Bernal Filmmaker Creating Documentary About San Bruno Mountain’s Butterflies

EdgeoftheWild

Neighbor Gail Mallimson is a filmmaker who lives on Moultrie. She’s working on a film about San Bruno Mountain — that very tall thing covered in rocks and grass and butterflies and radio antennas (that’s not Bernal Hill) you pass on your way to the airport. San Bruno Mountain is actually home to some very unique butterflies, and Neighbor Gail’s film documents the effort to save them from extinction. From her media release:

San Francisco documentary filmmaker Gail Mallimson’s newest film, The Edge of the Wild will be released this Spring, and premiere at the San Francisco Green Film Festival (dates to be announced). A Bernal Heights resident, Mallimson has set her sights on a local issue – the 30-year land-use battle over endangered butterflies on San Bruno Mountain. The film is a labor of love for this accomplished filmmaker who has worked in the past on documentaries about diverse subjects like Sudanese refugees, homophobia in womens’ college basketball, the state of mental healthcare, and mindfulness in an underprivileged middle school.

Mallimson filmed The Edge of the Wild over eight years, climbing San Bruno Mountain with her camera to capture this beautiful wilderness that is one mile south of San Francisco, and completely surrounded by urbanization. The film is told through the eyes of Michele Salmon, who has lived her whole life in the small town of Brisbane, which is tucked into a canyon on the mountain. In the 1960’s, Michele’s family played a major role in foiling development plans to scrape off the top of the mountain for a new city. The Edge of the Wild follows Michele as she picks up where her parents left off – battling to uphold the Endangered Species Act and reverse a national policy that allows landowners to kill endangered butterflies. The story is a touching portrayal of small-town democracy and of residents’ emotional bonds to a local butterfly and wilderness that are at risk of disappearing forever.

Mallimson has a few more hoops to jump through before The Edge of the Wild is completely done, and she has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to pay for finishing costs of the film.

The Edge of the Wild will screen at the San Francisco Green Film Festival in early June (date to be announced soon) and will be shown throughout the country as part of an outreach campaign to defend the Endangered Species Act against attack in Congress.

Here’s the trailer:

6 thoughts on “Bernal Filmmaker Creating Documentary About San Bruno Mountain’s Butterflies

  1. Thanks for this, Gail. Very enlightening. Wish you the best in the Green Film Festival. And Hoorah for Brisbane,in their fight to save San Bruno Mountain & the butterflies,

  2. I used to go hiking there when I was younger. Hiked with David Schooley through Sierra Club hikes. I always liked San Bruno Mountain was just bummed I couldn’t take my dog there. Beautiful trails, wildflowers and views.I hope that documentary has a happy ending for the Mission Blue. Check out the nonprofit San Bruno Mountain Watch. They have organized hikes and clean up. And you can donate to support the cause.

  3. Interesting! I love SBM and was just hiking there this week. Is the image at the top of this post by the film maker or the blogger here? Just wondering why the Mission blue is situated against a woodland background … it only lives in grasslands.

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