NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Student filmmakers from New Mexico State University are getting hands-on experience out in the field, while also learning about the history of the Gila wilderness. NMSU partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to create the Gila Film School.

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The program aims to help protect local wildlife in the Gila wilderness. To help get the message across, students have made six short documentaries. These documentaries were shot during a nearly two-week, 17 mile backpacking trip in the Gila. “We’re really hoping this project will encourage people to protect the Gila and connect to the land in new ways and be inspired,” Associate Professor of NMSU Creative Media Institute Ilana Lapid said.

The documentaries will be showcased by the U.S. Forest Service. The films will then be sent to different fourth grade classrooms across New Mexico.