Keep up to date with what’s going on with the film office!
Below are the most recent press releases announced by the New Mexico State Film Office. Visit the Bulletin Board for postings submitted by the public.
SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that an episode of the TV series “THEM,” co-produced by Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios, has completed production in Santa Fe.
The production employed approximately 250 New Mexico crew members, 8 New Mexico principal actors and 50 New Mexico extras.
The episode was directed by Craig William Macneill.
Written by Little Marvin, “THEM,” set in 1953, centers on a couple who move their family from North Carolina to Los Angeles. The family’s home becomes ground zero where malevolent forces both real and supernatural threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.
SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico State Film Office Director Amber Dodson announced today that the Netflix-produced feature film, The Harder They Fall, is commencing principal photography and will continue production in Santa Fe and the surrounding area through December 2020.
The Harder They Fall is directed by Jeymes Samuel, a singer-songwriter, producer and director also known as The Bullitts. The Harder They Fall is produced by Jay-Z, James Lassiter, Lawrence Bender, and Jeymes Samuel.
In this Western, outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) discovers that his enemy, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), is being released from prison, so he reunites his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge.
The Cast includes:
Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods, Lovecraft Country), Emmy Award Nominee Zazie Beetz (Joker, Atlanta), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods, The Good Fight), Lakeith Stanfield (Knives Out, Sorry to Bother You), Danielle Deadwyler (Watchmen, Atlanta), Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class, StartUp), RJ Cyler (White Boy Rick, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) with Academy Award Winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, Watchmen) and Golden Globe and SAG Winner Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation, Mandela Long Walk to Freedom).
The production, based in Santa Fe, will employ approximately 500 New Mexico crew members and 312 New Mexico vendors, including background actors, stunt performers, and principal talent.
“The Harder They Fall is one of the first productions to resume in New Mexico since March. We are excited about the all-star line up of directors, producers, cast, and crew and are thankful to our New Mexico Film Partner, Netflix for bringing this exciting production to Santa Fe, which will feature some of our most picturesque landscapes, and will put hundreds of New Mexicans in the motion picture industry back to work and generate revenue for hundreds of local businesses that the industry is dependent upon.” Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary said.
Amber Dodson, said, “We are immensely proud to have a Black-led production of this magnitude, on the ground in New Mexico. The Harder They Fall is a production with a predominately Black cast and lead production team, which signals a move to embrace the call for diversity in America – something we value highly in New Mexico. This production is kicking-off a very busy year ahead as we resume production, and is setting the tone for more inclusive storytelling, filmmaking, and content creation.”
All film and television productions in New Mexico are required to adhere to the state’s operative emergency public health order, associated public health restrictions and COVID Safe Practices. Those restrictions include but are not limited to the adherence to indoor occupancy maximums, the maintaining of a six-foot distance between individuals, wearing masks at all times, daily disinfection, symptom screenings, and more.
The New Mexico Film Office has released Back2One, a catchall set of principles, general recommendations, and resources for film and television productions operating during COVID-19. Back2One recommendations and other COVID Safe Practices can be found at nmfilm.com
For more information on the production, contact:
New Mexico film community is staying COVID-safe and encouraging others to practice social distancing and wear masks in public
SANTA FE, N.M. – Over the last several weeks many famous New Mexicans and film and television industry cast and crew members have taken the NM Safe Promise and voluntarily participated in providing public service announcements for the campaign.
Those who have taken the NM Safe Promise include, Jason Isaacs and Andy Greenwald of NBC Universal’s show Briarpatch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family, as well as Better Call Saul cast members, Giancarlo Esposito, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, and Patrick Fabian.
Championed by the New Mexico Hospitality Association and a coalition of tourism industry leaders, the NM Safe Promise campaign encourages New Mexicans to “make the promise” and follow COVID-safe practices to keep each other safe.
When New Mexicans make the NM Safe Promise, they commit to:
WEAR IT WELL. Use a face covering while in public (except while eating or drinking).
KEEP A DISTANCE. Stay six feet away from others.
STAY HOME WHEN SICK. Take care of themselves and others.
SUDS UP OFTEN. Wash hand frequently and follow recommended hygiene practices.
BE IN THE KNOW. Participate in COVID-19 training.
To learn more and to take the New Mexico Safe Promise visit: nmsafepromise.org
“I’m incredibly grateful to the members of New Mexico’s film, television and media community for helping us spread the word about important safe practices,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “We all want our state’s economy back on its feet and moving in the right direction again as soon as possible, and the film industry can and will play a key role in helping us get there.”
“Film and television is a smart and resilient industry. The people who depend on these jobs are looking to New Mexico to ensure safe and healthy workplaces. With industry and union input, under leadership from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, we expect a robust and sustainable recovery for the film industry, one that will create more high-paying jobs and protect workers,” Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.
“From the start of the pandemic, New Mexicans and members from our business community have coalesced behind a commitment to safety through the NM Safe Promise,” Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “Receiving that additional encouragement from prominent voices in our film industry further strengthens our collective commitment to keeping each other safe as we continue to recover from this pandemic.”
