Local Program Aims To Help Vets In Film Industry

Las Cruces, NM – The Returning Veterans Film Employment Project is a group created by New Mexico veterans for veterans to create a clean, green, film and digital media technical training program.

The organization specifically hopes to reach out to disabled and female veterans who are struggling with the readjustment after military duty.

According to Planning Board President John Muir, New Mexico is the third largest producer of film and digital media in the nation, but he says southern New Mexico's lack of infrastructure denies the area a share of the state's production jobs and income.

Muir-"One of the problems is that we have a perception that southern NM is sort of a wasteland when it comes to being able to provide the infrastructure necessary to make any number of different films. One partial remedy that we hope to try to address this issue is for REV-FEP to establish a self sustaining film equipment and rental supply business that would generate long term operating capital and gross receipts tax for Dona Ana County."

Muir says the need for technical job training for veterans has been well established and this program will train veterans to be useful in a variety of areas regarding film making in the state.

The program is in the process of raising start up funds and securing facilities such as classrooms and studio space to run the school like program. Maur says it will be similar to the Creative Media Technology program at New Mexico State University and Dona Ana Community College, but it is specifically geared toward returning veterans.

All five members of New Mexico's Congressional Delegation agreed to authorize their office to assist in identifying funding sources and the State Legislature's Military and Veterans Affairs Interim Committee approved the writing of a bill to help fund the program through existing incentives.