At first glance, it is not obvious that Abbie Evans lives with a life-threatening skin disease. She is a typical teenager: moody, rebellious, irreverent — and strikingly beautiful. But her life is the antithesis of normal. Abbie grew up in hospitals, cared for by her protective mother and father. She then came into her own in honky tonks, selling merchandise for her father’s band. But just like any other 18 year-old, Abbie yearns for a life of her own. Butterfly Girl charts Abbie’s journey towards a new understanding of how she must balance her past with her future, her parents with her independence, and her disease with her desires. But what price must she pay for that freedom?

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Bright, bubbly and beautiful, 18-year-old Evans could be the prototypical high-school queen bee, except for the fact she was born with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) — an incurable connective tissue disorder that leaves skin so fragile that blisters, wounds, infections and inflammations are a chronic way of life. Blisters in her esophagus require multiple surgeries a year and necessitate a gastrostomy tube inserted in her stomach to assist in delivering nutrients and medication when it’s too painful to swallow. Through it all, Abbie (as she prefers to be called) acts like any other teenager — sometimes moody, sometimes stubborn but eager for the opportunity to explore the world and find out what life has to offer.

For her feature debut, director Cary Bell did not choose easily — teenage girls are always posing, whether they know it or not. (Have you ever tried to follow a teenager around with a camera, even for an afternoon, hoping for a natural response?) Add to the mix a disease that ravages the skin without mercy, and you’ve upped the challenge quotient considerably.

The camera doesn’t shy away from getting real close on Abbie’s hands, as she explains how her fingernails fell off when she was born. Or on her feet, while her mother, Stacie, takes her sneakers off to reveal painful-looking blisters, as she explains how fragile her skin is to the touch. But always ready to battle this merciless pain we see on screen is Abbie’s fearlessly positive attitude. It’s so infectious and uplifting you’ll fight back an urge to reach out and give the girl a hug, or perhaps have her give one to you (because, believe it or not, you probably need it more than she does).

Cast & Crew

Director, Producer Cary Bell Editor, Producer Jessica Miller Producer Suz Grossman Executive Producer Jenna Jackson Cinematographer Matt Godwin Produced by Lytta Productions in Association with P & R Productions Web Design Vincent Garguilo Music Producer John Evans Assistant Producer Abbie Evans Motion Graphics and Titles Matt Caldamone Post Production Services Provided by Stampede Post Productions, Inc. Post Production Executive Benjamin Arnold Online Editor Joe Infuso Colorist Nick Hydreos Sound Mixer Rich Rauh Andrew Tracy Sound Design Provided by One Thousand Birds Sound Designer Andrew Tracy Assistant Editor Luke McLean Cary Bell Stock Footage Provided by MovingImages/Pond5.com Styrofilm/Pond5.com Dbqp/Pond5.com Legal Support Amy E Mitchell, PLLC Gear Support P and R Productions

Acknowledgements

Special Thanks Kelli and John Weinzierl Gaz Hargreaves Charles and Erica Miller Kelly Bell Laurie and Clay Boykin Amy Arnold Howard and Marilyn Grossman Virginia, John, and Mary Gibbs Hayes Carll Mike Crowley Vincent Garguilo, Design Arson Moondog Edit Anthony ‘daddy’ Jackson Emily Miller Sam Powell Samantha Miller Ty Mitchell Patricia O’Toole Jesse Trussell Christine Gratton Sonia Evers Jane Isay Stewart Morris Cameron Casey Casey McIntyre Jesse Allen Cello Amati Max Smith Mark Forman James Tate Homeslice Pizza The Parlor On Sixth Antone’s Vino Vino Wine Cafe Rural Rooster Austin Film Society Home Slice Pizza Hole in the Wall Crawfish Shack Billy Bait Club Papa’s on the Lake Stingaree Mucky Duck United Airlines Austin Bergstrom International Airport Stanford University School of Medicine Texas Children’s Hospital Seton Hospital

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