Production has been on a paused since March, however now some areas of the film and television industry are back to work, including pre-production, set construction, and location scouting. These sectors of the industry are operating in compliance with the required COVID-safe practices, and additional production work is expected to be greenlit as public health conditions continue to trend positively.
Amber Dodson, New Mexico Film Office Director added, “the New Mexico film industry is a giving, caring, and tight-knit community. While many of the cast members who voluntarily participated in the COVID-safe public service announcement are not currently in New Mexico, they were more than up for the challenge to help spread the word about the importance of following NM COVID-safe practices.”
For more information on film industry’s NM COVID-safe practices, visit: www.nmfilm.com/covid-19-safe-practices/
Film Schools Across New Mexico Receive Funding Through
New Mexico Film Office’s Giveback Program
$330,000 awarded to colleges and universities as part of a film workforce development program
SANTA FE, N.M. –The New Mexico Film Office (NMFO) announced 20 film programs at higher education institutions throughout New Mexico have received a total of $330,000 in funding from the Non-Resident Below-the-Line Crew Credit Program. Funds will be utilized to purchase equipment, software, materials, supplies, and can be applied to student scholarship programs and other student opportunities.
The Giveback funds come from film and television production companies that have taken part in the state’s film incentive program. The purpose of the program is to strengthen New Mexico’s educational programs that teach film/television production and related fields, thereby supporting growth of the film industry workforce in New Mexico.
“The Giveback Program was established to ensure production companies that come to New Mexico, also make an investment in New Mexico’s future workforce,” New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “The 20 schools that collectively received the $330,000 in funding this year are located all across New Mexico, in both urban and rural regions, including schools on tribal land. We are working to create opportunities and career paths in the film industry for every New Mexican.”
Schools receiving Giveback funds:
- Central New Mexico Community College – Albuquerque
- Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell
- Eastern New Mexico University – Portales
- Highlands University – Las Vegas
- Institute of American Indian Arts – Santa Fe
- Luna Community College – Las Vegas
- Media Arts Collaborative Charter School – Albuquerque
- Navajo Tech University – Crownpoint
- New Mexico State University – Alamogordo
- New Mexico State University – Carlsbad
- New Mexico State University Doña Ana Community College – Las Cruces
- New Mexico State University – Las Cruces
- Northern New Mexico College – Española
- San Juan College – Farmington
- Santa Fe Community College – Santa Fe
- Southwest University of Visual Arts – Albuquerque
- University of New Mexico Film and Digital Arts – Albuquerque
- University of New Mexico Taos Campus -Taos
- University of New Mexico Grants Campus – Grants
- University of New Mexico Valencia Campus – Los Lunas
“These awards are another example of the positive and wide-reaching impact film and TV production has on a community, beyond just the cast and crew, or even shooting location. Students in Alamogordo and Portales benefit from productions that are shot in Albuquerque and Las Cruces,” NMFO Director Amber Dodson said. “The funds from the studios and production companies are an important contribution to, and a long-term investment in, New Mexico’s film industry, and are key to continuing to support and expand our world-class workforce.”
New Mexico productions that contributed to the fund include: “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” “Midnight Texas Season 2,” “Briarpatch,” ‘Daybreak,” ” El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” “UFO Road Trip,” “Chambers,” “The Biggest Loser,” and “Deputy.”
James Lujan, Department Chair of Cinematic Arts and Technology at the Institute of American Indian Arts, said that the money will help them with a much needed contingency plan should productions shut down again this fall due to the COVID-19 health emergency.
Eastern New Mexico University will purchase five mirrorless DLSR cameras to replace mid-tier cameras, five LED light sets to augment advanced lighting capabilities, and a new wireless lavalier system. The remaining amount will be placed in their Student Filmmaker Scholarship Fund.
“Although we are happy to receive funding at any time, the timing of this giveback is especially perfect for us,” Jonathan Barr, Chair of the Department of Theatre & Digital Filmmaking at Eastern New Mexico University, said. “This giveback money will be used to purchase much needed equipment updates that we would not otherwise be able to obtain, due to budget restraints and our current economic crisis.”
“The timing is great for the donation. We will upgrade the cinematography equipment, purchase specialized lighting, and provide students with a one-ton grip kit to use on filmmaking projects and the on campus green screen studio,” Luke Renner, Professor Digital Media Arts & Design at San Juan College, said. “Funds will also allow us to provide internships opportunities, especially for students in rural areas, assist students financially with fees associated with industry conferences, and cover costs to bring in outside industry professionals for on-campus workshops for both San Juan College students and high school students in San Juan County Film and Digital Media Program.”
The Giveback program was initiated to support the growth of the New Mexico film industry’s future workforce. Productions filmed in New Mexico that participate in the Non-Resident Below-the-Line Crew Credit Program are required to provide 2.5% of direct production expenditures for the payment of wages, fringe benefits, and per diem for non-resident industry crew to support educational or workforce development efforts in New Mexico.
