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Giveback funding benefits ENMU-R film program

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The film and media arts program at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell will receive $20,000 from a state program.

The New Mexico Film Office announced Friday that it is disbursing $330,000 to 20 higher education institutions in the state from the Giveback program. The money from that program comes from film, TV and media productions that participate in the Film Office’s tax credit incentive program.

Alan Trevor, head of the film and media arts program at ENMU-Roswell, said that the school had received $20,000 this time. It received $15,000 from the fund in September 2017.

“We want to get some TV equipment that will double as film equipment,” he said. “We have a lot of students that are interested in TV production, and we have needs to replace some older equipment that we got about 13 years ago, 15 years ago and support students in their filmmaking and production.”

Trevor said that the coronavirus is affecting student enrollment, but that ENMU-R has 10 students enrolled in the media arts program this semester.

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While students are not receiving in-person instruction yet, he said that he plans to purchase the equipment now and anticipates being able to teach in-person with smaller groups sometime soon.

The main ENMU campus in Portales also received some of the funding.

Jonathan Barr, chairman of the theater and digital filmmaking department, said that some of the money will be used to purchase cameras, LED light sets and a wireless microphone system. Some also is expected to go to a student filmmaker scholarship fund.

The Giveback program allows a tax credit for production companies that agree to pay into the fund 2.5% of their personnel costs for certain categories of workers who are non-New Mexico residents. The workers are known as “below the line” crew. According to the Film Office, the Giveback program is intended to support film and media arts education and workforce development in New Mexico.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.