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Dionisio Ceballos (El Sobrante) collaborating with Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center (San Pablo)

Award: $40,000 Media Arts Grant awarded in 2012

To be completed: November 2013

Filmmaker and animator Dionisio Ceballos and the artists and production company of Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center (Los Cenzontles) are collaborating to create a short animated film with original music composed by Los Cenzontles. Mexican craft folk elements, created by Marie-Astrid Do-Rodriguez, are being used with the animation. The film’s story line is an original folk tale—written by Ceballos and members of Los Cenzontles. Story elements are being drawn from interviews with children and youth who participate in the Los Cenzontles arts academy.

The film is being produced in two versions: a silent film screened to theater/concert audiences with the soundtrack performed live by Los Cenzontles Performing Ensemble; and a film with a recorded soundtrack to be disseminated to film festivals, community centers, schools, and other public settings. Its primary audience will be youth and their families.

Dionisio Ceballos began his artistic career as a painter in the 1990s. His first animated short film, “Four Ways to Cover a Hole,” was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. He received a 2011 Emmy Award for Graphics and Animation for the documentary The Next Frontier: Engineering the Golden Age of Green. Los Cenzontles, incorporated in 1994, is a grassroots, artist-driven organization committed to the instruction, performance, and production of Mexican-American arts in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.