Long-Time New Mexico Resident and Author Max Evans Leaves Behind A Legacy
Evans was a key link between New Mexico and Hollywood
SANTA FE, N.M. -Today the New Mexico Film Office honors the life and legacy of Max Evans, a New Mexico film writer and real-life cowboy. The well-known author was born in Ropes, Texas and resided in Albuquerque until his passing on August 26, 2020, at the age of 95.
A World War II Veteran, Max Evans arrived in Taos in 1949. New Mexico would become the inspiration behind his American literary novels, which in the 1960’s and 1970’s became motion picture films that began a decade of some of the best Westerns ever.
“Max Evans was a real-life cowboy. From serving in the military, to taking on Hollywood, Mr. Evans leaves a legacy that is honorable and well-respected across many areas like film and television and agriculture,” said Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “Mr. Evans was an American literary figure who painted life in the American West by his words that eventually made it to the big screen and set the stage for Hollywood to become fascinated with this part of the world, a fascination that still exists today. We are thankful for the legacy that Mr. Evans leaves us with and we send our deepest condolences to his family.”
New Mexico Department of Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte, who hosts an annual Rounders Award in honor of Evans, describes his legacy:
What do you remember most about Max Evans?
“Max was a special family friend who I was most fortunate to connect with through the Rounders Award, named in his honor. Max spent some time in his youth growing up on a ranch on Glorieta Mesa. The rancher he was working with was Ed Young, who was one of my grandfather’s best friends. My time with Max led him to tell stories of spending time with my grandparents on their ranch. He was a true connection to my family heritage. He would also tell many funny tales, which I wish I would have recorded, because most of the time I laughed so hard, I could not remember the exact stories.“
What parts of New Mexico do you think Max would have loved to visit one more time?
“Max absolutely loved what he called “The Hi-Lo Country”, the basis for his book and film. That is the Northeast part of NM. He also loved the Glorieta Mesa area. A few years back, he met up with my dad, who took him to the Ed Young homestead area and showed him most of the Mesa where Max grew up. He told me many times how much that meant to him.”
What legacy has he left in New Mexico History and Agriculture as one of our foremost writers?
“Max is credited with being a pioneer in the NM Film industry and left a legacy of Agriculture. His work as an author and artist, along with his love of ranching has tied two dynamic cultures together. Every year, when I present the Rounder’s award, I have many western artists and many from the agriculture industry comment about the importance of the award and the fact that we bring a dynamic group together. I give Max all the credit.”
The Rounders Award is named after “The Rounders,” a classic western novel written by Evans. Created in 1990 by former New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Frank DuBois, the purpose of the award is to honor those who live, promote and articulate the Western way of life. A ceremony has typically been held each fall in Santa Fe, at which the New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture and Evans present the awards. All past recipients are invited, and many stories are shared. A total of 27 individuals have received this honor, including Evans as the inaugural award recipient.
Evans’ novels would go on to become the basis for highly acclaimed Hollywood films.
In 1965 The Rounders, a film about two modern-day cowboys and an impossible to-tame horse, starred Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda.
In the 1970 film, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, a story of a hobo who is saved by stumbling onto a water spring in the middle of the desert, learned first-hand about the film industry from Director Sam Peckinpah.
In the 1998 Evans’ novel, The Hi-Low Country, a tale of two New Mexico cowboys returning home from combat service in World War II to find their town taken over by a corporation, which mirrored Evans’ own experience, was filmed in Bernal, N.M. and starred Woody Harrelson and Billy Crudup.
Amber Dodson, Director of the New Mexico Film Office added, “Mr. Evans was a pillar in developing the film industry’s fascination with the American West. New Mexico is the epicenter of that culture and because of early American literary works that became big screen films like those of Max Evans, New Mexico has remained linked to the film and television industry for decades. Mr. Evans lived a long full life and we are grateful for the contributions he made to putting the spotlight on New Mexico through his incredible work.”
Max Evans was a key contributor to founding the New Mexico Film Commission, the first of its kind in the United States. The commission was founded under former Gov. David Cargo and vans was a key in making connections to folks in Hollywood on behalf of the Governor.
In a prior interview, Evans said, “I went to Hollywood alone and on my own dime. I enlisted the help of my agent, Directors Sam Peckinpah, Burt Kennedy, and others. This resulted in a breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Fifty-seven major Hollywood producers and directors were there. Dave Cargo made a powerful speech about filming in New Mexico…The push for film in New Mexico started with him.”
Evans won multiple Spur, Wrangler, and Owen Wister awards for his literature. He was also the proud founder of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Pat Evans and their twin daughters Sheryl and Charlotte.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 17, 2020; Santa Fe, N.M.: The Southwestern Association of Indian Art is pleased to announce, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will present a Native Cinema Showcase selection during this year’s Virtual Indian Market. The film, More than a Word is directed by Kenn and John Little (Hunkpapa Lakota) and the film will be accessible via americanindian.si.edu on August 28 and 29, 2020.
