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CNM, City Partner to Bring Film Production Center of Excellence to Downtown Rail Yards

Partnership aims to build on downtown revitalization while increasing CNM's capacity to meet the growing workforce needs of the state's film industry.
CNM, City Partner to Bring Film Production Center of Excellence to Downtown Rail Yards
CNM President Kathie Winograd and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller sign an agreement to begin planning for a CNM Film Production Center of Excellence at the downtown Rail Yards.

Jan 16, 2019

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and CNM President Kathie Winograd announced plans to establish a CNM Film Production Center of Excellence at the historic Rail Yards location in downtown Albuquerque, which would support efforts to revitalize the downtown economy while ramping up CNM’s Film Technician programs to meet the workforce needs of New Mexico’s flourishing film industry. CNM would be the City’s first tenant at the Rail Yards after a 20-year effort to redevelop the location.

The new partnership comes on the heels of Netflix’s momentous announcement in October 2018 to locate its primary film and TV production hub at Albuquerque Studios, which will greatly increase demand for well-trained “below-the-line” film production employees in areas like camera operation, post-production editing, grip, construction for film and more. On Jan. 16, MovieMaker magazine ranked Albuquerque the No. 1 place to live and work as a filmmaker, ahead of Atlanta, Vancouver, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Austin (Texas) and Montreal.

Mayor Keller and President Winograd signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will begin a comprehensive process to evaluate infrastructure needs at the spacious site to accommodate a CNM Film Production Center of Excellence.

“By teaming up with CNM to potentially locate the new film school at the Rail Yards, we are opening the door to bring access to training and good paying jobs right into the heart of our city,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “This partnership is a reflection of our city’s natural strengths like our growing film industry and special places like the Rail Yards that have so much potential.”

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CNM Film Technician instructor Charlie O'Dowd, left, and CNM students filming a scene.
“CNM is committed to providing our community members with the training opportunities they need to secure quality employment in our community and state,” said CNM President Kathie Winograd. “And we’re thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with the City of Albuquerque and our commitment to help revitalize downtown by exploring the possibility of opening a CNM Film Production Center of Excellence at the historic Rail Yards location. CNM has been producing skilled film technicians to support our film industry for 15 years, and now we need to expand our capacity to meet the growing demand for these skilled professionals.”

CNM is the largest producer of below-the-line professionals for the state’s heralded film industry. Learn more about CNM’s Film Technician programs.

The current master plan for the Rail Yards is to create a vibrant live-work-play hub, while maintaining the cultural and historical significance of the site. The project will provide an educational ladder to those in the community who wish to pursue a career in the multi-million dollar film industry. With the addition of CNM as a potential anchor tenant, we can expect interest from other related businesses to increase, therefore boosting economic development in the city.