Earlier this week, the first movie studio owned by a Native American tribe opened in New Mexico. The studio will begin producing movies, television and mobile entertainment platforms, and Tesuque Pueblo’s Camel Rock Studios will initially include standing sets, vistas, and planned shooting stages. With the support of New Mexico and the Santa Fe Film Office, Tesuque Pueblo has reimagined a former casino into a production space. The 75,000 square-foot multi-use production facility and film studio features standing sets, and 100 acres of open space on the pueblo. The studio also provides access to iconic locations including Ghost Ranch, Taos and El Santuario de Chimayo.
“It’s a bit of a back-to-the-future facility,” said Timothy J. Brown, president and CEO, Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation. “Camel Rock was conceived to follow the tradition of the historic Hollywood studios—like Warner Bros. and Paramount—with their off-site film ranches.”
Pueblo of Tesuque Governor Robert Mora, Sr. added, “It’s certainly an important milestone for our pueblo to launch the first studio of its kind. The pueblo has a storied history of movies shot on location at Camel Rock and represents a wonderful opportunity for the Hollywood community to share in the benefits of one of the most amazing places on Earth, featuring a studio nestled in terrain of mythical seminal beauty in the heart of Pueblo country.”
The movie ranch soft-opened in 2019 with a major feature film from Universal Pictures starring Tom Hanks called “News of the World,” based on the best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles and directed by Paul Greengrass. The film will arrive in theaters this Christmas. Producer Gregory Goodman said, “We recently wrapped our first major production at Camel Rock Studios and couldn’t have been more pleased with our experience. The studio anticipated and met all of our needs, and their attention to detail made for a seamless production. We certainly intend to bring more films to Camel Rock in the future.”
Native American Chris Eyre, an internationally recognized film and television director and producer whose work has been awarded with a Peabody, Emmy and Sundance Audience Award, is a Camel Rock Studios advisor. “In the past, Native Americans have been misrepresented and marginalized both in front of and behind the camera,” said Eyre. “In 2020 the Tesuque tribe of New Mexico is changing this narrative, and I am honored to be part of this groundbreaking new endeavor.”
Cherokee American actor, film producer and Oscar honoree Wes Studi, critically acclaimed for his work in Academy Award-winning films “Dances with Wolves” and “The Last of the Mohicans,” shared his support for Camel Rock. “Tesuque Tribe’s production facility has already proven itself with the film ‘News of the World.’ They are a great new addition to the film and television world of New Mexico,” he said.
“We have an aggressive five-year plan to expand our business and our footprint,” said Brown. “As we grow our studio, we are striving to make this a comprehensive production facility that will support global productions across multiple platforms, including film and television, digital streaming, music, and gaming.”
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