A person falling in the air
A person lies with their eyes closed

Xibalba • An Epic, Filmic Journey into the Underworld

  • Client

    Victoria Cerveza, Ogilvy

  • Solutions

    FilmsExperiential

Case Study

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Case Study

Celebrating an ancient Mexican tradition.

Día de los Muertos is an important holiday in Mexico, in which friends and family come together to honor and pray for loved ones who have passed. Every year, Victoria Cerveza celebrates the holiday by paying tribute to ancient traditions of indigenous Mexican culture, including Aztec, Mayan and Nahuatl. For the second in a series of annual films, we partnered with the brand, Ogilvy and film director Salomon Ligthelm to take viewers on an epic journey through Xibalba, the Mayan conception of the underworld.

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    A person stands in the middle of a crowd A masked monster stares in the dark

    A tribute to Mayan myth.

    According to Mayan myth, entering Xibalba is no easy task; one must overcome a series of trials before reaching eternal rest. Our film follows the recently deceased Ikal as he is greeted by Ah Puch, the God-King of Death, who leads him into the depths of the underworld while a parallel story shows his family mourning his death and praying for a successful passage. Shot in several locations throughout the state of Yucatán—home of the Mayan people—the film is a visually moving odyssey through farewells and reunions, told against the backdrop of traditions and the perils of the underworld.

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      In sights and sounds, spirits come alive.

      Taking viewers on a sublime journey into the underworld was the culmination of several skills across our multidisciplinary team. Our in-house team of employees handled both production and post production, including VFX work that brought the spectacular sights of Xibalba to viewers. A dramatic original score penned by our musical employees further drove home the emotional resonance of the story. “It’s always a pleasure working with a truly collaborative team of people on amazing creative,” said Salomon Ligthelm, the film’s director. 

      Finally, we built Mexico’s Biggest Offering, a WebGL experience that invites people to step down a candlelit path bordered by virtual ofrendas, or altars dedicated to the deceased. Visitors could visit each altar to pay their respects, and even set up one of their own in memory of a loved one who has passed. The companion experience thus invited people to engage with the traditions of the holiday and wish the dead a successful journey to the other side.

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        Our Craft

        A cultural experience gone virtual.

        • Xibalba website title
        • A person floats in the water
        • A person lays on their back with hands held on their back
        • Upload a photo screen from Xibalba website
        • An altar with a photo of a person and candles lit around it

        Results

        • 24x Circulo Creativo Awards

        • 1x FWA

        • 1x Shots Award

        • 3x El Ojo Awards

        • 2x Effies

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