Tata’s Gift is an animated short video production of Los Cenzontles and Dio Studios that uses themes of “Día de los Muertos” to address issues of bullying, inter-generational connections and resilience through culture. The 7:33 minute film weaves Huichol yarn paintings (traditional native Mexican textiles) with digital media, video game imagery and colorful music to tell a story of humor and emotion.
This is the story of a boy walking home from school in his urban neighborhood while playing a video game who gets menaced by a bully. After an encounter of marked by disconnect with his grandma, he goes to his room and falls asleep and enters a video game dream sequence. There he enters a cemetery and the tomb of his beloved grandfather (Tata) who bestows on him a morral (bag) full of special powers that gives him the power to succeed in the game and in life.
Tata’s gift was directed and animated by Dionisio Ceballos, produced by and with original music from Los Cenzontles featuring special guest, David Hidalgo from Los Lobos.
The creation of Tata’s Gift was made possible by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by the generous grants from ArtPlace, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation. Additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.