global story based on three individual cases of women forced to move away from their natural habitat, often severing family ties. David has documented these cases for years, and this film has been a revealing and fascinating journey that won’t leave anyone who sees it feeling indifferent.”