In our third individual Day of the Dead Project, working in collaboration with the Centro Cultural Comunitario “Tzintzuntzan” (Tzintzuntzan Community Cultural Center), we have documented the traditional celebration of Noche de Animas in the community of Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán in Mexico.
As with our other projects, this Todos Santos Project, the “Tzintzuntzan Noche de Animas Project”, consists of three phases:
In the first phase of this Project, during October and November of 2014 we filmed the preparations and celebrations of Noche de Animas in the town of Tzintzuntzan and in three of the Purepecha communities that are part of the municipality -- Ihuatzio, La Pacanda and Ichupio. During this time and in April of 2015 we also conducted interviews in these and other communities of the municipality.
In this phase, we also included the successful apprentice program we introduced in our recent Day of the Dead project in Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca. This program is meant to foster the apprentices’ interest in continuing to document the traditions of their community. The Centro Cultural Comunitario “Tzintzuntzan” assisted in identifying two younger members of the community interested in participating in the program. Two young men were selected from the local CECYTEM (a technological preparatory school), and they assisted in the filming of the celebrations and in conducting the interviews. In addition to our apprentice program, New Mexico Film Resource (NMFR) sponsored two Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) film students to join us as interns. Along with the two local apprentices, these students assisted in documenting the final preparations for and the actual celebration of Noche de Animas in Tzintzuntzan and La Pacanda.
In the second phase of this Project we are co-sponsoring, with the Centro Cultural Comunitario “Tzintzuntzan”, an intensive filming and editing workshop for interested young members of the municipality. Scheduled for September and October of 2015, this workshop will involve the participants “hands on” in creating short cultural documentaries.
Also, in a community event in June of 2016 we will grant rights of reproduction of the documentary to the Centro Cultural Comunitario “Tzintzuntzan” to benefit the community museum, and we will celebrate the world premiere of the documentary in Tzintzuntzan with a large screen, public presentation in the Atrium of the Religious Complex. Afterwards, we will also screen the documentary locally for the communities of Ihuatzio and La Pacanda.
In the third phase of the Project, we will present the results of the Project to a wider audience, with public presentations in conjunction with screenings of the documentary planned for various locations, including Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico and in California. We will also submit the documentary to national and international film festivals and feature the Project on our website.