More Than a Word analyzes the Washington football team and their use of a derogatory mascot. Using interviews from both those in favor of changing the name and those against, this documentary presents a deeper analysis of the many issues surrounding the Washington team name.
NATIVE CINEMA SHOWCASE: MORE THAN A WORD
August 28, 2020 | 5 p.m. Mountain Time, 7 p.m. Eastern
August 29, 2020 | 1 p.m. Mountain Time, 3 p.m. Eastern
(USA, 2017, 70 min.)
Free and Open to the Public
Special support for More Than A Word is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional support provided by the New York State Council on the Arts under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative, and by The Walt Disney Company.
Audrey N Rubinstien | M E T T A
505.466.6992 or 505.490.5029
About Virtual Indian Market:
Virtual Indian Market is a SWAIA initiative to support Native arts by establishing a global presence for artists through virtual platforms. Virtual Indian Market is supported by the Clark Hulings Fund, ArtSpan, and other organizations that have helped connect SWAIA with innovative marketing efforts designed to expand the organization’s existing marketplace. For complete information visit, www.swaia.org
About the Museum
The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. For information about the museums, including hours and directions, visit americanindian.si.edu. Additional information is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Today, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) filed an emergency rule that requires employers to report positive COVID-19 cases to NMED within four hours of being notified of the case.
The emergency amendment goes into effect today and will remain in effect for no more than 120 days, unless NMED proposes and the Environmental Improvement Board adopts a permanent rule prior to the end of the 120-day period.
NMED’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau is frequently notified of positive cases after employers are notified, resulting in delayed rapid responses. To date, there have been more than 600 cases where the employer knew of a positive worker before NMED, including more than 280 instances where the employer knew of the case at least three days before NMED.
By requiring employers to report positive cases in a timely manner, the state will be able to more rapidly respond to workplaces, providing immediate guidance and support to employers and preventing the spread of COVID-19 beyond the infected employees.
“A critical element of the state’s rapid responses is timing – we need to hear as soon as possible when a positive case is identified,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “This amendment ensures that New Mexico employees are protected in the workplace and employers are held accountable. Our Occupational Health and Safety Bureau expects compliance with this emergency rule starting today.”
Violations of the emergency rule may result in NMED enforcement action.
The emergency rule is available here.
What’s the census?
The census is a decennial count of every person living in the United States. It determines critical things like redistricting, how many congressional seats each state gets, and the amount of federal funding that each state receives. New Mexico receives over $7 billion every year based on 2010 Census data.
This money supports our communities schools, roads, health care, and helps businesses expand and generate revenue.
In fact, because of 2010 Census data New Mexico gets about $14 million in small business loans over $8 million for career and technical education each year..
This year we have a chance to increase that. The 2020 Census is expected to bring over $115 million in small business development over the next 10 years.
We need your help.
The census has direct impacts on the film industry. It provides a comprehensive and unique profile about the population which organizations use to hire, expand and establish new projects.
So when you count your household on your census form, you ensure that New Mexico receives the funding that we need and deserve to support the creative economy, our social well-being, and overall health.
The census questionnaire is just 10 simple questions that are easy for everyone to answer. Your response is confidential, protected by law, and will not be shared with any other government agency.
Count everyone in your household today and shape the future of New Mexico for the next 10 years!
You can complete the form in three ways:
- Online at gov
- By phone (844) 330-2020
- Or mail it back in.
Will you help us make sure New Mexico’s creative economy is heard?
Native American Filmmakers receive grants to help open new doors into the film industry
SANTA FE, N.M. – Recipients of the newly created Senator John Pinto Memorial Fund (SJP) for Native filmmakers include members from several tribal affiliations, exploring topics including missing women, ancient healing, modern day culture clashes, and entrepreneurship, New Mexico Film Office (NMFO) Director Amber Dodson announced today.
The 2019 legislation provided $100,000 for SJP in honor of the late Senator John Pinto and his relentless support for the Native American Film Industry. Twenty $5,000 grants were awarded to Native film students and filmmakers living and working in New Mexico. Funds can be used toward pre-production, production, and post-production.
Grantees must be registered members of one of the tribes or pueblos of New Mexico.
“All of these filmmakers expressed an enduring need to be the bearers of their own stories, and no longer accept the inconsistency of having stories told about their culture from an outsider’s viewpoint,” Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “That’s the legacy of Senator John Pinto and why we are honored to highlight this work.”
“Supporting diversity in the film industry is vital to expanding diversity on a larger scale, as film is a cornerstone of our culture and history. Each of these filmmakers has an essential story to tell, and the Senator John Pinto Memorial Fund awards will help bring these stories to the screen,” NMFO Director Amber Dodson said. “We are immensely thankful to the late Senator John Pinto and his granddaughter Senator Shannon Pinto, and truly thrilled to support diverse storytelling and filmmaking in New Mexico.”
The following projects were approved for SJP funds:
Chindi, submitted by Robert Mesa (Navajo and Soboba)
“Chindi” tells a futuristic story about a woman in the year 2050 who sends her deceased husband’s mobile devices to a company that recreates an AI version of him using his data. However, after a few days she begins to feel like something is dangerously amiss.
