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ULM to expand film and television production in northeast Louisiana with Entertainment Development Fund grant

Published May 29, 2024


MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe is the latest recipient of a grant from the state’s Entertainment Development Fund. The state university will receive $750,000 over three years to create opportunities for students interested in the film industry.

Specifically, the funds will support an in-house motion picture production studio at the Clarke M. Williams Innovation Campus, to complement the Film and Media Arts Concentration within the university’s Communications Degree program. In addition, the studio will host filmmaking summer camps for high school students across the region.

“In Louisiana, creativity is our most abundant natural resource, and the Entertainment Development Fund is designed to support educational and workforce training programs to ensure that this state can meet the critical demands of the entertainment industry,” said Chris Stelly, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment, a division of LED. “With the help of this grant, ULM will educate and train students from high school to college and beyond in the fundamentals of filmmaking in a studio production environment. LED is excited to be a partner in this endeavor in northeast Louisiana.”

The Entertainment Development Fund supports the state’s entertainment workforce through education and training programs. ULM will receive $250,000 a year from the fund for three years, for a total of $750,000.

To prepare students for the dynamic entertainment industry, ULM will use the Entertainment Development Fund grant to acquire state-of-the-art equipment that will give students hands-on experience with the latest technology used in film production. ULM’s studio space on the innovation campus houses ADR editing suites and greenscreen-equipped sound stages, as well as professional office spaces and meeting rooms to support the university’s workforce training initiatives and help attract entertainment industry projects.

“ULM sincerely appreciates LED’s support of our efforts to enhance our academic programs in communications and to meet the pipeline needs for well-educated employees for the entertainment industry,” said Dr. Ron Berry, ULM President. “LED’s funding will provide our faculty and students access to leading-edge technology that will help guide the future development and success of the entertainment industry in Louisiana. We are honored to be chosen as a partner with LED to help expand opportunities for high-paying and rewarding jobs in Louisiana.”

Through the Entertainment Development Fund, LED has invested more than $7.5 million to date in education and workforce development programs at higher education and nonprofit institutions throughout Louisiana. The fund initiative earned top honors at the 2023 International Economic Development Council Awards ceremony in September, receiving a Gold Award for Innovative Programs and Initiatives as well as a nomination for Best in Show, recognizing the best economic development program in all categories.

About LED

Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant economy. In 2023, LED attracted more than $25 billion of capital investment resulting in the creation of 19,000 potential new and retained jobs. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.