New Mexico’s new film training academy finds a home

Mar 29, 2023, 5:58 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s special academy for training workers in the film and television industry is a step closer to fruition, with top state officials announcing Wednesday that it will be headquartered in Albuquerque.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and others gathered at the Albuquerque Rail Yards to announce that the location will serve as the primary hub for the New Mexico Media Academy. There also will be a satellite campus in Las Cruces to serve the southern part of the state.

Lawmakers in 2022 approved $40 million for the effort, and numerous post-secondary institutions that offer film and media programs have agreed on the core curriculum for students.

State officials said the goal is to meet the increasing need for trained professionals for an industry that generated $1.5 billion in direct film production spending over the past two fiscal years. They say the industry supports an estimated 8,000 jobs statewide and that a record 109 productions were filmed in New Mexico last year.

Those productions included AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”

Filmmaker Chad Burris has been named as the academy’s executive director. An attorney and member of the Chickasaw Nation, Burris’ production credits include “Four Sheets to the Wind” by Sterlin Harjo, Michael Winterbottom’s “Killer Inside Me,” and most recently Billy Luther’s feature “Frybread Face and Me,” which premiered at South by Southwest.

Burris said in a statement that the academy represents an opportunity for New Mexico to produce talent and content “on a scale never imagined.”

“I look forward making this a hub for all local talent and a launch pad for new ideas,” he said.

Once completed, the academy will offer hands-on and craft-specific training. Virtual and extended reality production will be among the focuses.

Central New Mexico Community College will co-locate at the Rail Yards with the academy. Local voters approved $7 million for the college to expand its film training program, and funding will go toward designing and constructing the program at the Rail Yards.

New Mexico State University and Doña Ana Community College are partners in the southern New Mexico campus.

The goal is to admit 1,000 students annually, with Netflix, NBCUniversal and 828 Productions working with the academy and offering paid apprenticeships to students.

National News

Associated Press

Lawsuit seeking new congressional lines for NY could have national political implications

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Lawyers seeking redrawn congressional lines in New York argued before a state appeals court Thursday in a Democrat-backed lawsuit that could have implications in the 2024 fight for control of the House. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of 10 New York voters who want a state redistricting commission to submit […]

14 hours ago

Casey White arrives at the Lauderdale County Courthouse for a sentence hearing in Florence, Ala., T...

Associated Press

Inmate sentenced to life following escape with help by Alabama jailer

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate who escaped with help from a jail official who ultimately ended up taking her own life as police closed in was sentenced Thursday to life in prison. Casey White, 39, told those gathered in the Lauderdale County courtroom that he felt like the most hated man in the […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers vote on bill that considers reparations for slavery

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York would create a commission to consider reparations to address the lingering, negative effects of slavery under a bill being voted on by the state Legislature on Thursday. “We want to make sure we are looking at slavery and its legacies,” said state Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages before the floor debate. […]

14 hours ago

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, a candidate for the Democratic nomin...

Associated Press

Presley gets Mississippi Democratic nod for governor without party primary, after court ruling

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Utility regulator Brandon Presley is now uncontested for the Democratic nomination for Mississippi governor this year after the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that another Democratic candidate waited too long to challenge being kept off the ballot. Presley is trying to block Republican Gov. Tate Reeves from winning a second term […]

14 hours ago

FILE - A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco on Nov. 18, 2022. The Los Angeles D...

Associated Press

Los Angeles district attorney’s office quits Twitter due to barrage of ‘vicious’ homophobic attacks

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office said Thursday it has left Twitter due to barrage of “vicious” homophobic attacks that were not removed by the social media platform even after they were reported. The account, which went by the handle @LADAOffice, no longer exists on Twitter. “Our decision to archive our Twitter account was not […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

DeSantis recruiters eyed Catholic church for migrant flights that bishop calls ‘reprehensible’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recruiters set their sights on Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Texas border city of El Paso in search of asylum-seekers they could take from its bustling migrant shelter to California’s capital on taxpayer-funded private jets. Intentionally or not, envoys for Florida’s Catholic governor and Republican presidential […]

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

New Mexico’s new film training academy finds a home