Diyin ~ Holy Project, submitted by Carrie House (Diné)
“Diyin ~ Holy Project” is House’s creation of an indigenous Diné self-narrative. It is a personal and spiritual journey through the multimedia fine art of the filmmaker’s late brother, Conrad House. The film will be an experimental documentary of the deep revelations of Carrie and Conrad’s spiritual connection with the Holy People, within Navajo worldview.
Dream Touch Believe, submitted by Jenna Winters (Santa Clara Pueblo)
“Dream Touch Believe” is the story of Santa Clara Pueblo sculptor Michael Naranjo. As a young man, Naranjo lost his eyesight in the Vietnam War, but not his vision. The sculptor fought critics, social and racial stereotypes, and a disability to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a world-renowned sculptor.
Naranjo is Winters father. “For me, this is not a passion project. Preserving this story is my duty,” Winters said.
Feeding Po’Pay, submitted by Geoffrey Kie (Pueblo of Laguna)
“Feeding Po’Pay” is a journey to learn of Pueblo lifeways through an Indigenous Food Revolution. This project will be an expansion upon Kie’s initial film, which was a peek into the food insecurity that exists in his community. As a Pueblo person, Kie seeks to encourage passion, fight, and resilience among his people, especially in the youth.
Heroes of the West, submitted by Lydell Mitchell (Diné)
“Heroes of the West” tells the story of two Navajo kids in 1987 Albuquerque. Jason and Donny are just two nerdy kids from the wrong side of the tracks that have been best friends since kindergarten. After discovering a precious resource in the boys’ school bathroom during lunch, they fight to keep their claim and team up with a ragtag group of kids in order to make things right.
Mitchell says that his work shows modern indigenous peoples navigating an alien world.
Homeopathy for Native America (working title), submitted by Leahn Marie Cox (Navajo)
This film seeks to show Cox’s view of the parallels between Homeopathy and Native American traditional healing wisdom. Understanding these parallels, Cox explains, can re-inspire interest in Native forms of healing and can help find solutions for highly traumatized and impoverished communities.
Just Kids, submitted by Forrest Goodluck (Diné)
“Just Kids” is a film based in Albuquerque. It follows the lives of three young men, best friends in high school, just coming back from their first year of college. It’s a coming-of-age story about culture and a look at how we form our own identity. Goodluck draws on his experience growing up in Albuquerque and the people in his life to lovingly create this film that explores the characters’ journeys.
Lloyd “Kiva” New: An American Entrepreneur, submitted by Nathaniel Fuentes (Santa Clara Pueblo)
A feature documentary about Lloyd “Kiva” New, focusing on the years that established him as the first Indigenous fashion designer with the “Kiva” Brand and as an indigenous entrepreneur.
Marlon, submitted by Kevin Brown (Navajo)
“Marlon” is the heartbreaking tale of an older, sensitive Native American artist trying to find his path. It’s based on a true story, a story often overlooked in today’s society, and it provides no easy answers.
Meow Loses a Button (working title), submitted by Melissa Henry (Navajo)
“Meow Loses a Button” is a short animation about a moccasin-wearing cat from New Mexico who learns to let go of possessions. When Meow loses a shiny button from his shoe, he suffers from anxiety and emotional distress while surviving many adventures in his search. Meow eventually realizes that he can find peace by being in harmony with nature, letting go of things, and learning to share with others.
Henry plans to complete this project with Navajo and English voiceovers so that she can share it under a Creative Commons License. In this way, Henry explains, the general public and educators can watch and use it at home and in the classroom for free.
Mother’s Day, submitted by Natalie Benally (Navajo)
Based on her own experience as an abuse survivor, Benally has created the short film, “Mother’s Day,” about Natalie, who is going on her first date with hopes that she can begin to start her life again after a long-term, abusive relationship. Through the course of the date she discovers what she needs to truly walk away.
No Love 4 Lamb, submitted by Jonathan Sims (Pueblo of Acoma)
The feature film, “No Love 4 Lamb” is the story of a “below average” Native Navajo guy who is unlucky in love. He finds a girl, but will need to be saved from her and his deathly aversion to mutton. Akin to the typical 30-year-old virgin story, but with some major cultural differences.
A Public Service Announcement Video for Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW), submitted by Cameron L. Martinez Jr. (Taos Pueblo and Laguna Pueblo)
The goal of the video is to bring awareness and information about the plight of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, with specific focus on New Mexico and the Southwest. Martinez hopes to imbue the audience with an understanding of the magnitude and severity of the situation and move them from awareness to action. Upon completion, the PSA will be given to the MMIW Taskforce of New Mexico and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.
Martinez says that his ultimate goal is to “create film and television that would make his Ancestors proud.”
Re-Indigenizing Minds, submitted by Colleen Gorman (Diné)
“Re-Indigenizing Minds” is a series, hosted by Roger Cultee and Colleen Gorman, which teaches a unique Indigenous perspective of the cosmos using sacred calendars, geometry, art, math, science, and knowledge shared across Native cultures. Gorman brings her experience as both artist and teacher to this project.
