The Guardians


We’ve reached our pre-sale ticket limit for this screening. All remaining tickets will be available for sale 15 minutes before showtime.

Join us for closing night at the Loft Film Fest featuring a short set from Calexico, featuring Joey Burns, John Convertino, Rick Peron and Jacob Valenzuela! This special live performance will follow the Southern Arizona premiere of the award-winning new documentary, The Guardians, which features a music score by Calexico. Filmmakers Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran will also be in attendance!

The Loft Film Fest is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment.

A visually dazzling meditation on the delicate balance between human and nature, The Guardians elegantly interweaves the lives of the iconic monarch butterfly with an indigenous community in Mexico.

“The grandeur and fragility of the monarch butterfly, threatened with extinction, nudges viewers towards a reckoning with the sustainability of life itself in this gently persuasive documentary.” – Jordan Green, Triad City Beat

Both depend on the same ancient forest for their survival and now face an uncertain future. Migrating 3,000 miles to hibernate in the towering Oyamels, the monarch population faces collapse, hitting a record low of 33 million, down from 1 billion just twenty years ago. In the valley below, the people of Donaciano Ojeda must carve out a sustainable future in their ancestral lands now part of the protected Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. Once loggers of this forest, they’ve made a radical decision to stop and regrow it instead. Santos, a charismatic avocado farmer and Aristeo, a philosophical tree caretaker are the storytellers of the community as they face new threats of illegal logging, internal divisions, and their own mortality. Shot over three years, this intimate documentary takes viewers on a cinematic journey through the butterfly dense mountaintops of Michoacan as the community works to build a path forward. (Dir. by Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran, 2018, USA/Mexico, 70 mins., Not Rated). Other festivals: DocLands; Riverrun | Tucson Premiere

Special thanks to our community partners, DocScapes, Cirque RootsArizona-Sonora Desert MuseumInstitute of the Environment.

Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran have been producing nonprofit videos and award-winning independent films together for nearly 10 years through their Emmy-winning Washington, DC-based production company Eidolon Films, which they co-founded. Their independent film work has been supported by ITVS, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and the Bay Area Video Coalition’s National Mediamaker Fellowship. Their documentary, Fate of a Salesman, about a Washington DC neighborhood in transition as seen from the vantage point of the employees of a men’s clothing store, aired on public television, won a regional Emmy, and was nominated for a national Emmy. They have both been DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellows and Moran has also been a BAVC National Media Maker Fellow. Both filmmakers also serve as adjunct faculty with Georgetown University’s Film & Media Studies summer program in Florence, Italy. Their latest documentary is The Guardians.