BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – A new partnership between a local film company and Democratic Representative Derrick Lente aims to fill New Mexico film industry jobs with New Mexico residents.

Holy Smokes: Project Film kicked off its pilot program this week at Bernalillo High School. Its mission is to teach students how their schoolwork will translate to real jobs in our state’s burgeoning film industry. It will also help them obtain hours on real film sets with the goal of getting them accepted into a film union by the time they graduate.

“So for example the culinary arts program translates to Craft Services and Catering.”

Nadine Nagamatsu Holy Smokes: Project Film

The pilot project for 2020 is being funded with part of Representative Lente’s discretionary fund, but the long term goal will be to expand the program to all 281 public schools statewide. Industry professionals say it’s a way to keep New Mexico’s film industry local, while boosting kid’s dreams and the local economy.

“If we can have the built in workforce immediately when the kids graduate high school there would be no need to import those workers with whatever skills they have from out of state.”

Representative Derrick Lente (D) New Mexico

Representative Lente will be working on a plan to fund the potential expansion over the next year. He’ll work to find supporting legislators during the upcoming session.