River Bank, submitted by Charine Gonzales (San Ildefonso Pueblo)
“River Bank” is a Pueblo Narrative Short Film about two fictional characters from the San Ildefonso Pueblo. Gonzales describes it as a “Robin Hood story where Tisha and Saya give to the River and the River gives back to the people.”
Rez Dogs, submitted by Steven Tallas (Navajo)
“Rez Dogs” is a coming-of-age feature film about young people dealing with the problems of living on the reservation, and later coming to the realization that the reservation would always be home. The film was made on a low budget with funds received through a Facebook fundraising campaign. The SJP grant will be used to complete post-production on the film.
Rude Girl, submitted by Joshua Zunie (Zuni Pueblo)
“Rude Girl” tells the story of Oaklynn, a half Native American and half white teenager, dealing with self-identity issues. She connects with her grandmother in an enchanted desert called Summerland to become a superhero and face a longtime bully.
Three Generations: A Family of Artists, submitted by Dawning Pollen Shorty (Taos Pueblo/Sioux and Diné)
Dawning Pollen Shorty was raised at Taos Pueblo in the shadow of the Taos Mountain. Her mother (Track family) is Taos Pueblo/ Sioux and her father (Shorty family) is Diné.
Dawning Pollen Shorty, “Three Generations: A Family of Artists,” celebrates her Taos-based multi-generational artistic roots.
“Three Generations” is a short documentary film that chronicles the lives and histories of the Track/Shorty family through almost one hundred years. The family still continues a tradition of inspiration and creation that has stretched through three generations working as models, potters, sculptors, painters, and musicians.
Together, submitted by Stanley Bain Jr. (Navajo)
“Together” follows Kelly and Mason, both alcoholics, one in recovery and the other still falling prey to his deadly addiction. When Mason reaches out for help, they reconnect one night after months apart.
Bain explains his approach as a filmmaker: “Being a filmmaker provides the opportunity to tell a good story with great characters to provide that escape, or even make an impact beyond that escape, on someone’s life, as it did for me.”
Yazhi Boy, submitted by Daniel Edward Hyde (Navajo and Belizean)
“Yazhi Boy” is a comedy about an unemployed Navajo millennial who sets off on a spiritual quest in the Chuska Mountains as civilization crumbles in the world down below.
Exploring the unique experience of the Navajo Millenial, “Yazhi Boy” considers how one might find their own path toward traditional culture, while still following the time- honored tradition of adaptation.
“Thank you to the New Mexico Film Office and all those who helped make this a reality. I appreciate all the applicants and encourage their continued participation,” Sen. Shannon Pinto said. “Congratulations to the Native American filmmaker awardees, I hope your endeavors lead to extraordinary experiences and long-lasting relationships that change lives for you and the underrepresented communities.”
“I am very grateful to [Senator] John Pinto for creating this grant for Native American filmmakers in New Mexico,” filmmaker Leahn Marie Cox (Homeopathy for Native America) said. “It takes effort to appreciate traditional indigenous knowledge in the world today. I do not lament this, but see this serious challenge as unique and demanding.”
The SJP applications were reviewed by judges Chris Eyre, Nanobah Becker, Ramona Emerson, and Beverly Morris.
Annual survey finds broad support for film and television
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The film and television industry has a 70 percent favorability rating across New Mexico making it the third highest rated industry of the 17 surveyed, according to an analysis released today by the Garrity Group Public Relations.
The Garrity Group has commissioned Research and Polling, Inc. to do its Perception Survey since 2011, but 2020 marks the first time that the film and motion picture industry was included in the analysis. Of the 17 industries, film tied with community colleges as the most favorable with small business (79%) and farm and ranch industry (77%) ranking Nos. 1 and 2.
“The survey shows strong favorability for the film industry across New Mexico because it provides a high-paying career path for local students who want to work in the entertainment industry,” said Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “It’s also indicative of the support we hear from business owners who receive benefits from in-state production spending on goods and services.”
“I am glad to see support for film and television all across New Mexico,” New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson said. “We have worked hard to bring productions into rural areas and to showcase communities outside the Rio Grande Corridor. This survey shows people everywhere in the state want to see this industry grow and succeed.”
The favorability of the film industry cuts across all demographic groups in New Mexico, but tops out with college graduates with 81% of the group giving the industry a 4 or 5 favorability rating on a scale of 1 to 5. Hispanics are just as likely as Anglos to give the industry a rating of 4 or 5.
Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group Public Relations, said the film industry was included in the survey because of its increasing economic impact and the positive exposure it brings to New Mexico. “It provides a sense of pride when we see the state’s natural and unique landscapes featured on the big screen. The fact that major studios are now here and film throughout the state will continue to generate intangible benefits for tourism and economic development.”
Get a detailed look at the 2020 Garrity Perception Survey…
James Gollin will serve as Chair
SANTA FE, N.M. – A panel of experts and industry leaders have been appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham as members of the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries, Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.
