Hutton Broadcasting to Produce Zozobra's Centennial Documentary |
Zozobra burning in 2013. Courtesy Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe.

Hutton Broadcasting and the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe are collaborating to produce a feature documentary for the 100th anniversary of the Burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. This feature will be one of several highlights of the 2024 centennial celebration of Zozobra. The documentary will be produced over the next two years and will include interviews with many New Mexico influencers, historians, and dedicated Zozobra fans.

The film will be produced and directed by Elisa Bourget Hutton and McCall Sides will serve as director of photography. “We are incredibly honored to work with the Kiwanis Club to produce the 100th-anniversary documentary. Will Shuster’s Zozobra connects deeply with New Mexico heritage, and we are excited to share those stories,” said Hutton.

Zozobra in 1936
The 1936 incarnation of Zozobra.

Hutton Broadcasting has produced more than 50 short films since 2017 along with hundreds of commercial projects. Last year Hutton Broadcasting completed its first longer project, a 25-minute documentary of the La Fonda Hotel. This production was very well received at La Fonda’s 100th-anniversary gala in January 2022. The film documenting Zozobra’s centennial will be Hutton Broadcasting’s most ambitious video production yet.

Ray Sandoval, the Zozobra event chairman, said, “The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe is proud to again partner with Hutton Broadcasting, this time to commemorate Zozobra’s 100th anniversary with a film that will be as grand as Zozobra is tall.”

Sandoval continued, “For years Hutton has generously provided sponsorships for the Burning of Zozobra to help us in our mission to make the lives of kids in Santa Fe better. The proceeds from the event are granted to local nonprofits that aid underserved kids. We could think of no one other than Hutton Broadcasting to work with to document this monumental anniversary.”

Zozobra History

Will Shuster and a group of his friends burned the first incarnation of Zozobra in 1924 in Shuster’s backyard. The tradition continued and grew, as did Zozobra himself, with Shuster building the marionette larger and larger. In 1963, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe officially became involved and the following year, Shuster signed over all rights to the nonprofit organization.

In 2019, 64,000 spectators gathered at Fort Marcy Park to watch the spectacle. Even COVID didn’t prevent the 50-foot-tall puppet from meeting his fiery fate. In 2020, the burning took place as usual, but without the crowds, and was streamed online with people worldwide watching his destruction — having sent in their woes and worries to be burned along with him. Over the past 98 years, Zozobra has been filled with innumerable “glooms” that people want to be burned away. He has earned not only a special place in the hearts of Santa Feans but his own margarita, an art show featuring versions of his gloomy image, merchandise, and much more.

Zozobra is burned on the Friday before Labor Day each year and is scheduled to again meet his fate Friday, September 2, 2022. For more information about the annual Burning of Zozobra, go to and our major events post.

To learn more about Hutton Broadcasting’s video productions, go to

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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