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NBCUniversal donates $17K to ENMU film program

Parisa Fitz-Henley and Dylan Bruce on the set of “Midnight, Texas.” NBC built the town of Midnight in the backlot of Albuquerque Studios. (Lewis Jacobs/NBC)

NBCUniversal continues to give back to New Mexico.

The company purchased a studio in Albuquerque in 2019 and got involved in the state’s Give Back program.

Eastern New Mexico University is home to the latest academic program to benefit from a workforce development initiative supported by film productions around the state, said Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes.

A check for $17,014 was presented Tuesday to the ENMU Department of Theater and Digital Filmmaking.

The check from NBCUniversal was part of the Film Incentive Give Back program, bright spotbased on expenditures from the television series “Midnight, Texas Season 2,” which filmed in the state over a two-year period.

To date, more than $680,000 has been paid to film and media education programs around New Mexico from production companies that do business in the state under a unique Give Back program to boost workforce training.

The nonresident crew Give Back requirement is one of the initiatives of the Economic Development Department under the Film Incentives Tax Credit, which is helping to sustain a long-term industry cluster in New Mexico.

“This is a unique part of our film incentives law,” Keyes said. “The industry is investing in workforce development, which will lead to better careers for our students and more jobs in New Mexico. That’s how we create higher-paying jobs and diversify our economy.”

The ENMU Digital Filmmaking program provides a comprehensive education in all facets of the arts. Students study acting, directing, visual design, sound design, and screenwriting, as well as technical skills like camera operation, lighting, sound recording, and postproduction.

“The Digital Filmmaking program at Eastern New Mexico University is immensely pleased to be receiving this donation from NBCUniversal through the New Mexico Film office Give Back program,”said Neil Rutland, chair of the Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking. “These funds will go toward meeting the financial needs of our students through scholarships, grants, and other assistance that will aid them in the production of their student films and acquiring important industry internships.”

Contributions have also been given to film and media programs in Carlsbad, EspaƱola, Las Vegas, Alamogordo, Taos, Los Lunas, Roswell, Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Under other agreements with the state, both Netflix and NBCUniversal are required to provide $55,000 a year to the Economic Development Department for workforce development. NBCUniversal has also initiated an aspiring director internship program for students in New Mexico.

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