Private Project

The Great Tit is a Bird, Episode 1

Episode 1:
Seventeen-year-old Renella Mendoza grieves the loss of her mother, who died during a global pandemic. To help Renella recover, her school counselor encourages her to take an electronics internship with a prestigious academic group conducting a research study in the tropical city of Mayaaka.

Forthcoming Episodes:
In Mayaaka, Renella stumbles on four things: an apparent cure for her debilitating skin condition, an immunity to electrocution, a mind-melding contraption, and a group of exploited girls. But when Renella tries to rescue the girls, all of whom have a similar skin condition, she learns that none of the girls want to be rescued. At least—not by her.

  • Ar Ducao
    Director / Writer / Animator / Engineer
  • Susan Achieng Osiche
    Story Supervisor
  • Joseph Beer
    Automation Pipeline Manager
  • Franceska Njanja
    Sensitivity Editor & Writer
  • Brian Li
    Visual Media Developer
  • Paula Hung-Palmer
    Story & Audio Editor
  • Ar Ducao
    Key Cast
    "Renella Mendoza"
  • Tyrone Bryant
    Key Cast
    "Tyrone Bryant"
  • Alexander Wright III
    Key Cast
    "Program Agent"
  • Franceska Njanja
    Key Cast
    "Medina Awano"
  • Susan Achieng Osiche
    Key Cast
    "Airline Announcer"
  • Mercy Oladipo
    Show Consultant
  • Myeong Hong Hurwitz
    Show Consultant
  • Emma Dewald
    Project Consultant
  • Gina Rodriguez
    Project Consultant
  • DuKode Studio
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Technology, Thriller, Women, Drama, LGBTQ+
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 25, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Greece, India, Kenya, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    digital animation
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New York State Council on the Arts / Wave Farm - Media Artists Assistance Fund Award
  • NYU Anti-Racism Grant
  • NYFA / NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment - Women's Fund Award
  • BRIC Arts Media - B Artistic Award
  • Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival
    Official Selection (Trailer)
  • A&E Film Festival
    United States
    Semifinalist (Trailer)
Director Biography

Ar Ducao (they / zey pronouns) is a new media artist, engineer, organizer and educator. Ducao’s 3D animations and visualizations have been shown in venues and festivals around the world, including the Margaret Mead Documentary Festival (US), Reel Sisters of the Diaspora (US), Le Musee di-visioniste (Germany), Salon International de Arte Digital (Cuba), and Lola Screen Children’s Festival (Kenya). Their media work has been honored with the SXSW Community Service Award, the MIT Public Service Center Fellowship, the Best App Ever Award, the Seoul Cycle Design Prize, and the Brave Destiny Film Festival’s Grand Prize, among others. Ducao began their animation career in science visualization for the American Museum of Natural History, and their innovation work has been profiled by the New York Times, MSNBC, WIRED, Discovery Channel, NPR, and many more. They are a past winner of the Science Channel reality show "All American Makers."

Ducao is also a co-founder and principal at Multimer, a bio-spatial analytics spinoff from MIT Media Lab and National Science Foundation SBIR award winner. A federally-certified EDWOSB (economically disadvantaged woman-owned small business) with patented technology (USPTO# 20200000337), Multimer has worked with marginalized communities in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Ducao is a research affiliate and instructor at MIT, and an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, NYU School of Engineering, and the NYU Prison Education Program. Their writing and design has been published in journals including Bright Lights Film Journal, the Journal of Intelligent Buildings, and International Journal of Community Well-being; and books including Data, Architecture, and the Experience of Place and Instrumental Intimacy: EEG Wearables and Neuroscientific Control. Ar Ducao is a member of the Fulbright Specialist Program, recent co-chair of the UAW 9A Human & Civil Rights Council, and technical advisor for the Black maternal health startup Birth By Us.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The Great Tit is a Bird is a sci-fi narrative project about Black and Brown feminine and trans-feminine people around the world, the losses they survive, and the ways they shape our high-tech era even as they are pushed to the margins. The show probes issues its creators have experienced firsthand, including techno-colonization, research misconduct, and threats to body autonomy. I'm grateful to examine such important issues with such a wonderful creative team.