ABSTRACT: Pursuing the Monarchs, A Documentary (Editing phase)

Monarch No boarder


Hello everyone, my name is Anna Chahuneau and this summer I will be working on editing my feature long documentary: Pursuing the Monarchs.The initial question behind this documentary is: “What has caused the dramatic decline of monarch butterfly over the past three decades?”. This introductory question already has two fairly established answers: the species population decline is most often attributed to both the excessive use of herbicides and pesticides on North American cropland, as well as the Mexican deforestation of the butterfly’s overwintering grounds, in Michoacan. These two initial explanation provided me with a basic starting point; however, as I have come to discover, there is much more at play than these surface explanations. More complex and underestimated threats such as intensive avocado farming and the Mexican mining industry are also contributing the monarch’s dramatic and rapid decline.

I have completed most of the filming and I am currently at the post production phase of Pursuing the Monarchs . These past two years I did a considerable amount of preparation work for both the trip that took me all the way to Mexico, and the interviews in the United States. With a carefully crafted bud- get, I was able to raise $7000 for the trip to Mexico largely through crowd funding and monarch enthusiasts donors. In the meantime, I was fortunate enough to get acquainted with Ryan Carmody, a cinematographer from Los Angeles who agreed to join my team for Mexico. After completing a number of interviews in the United States, this winter, my crew and I set off to Michoacan, Mexico. There, we filmed a combination of B-roll of monarchs in their forest overwintering forest, as well as interviews ranging from local guides to the director of the Monarch Biosphere reserve.

I look forward to telling you more about the editing process!


  1. I can only imagine how much work goes into making a documentary! I love the fact that you are not only studying the factors that led to a decline of monarch butterfly but also creating this film that will further raise awareness of the issue. I am really looking forward to your documentary and can’t wait to hear more about your project!