About the film
A day in the life of Jamie and his two best friends; a teenage world revolving around sex and porn.
Each of the three friends battle with their own demons: since the death of his mother, Kyle finds the only comfort he can with prostitutes; Jarred's sex addiction manifests into more extreme fetishes; and then there's Jamie.
Jamie has a dark secret and desires that he can't confess to his friends. How can Jamie deal with feelings that must never be divulged to anyone, ever?
From the director
We live in a society that proclaims freedom of speech. The result is that people now are very in tune with others. With everything from work, relationships, life and the stress that comes with it all.
The question of paedophilia, however, is hidden away in a dark corner, a dirty spot on an otherwise polished floor, hidden under carpets of superficial righteousness. The line between freedom of speech and ideals of objective truth are quickly drawn.
Butterfly Kisses is not about this line, it holds no stance except to portray the very real feelings of a teenage boy. The catch? He cannot under any circumstances reveal his feelings to anybody, not parent, doctor or friend.
The film is set in one housing estate. The point is for the film to look authentic and documentary-like. We want to cast recognised talent along with unknown people, locally, ideally in their real homes.
Meet the team
Director Rafael Kapelinski
Rafael is a London-based, award-winning freelance writer/director. A former banker, he took a sharp turn into writing and directing.
He is an NFTS/LFS/Wajda film school-trained writer/director, and has since created some of the most distinctive short films that have won over thirty international awards at top-tier festivals such as Cannes, Oberhausen, Austin, New Horizons and Brest.
His short Emily Cries was awarded Best European Film at Brest, and was subsequently shortlisted for a shorts Oscar nomination. It led to his being listed in Variety's Young Directors to Watch.
Writer Greer Ellison
Greer Ellison is an award-winning, Northern Irish writer, twice finalist in the BBC Writer's Room script competition. He has written scripts for the likes of RTE Television Network, and Amber Entertainment.
He wrote and directed his first short film, Breaking Waves (2013), screened at the 11th London Short Film Festival. He then teamed up to write and co-direct Spitball (2015) funded by the Northern Ireland Screen, and The Bigger Picture (2015) starring BAFTA-nominated Robert Sheehan.
Producers Merlin Merton and David Braithwaite
Merlin Merton established Blue Shadows Films whilst working as development assistant for Ileen Maisel, producer of Golden Compass and Ripley's Game.
Under this umbrella he produced a slate of shorts and music videos including co-producing Bombay Bicycle Club's Luna with BAFTA-winning director Anna Ginsburg, and producing Tiny Ruins' Carriages music video starring Nico Mirallegro for Radical Media and Stink.
His first feature, Wasp, directed by Philippe Audi-Dor, was subsequently picked up by Wide, one of the leading independent sales agents in France, and is due for cinema release through Arti Films.
On the back of this success, he partnered with Greer Ellison to direct two shorts together. The first, Spitball, was funded by the Northern Ireland Screen, and the second, Bigger Picture, starred Rosie Day and BAFTA-nominated Robert Sheehan.
David Braithwaite is CEO of production company Big Man Films and has a high level of hands on production knowledge and experience, having worked on numerous projects including the ground-breaking CH4 comedy Peep Show and the award-winning film An Angel For May.
While working as Head of Acquisitions and Distribution for a UK Sales Agent he was responsible for acquiring the Oscar-nominated financial thriller Margin Call and coordinating its UK theatrical release.
David is coproducing the feature film The White Room and TV series Disturbia, both with Bedlam Productions (The King's Speech) as well as developing a wide slate of projects.
Watch Emily Cries short, directed by Rafael Kapelinski.