The New Mexico Film Office has always had a focus on training more New Mexicans for jobs in TV and film.
While the industry has done well at below-the-line jobs such as crew, it is making strides with getting New Mexicans into above-the-line jobs.
It is run by Stowe Story Labs founder and director David Rocchio and co-founder David Pope.
“Building this program has been a joy. The film office team’s excitement about finding and nurturing new voices in New Mexico energized us, and we all at Stowe Story Labs have had a tremendous time designing the program and now can’t wait to deliver it,” Rocchio says.
There were 10 projects chosen from a pool of 200 applicants.
The training program starts in May and will be conducted in three phases lasting a total of six months.
“This initiative is a direct result of our partnerships with major studios in New Mexico and our commitment to nurture homegrown talent,” says Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico Economic Development secretary. “I am excited to see this diverse group of New Mexico storytellers receive training and guidance so their projects can move forward.”
Participants must be current New Mexican residents or New Mexicans studying out-of-state. Applicants had to demonstrate an ability to write a feature or television script, capacity to learn and incorporate new skills and approaches into their work, a collaborative nature, and willingness to develop a strong story idea.
Participants are responsible for the program’s application fee and travel costs to Taos, however, program design, application process, instruction, mentoring, meals and lodging are provided through funding from the New Mexico Film Office.
“New Mexico is brimming with creative, skilled, diverse writers and the New Mexico New Voices program is an impactful way to foster and empower them and their stories for the screen,” says Amber Dodson, New Mexico Film Office director. “The competition was tough and we congratulate every writer who, after a deep dive with Stowe Story Labs, will have a pitch-ready script, which is no small feat.”
The chosen individuals and writing teams are:
• “The Sun Rises on Another Day” – Chelese Belmont and Shannan Reeve of Albuquerque.
• “Starlight Tour” by Thomas Gray of Española.
• “That One Night in J-Town” by Liana Morales of Albuquerque.
• “Freedom” by Ruben Muller of Albuquerque.
• “Bluebird Patrol” by Daniel Peaslee of Santa Fe.
• “Unwritten” by Brittany Ramirez and Micaela Legarda of Las Cruces.
• “Marked as Other” by Kira Sipler and Lorraine Montez of Albuquerque.
• “From the Same Plate” by Enrique Cruz Torres of Santa Fe.
• “River of Hope” by Raquel Troyce of Albuquerque.
• “Mustapha” by Carmen Tsabetsaye of Albuquerque.
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