James D. Gollin will serves as Council Chair and work with Gov. Lujan Grisham, Secretary Keyes, and New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson and her staff, to reinvent the role of the Film Council, helping to ensure New Mexico sustains the industry’s growth and create higher-paying jobs.
“The growth of New Mexico’s film industry has been one of the success stories in our attempt to bring clean new industries with good-paying jobs to the state. I welcome the help of these professionals to guide our continued development of this industry. I know their expertise will be invaluable,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
James Gollin is an investment banker and founding member of the Social Venture Network of socially responsible business people. He serves as the Director of the Angelia Foundation, which funds environmental and human rights groups, primarily in Mexico. Gollin has served on many non-profit boards and commissions including the Rainforest Action Network, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, the Santa Fe Film and Digital Media Commission, the Santa Fe Network, Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, Canyon Neighborhood Association, Community Change Action, and Livingry Foundation.
“The film and digital media industry is poised to recover rapidly from the COVID shutdown, acting as a short-term spark plug for the rest of New Mexico’s economy,” Gollin said. “If we can avoid the obvious roadblocks and bottlenecks, the industry can rapidly double in size and then more slowly double again, supporting ancillary industries, and helping lead the way towards a more sustainable and diversified economy that will benefit all New Mexicans.”
Others named to the Council include; Talia Kosh, Associate Attorney at Bennett Law Group; Luke Renner, Professor of Digital Media Arts & Design at San Juan College; Ramona D. Emerson, filmmaker and co-owner of Reel Indian Pictures; award-winning casting director Jo Edna Boldin, writer/director and faculty at NMSU Rajeev Nirmalakhandan; Lance D. Maurer, Chief Executive Officer at Cinnafilm Inc.; Unit Production Manager and Line Producer Sam D. Tischler; IATSE 480 President Elizabeth C. Pecos, and award-winning sound editor Ken Fischer.
“The new Governor’s Council on Film consists of industry experts who believe in the long-term success of the New Mexican film economy and the concurrent inclusion of, and benefit to New Mexicans,” NMFO Director Dodson said. “Our film industry is on a high growth trajectory and the new council will ensure that New Mexico will continue to be ahead of the curve, deft, strategic, and even more prosperous.”
Netflix pitches in $100 million for assistance
3/24/20 – The New Mexico Film Office (NMFO) is encouraging furloughed workers in the film and television industry to apply directly to non-profit relief funds for assistance, Film Office Director Amber Dodson said today.
A portion of the money going into the funds is from Netflix, which is contributing $100 million worldwide to assist industry workers during the COVID-19 health emergency. Netflix is not only paying its own laid off cast and crew members, but has pledged $15 million to non-profit foundations with applications open to all film and television workers nationwide.
New Mexico has thousands of industry workers who might benefit from the assistance as all productions have stopped in the state due to the COVID-19 health emergency. New Mexico has two major film and television studio partners in Albuquerque, Netflix and NBCUniversal, and both have paused work on television shows to slow the spread of the virus.
“The film and television industry is important to diversify New Mexico’s economy,” Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “The state is doing everything we can to find the resources to help these workers.”
“These assistance funds are in place and we want our industry workforce to be aware of what’s available and apply if they are eligible,” Dodson said.
“This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community,” Netflix said in a press release.
“Most of the fund will go toward support for the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world. We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production. This is in addition to the two weeks’ pay we’ve already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week.”
So far Netflix has also contributed $1 million each to The Motion Picture and Television Fund, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, and the Actors Fund. Each is open to New Mexico workers and has its own review process and application.
The IATSE general executive board has also approved $2.5 million in donations to entertainment charities in the United States and Canada.
“The IATSE International general executive board approved the donation of $2.5 million to three charities that support entertainment workers, including the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the Actors Fund, and the Actor’s Fund of Canada,” Liz Pecos, President of IATSE Local 480 in Santa Fe said. “These organizations provide support and services for entertainment workers, such as emergency financial assistance, affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling, senior care and services, secondary career development, and more. The emergency financial assistance offered by these organizations can be of great benefit to local film workers at this time if they qualify.”
The Motion Picture and Television Fund helps entertainment industry workers of many kinds and provides counseling, economic assistance for mortgages, rent, utilities, medical costs, and other necessities on a case-by-case basis.
Information is available here: mptf.com/coronavirus/
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation covers members who are in an emergency financial crisis related to COVID-19 and offers assistance for expenses such as rent, utilities, and medical bills.
Information is available here: sagaftra.foundation/assistance/disasterrelief/
The Actors Fund, for professional performing arts and entertainment professionals.
Information is available here: https://actorsfund.org/am-i-eligible-help
The Economic Development Department has a listing of loan and grant programs available to businesses in the state on its website here. For statewide resources on the COVID-19 health emergency with health, education, nutrition, and financial assistance, please visit www.newmexico.gov.
3/16/20 – The New Mexico State Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) has announced support for workers who have lost their jobs, or suffered a reduction in salary, due to the COVID-19 virus. This support covers eligible entertainment industry workers in New Mexico.
