Navajo Nation to be promoted as major film, media destination

Sep 1, 2021, 4:15 AM
(Facebook Photo/Navajo Nation TV & Film)...
(Facebook Photo/Navajo Nation TV & Film)
(Facebook Photo/Navajo Nation TV & Film)

PHOENIX — Navajo Nation will be promoted as a major film and media destination through a partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in late July is designed to develop marketing strategies, implement training and employment opportunities in film and digital media production, and create a talent and production base.

“We look forward to developing a new and structured film and media opportunity for our Navajo Nation,” Edsel Pete, program manager with Navajo Nation TV & Film, said in a press release.

“It is a great endeavor to develop a thriving film and media industry that will provide economic, workforce and training opportunities.”

The partnership will provide another outlet to recover from economic losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 5,000 films and TV shows have been filmed in Arizona in the last century, according to the release.

“The Navajo Nation is home to countless stunning landscapes rarely seen in television and film — until now,” Matthew Earl Jones, director of film and digital media with ACA, said in the release.

“We are excited to partner with Navajo Nation TV & Film to present these diverse locations to filmmakers in Arizona and nationally that highlight the unique culture of the Navajo Nation.”

Production of a six-episode television series based on crime novels by the late author Tony Hillerman is underway in New Mexico, the state Film office announced Tuesday.

A psychological thriller set in the Four Corners region of the US Southwest, “Dark Winds” is a production of AMC Networks and Dark Winds Productions LLC and centers on two Navajo Nation police officers trying to solve a double murder in the Four Corners region.

The series will be shot on the Navajo reservation and in Santa Fe and other locations from late August through November and is expected to premiere in 2022, the Film Office said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Navajo Nation to be promoted as major film, media destination