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Native American representation in Netflix’s upcoming ‘Rez Ball’

Shiprock is one of the filming locations for ‘Rez Ball’
Shiprock will be one of several sites for the feature film “Rez Ball.” (Cortez Journal file)

New Mexico’s film industry is growing every day, supporting recent projects such as “Two Sinners and a Mule,” filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, and the television series “Stranger Things,” filmed in several Albuquerque locations.

The most recent and anticipated film is Netflix’s coming of age sports drama, “Rez Ball” which will represent New Mexico’s culture and diverse landscape.

The film will follow a Native American basketball team working together to win a state championship after losing their star player. It will be set in Chuska.

“Rez Ball” is directed by Sydney Freeland with LeBron James as one of the producers.

The cast consists of Native Americans actors, including Jessica Matten, Julia Jones, Amber Midthunder, Kiowa Gordon, Dallas Goldtooth, Cody Lightning and Ernest Tsosie, alongside first-time actor Kauchani Bratt as the male lead.

The film locations include Shiprock, Belen, Los Lunas, Estancia, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho and permitted filming on the Navajo Nation Reservation.

As of Tuesday, a specific release date has not been announced, but it is expected to be released in late 2023 or early 2024.