Netflix announces New Mexico investments, including new film

The film will star Idris Elba and be produced by Jay-Z

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Netflix Inc. announced it is making additional investments in New Mexico, including a jobs training program and the production of a new film.

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The announcement comes one year after Netflix signed a deal to purchase Albuquerque Studios, The Albuquerque Journal reports.

An upcoming original film starring Idris Elba and produced by Jay-Z will be made in New Mexico, Netflix said.

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Preproduction and casting for extras have begun for "The Harder They Fall,” which is scheduled to begin production in March, the company said.

The project is expected to be filmed in and around Santa Fe County, Diablo Canyon and ranches in the area.

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Netflix also plans a partnership with NBCUniversal and the state of New Mexico to launch a training program for production jobs to serve New Mexico’s growing film industry.

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Netflix and NBCUniversal have pledged to each donate $55,000 per year over the next decade to support the program, officials said.

State Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said the training program will help crew members receive advanced training.

“This program will help elevate the crew members in moving up. Productions will be able to hire more New Mexicans through this program,” Keyes said.

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Netflix announced plans to purchase Albuquerque Studios in October 2018 and signed the deal in January 2019 for Netflix to spend $1 billion over a decade and add 1,000 jobs per year.

The state and city of Albuquerque contributed $10.4 million in Local Economic Development Act funds to secure the deal.

Netflix has spent more than $150 million qualified production in the state, used more than 2,000 production vendors and hired more than 1,600 cast and crew members during the last year, state officials said.