Public Programs: Media Projects Production

Period of Performance

5/1/2020 - 12/31/2021

Funding Totals

$313,793.00 (approved)
$313,793.00 (awarded)

Return to Oaxacalifornia

FAIN: TR-269614-20

International Documentary Association (Los Angeles, CA 90010-2207)
Trisha Ziff (Project Director: August 2019 to present)

Production of a ninety-minute film that uses the lens of three generations of the same family to explore ideas of what is lost and gained through immigration and assimilation.

Return to Oaxacalifornia tells the story of the Mejia family from Oaxaca who emigrated to the U.S. 40 years ago as an economic necessity, fleeing drought and economic hardship. A post-NAFTA tale, a sequel of sorts: our film brings together material shot 25 years ago for the original film, Oaxacalifornia, with material we are currently producing. We meet the family in Fresno, C.A. and discover the changes in their lives. The new generation, seven grandchildren only know life in the U.S. and speak no Spanish. Mexico for them is imagined, or experienced through photographs, traditions, food, rituals. In our first film Leo and Mercedes, now grandparents spoke of retiring to Oaxaca but have spent more of their lives living in the U.S. The continuum of our film provides a unique insight into the process of assimilation, what remains important and what is lost, what changes. Three generations, three ways of seeing. They visit Mexico together as a family, is it how they imagined? Does it reson

Media Coverage

25 years later, filmmaker returns to ‘Oaxacalifornia’ (Media Coverage)
Author(s): John Soltes
Publication: Hollywood Soapbox
Date: 10/16/2021
Abstract: In the mid-1990s, director Trisha Ziff documented the triumphs and struggles of one Mexican-American family, and the resulting film, Oaxacalifornia, effectively put a human face on the debated issue of immigration and the unique relationship between the United States and Mexico. Now, in 2021, Ziff is back with a followup more than a quarter of a century later.

Associated Products

Oaxacalifornia: The Return (completed film) (Film/TV/Video Broadcast or Recording)
Title: Oaxacalifornia: The Return (completed film)
Writer: Jorge Marquez (editor), Trisha Ziff
Director: Trisha Ziff
Producer: Andrew Houchens
Abstract: This is a private link to the final, completed version of the film.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: website: password: 212berlin
Access Model: Accessible to only those with link and password.
Format: Film
Format: Web