Taos Youth Gain Experience in the Film Industry Through a State Competition
A $6,160 grant to NM Film Prize on March 22, 2022
The film industry has become a significant economic driver in New Mexico, and the NM Film Prize Junior New Mexico—a statewide competition in which students write and produce short films that are shown at a culminating festival—presents a valuable opportunity for youth to gain experience in the industry, opening pathways into higher education and careers in New Mexico’s growing film and creative sectors.
The problem for the 113 Taos students taking part in the competition is that in order to produce their 15 films, they need mentors with the technical experience (and equipment) who can help them produce and edit the films—and funds to attend the film competition in Española. University of New Mexico-Taos’ Digital Media Arts facility has both the staff and the equipment to help—so NM Film Prize staff and Taos educators reached out to LOR for help. LOR’s funding was used to hire film mentors to conduct workshops for Taos students and teachers using UNM-Taos’ media arts facility and also supported travel stipends for students and teachers to attend the film festival.
Two Taos County students won big at the competition: Thirteen-year-old Questa homeschool student Tulsi Shaw won the Middle School Grand Prize Judge’s Award for Best Film for her film “Earth.” Her film also won the Best Middle School Animated Film award. The Sci-Fi Thriller award went to “Camp Sunshine” by Roots and Wings Community School. This project was led by eighth-graders Kyla Stow, Gabriel Chavez, Will Place and Ilan O’Donnell. (Read Tulsi’s interview with Taos News.)
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