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Group to assist local talent

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A group of filmmakers wants to help make it easier to develop film and TV projects in New Mexico.

Blue Sky Productions and its Blue Sky Producers Lab will focus on the development of scripts and the packaging of locally conceived TV, film and media projects.

The company, which is announcing its launch this afternoon, is being started by Kenneth Segura Knoll, Tony DellaFlora, Sean Cardinalli and Dan Landis.

Blue Sky Productions will work in conjunction with Invest New Mexico and Turquoise Trail Releasing, both owned by Knoll, for its financial and distribution deals.

Knoll, DellaFlora and Cardinalli are all veterans in the film industry. Knoll has worked on more than 500 productions, while DellaFlora is one of the co-founders of the Flicks on 66/Duke City Shootout. Cardinalli has been a screenwriter for 20 years and worked on the development team behind “The Blair Witch Project” and “Requiem for a Dream.”

DellaFlora said Blue Sky Productions will fill a missing piece in the local film industry.

“On the local level, it’s been very hard to find funding for projects built out of New Mexico,” he said. “I felt like for a long time, the next step is building a base of creative talent. That’s why people go to L.A. That’s where all the writers are. For the long-term survival of the industry here, we have to create content here.”

Blue Sky will launch a crowdfunding effort beginning in May, when federal laws allow investors to participate in equity funding.

In the meantime, the group will issue a call for projects.

DellaFlora said it will select the five most commercially viable projects and help the creators work on improving and packaging the projects to make them presentable to potential investors and distributors.

The group will accept treatments, completed scripts and short films that have the potential to be made into feature films.

Initially, preference will be given to projects that can be produced in New Mexico, with budgets under $5 million.

“We not only want to assist local above-the-line talent in getting their projects made, but to train the next generation to do it themselves,” DellaFlora said.

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