In 2013, fairy homes — with doors custom-built for the hollows of trees and tiny furniture nestled inside — cropped up on a wooded trail in Overland Park. Firefly Forest, as it was called, appeared as if by magic. People tucked hundreds of notes into these small abodes, listing their struggles and dreams. And, to their surprise, the fairies answered.
Documentary filmmaker Sharon Liese (Selfie, High School Confidential) read about Firefly Forest in the newspaper, and the walking trail was close to her house. She stopped by several times and watched as people, mostly children, "approached the doors and squealed." But then, she says, she "was surprised to see that so many adults were enthralled. It became a sort of mecca for people with a void to fill."
Liese started recording some of these experiences. She also set out to find what had come to be called "The Gnomist," the mysterious builder of these structures. At the time, city officials in Overland Park were also in pursuit because these dwellings violated park rules.