Directed by Mario Theodosio Gallegos
Presented with an opportunity to escape her stagnant
New Mexico town, a young genizaro girl must decide if she wants
to break away from her tight knit family or stay and continue
struggling to keep her family afloat as her mother sinks deeper
into the grips of heroin addiction.
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Mario was and raised in the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico in a Genizaro neighborhood known as El Washe. After losing his mother as a child he was raised by his grandparents who had a great influence on him. He expressed himself through community theater and photography and earned a presidential scholarship to the University of New Mexico. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles where he works as a commercial actor and photographer. He went to Grad school to pursue filmmaking, which in many ways is a combination of his two passions. He will complete his MFA January 2022.
As a child, I witnessed my single mother slowly deteriorate after my younger sister passed away. First was valium, marijuana, alcohol, heroin, then methadone, and back to heroin. Throughout my childhood there was no word I hated more than, ‘Tecata.’ I’d hear it whispered about my mother around school and throughout the neighborhood. It wasn’t until very recently that I was able to talk about my mother’s struggles without getting very emotional. This film served as a way for me to deal with the shame and trauma I’ve carried all my life and to shed light on the effects addiction has on children, specifically when a mother is the addict. My mother was loving, caring, and so kind and funny but the cards were stacked against her. I chose to title my film ‘Tecata’ as a way to desensitize myself to the word and to give it a new meaning in my life. Tecata, my film is something I am proud of and hold dear to my heart just like the memory of my mother who was so much more than just a tecata.