Last week Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham declared New Mexico a public health emergency in order to help reduce and better track the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studios and production companies nationwide, including Netflix and NBCUniversal (NBCU), our New Mexico Film Partners, have paused the production of current and upcoming projects, causing temporary reduction of worker hours and reductions in business for related industries. As of March 16, NBCU and Netflix have postponed production for two weeks to reassess. Core crew are on payroll to receive minimum call during hiatus. All IATSE Local 480 films and TV shows in New Mexico have halted production in consideration of entertainment industry workers’ safety and health.
“We know that the film industry is poised to be one of the hardest hit from the COVID-19 emergency, as their work is project-dependent. New Mexico State will continue to work toward making sure we support the workforce in New Mexico and keep everyone informed throughout this emergency. Our number one concern is the health and safety of all New Mexicans,” Economic Development Department Director Alicia J. Keyes said.
Regarding entertainment industry workers who are members of IATSE Local 480, President Liz Pecos stated, “At this time we can report that all employers in our jurisdiction have made a decision to halt production in varying degrees as far time down. The decision to close shop for a few weeks, months or to stop production entirely is the decision of the employer and we are grateful for the safety measures taken by each employer to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. IATSE Local 480 is working closely with our International to advocate for federal assistance. IATSE President Matthew B. Loeb and the IATSE Political Department have been engaged in constant conversations with Congress about relief and pursuing legislation to provide economic support for members facing loss of income and benefits due to postponement or cancellation of work.”
NMDWS has a process that allows for all New Mexico residents, including those losing income in relation to the film industry, to receive up to $461 each week. Even if an entertainment industry worker continues employment, but at a rate lower than $461 per week due to COVID-19, they may be able to receive unemployment insurance benefits to fill the gap. This particular program, as of March 16, 2020, waives the standard work search requirement.
Pecos adds, “Local 480 is working with the NM Department of Workforce solutions to distribute information to members that will streamline the process of filing claims. The Local 480 office is set up to support any issues members encounter along the way. Local 480 is also assisting members in accessing emergency hardship withdrawals from their annuity accounts.”
“We are happy to be working with IATSE 480 to make sure that the process is as smooth as possible for our film workers,” Bill McCamley, Secretary of Workforce Solutions, said. “We will use every tool at our disposal to help in the upcoming days so that we can all get through this together.”
NMDWS has put out the following resources to help entertainment industry workers in New Mexico:
- Four minute video explains the unemployment benefit process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
- One-page fact sheet: https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Portals/0/DM/UI/COVID-19%20UI%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
- To file an initial Unemployment Insurance claim please visit www.jobs.state.nm.us or call TOLL-FREE: 1-877-664-6984.
The New Mexico Film Office Announces
“Legacy of the Fighting Filipinos” to complete post-production in New Mexico
The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the documentary, “Legacy of the Fighting Filipinos,” produced by ätɘr+flix and Tuck and Roll Productions is filming in Washington, D.C., Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, White Sands Missile Range, NM, Philippine Islands between November 2018 to April 2020. Post-production will take place in Albuquerque in April through November.
Directed by T.S. Botkin (directorial debut) and produced by T.S. Botkin (“Her Turf,” “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed”) and Amanda Upson (“Magnum Opus”), the production is employing approximately 8 New Mexico crew members.
“Legacy of the Fighting Filipinos” is the story of Filipino soldiers and guerrillas who were conscripted into the US Army during WWII, then declared “not on active duty” via the Rescission Acts of 1946, and are still fighting for recognition and restitution.
Director T.S. Botkin stated “When I first heard about this story, I was struck by my own ignorance of WWII history in the Philippines. Then I learned of the depth of the US’ betrayal of its own soldiers. It’s a betrayal Congress easily doled out in 1940’s on people of color, and it’s unacceptable that the betrayal continues today. As an American, I cannot not swallow this as part of our collective identity. I mean, is this really who we are as a people?”
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Mexico Film Office Announces “The Cleaning Lady” Pilot to Film in New Mexico
The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the television pilot “The Cleaning Lady,” produced by Warner Bros. Television/4423 Productions LLC for FOX, will film in Albuquerque and Algodones between mid March and early April 2020.
Miranda Kwok (“The 100”) wrote the pilot and will executive produce along with showrunner Melissa Carter (“Queen Sugar,” “Stargirl”), Shay Mitchell (“Pretty Little Liars”), Rose Marie Vega and Paola Suarez. Michael Offer (“Longmire,” “Homeland”) will direct and executive produce the pilot.
The production is employing approximately 120 New Mexico crew members, 20 principal New Mexico actors, and 500 New Mexico background talent.
Shannyn Sossamon (“Sleepy Hollow,” “Wayward Pines”) stars as Reyna, a whip-smart Filipina doctor who comes to the U.S. in hopes of getting medical treatment for her critically ill son. But when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she becomes an on-call “cleaning lady” for the mob. “The Cleaning Lady” is a darkly aspirational character drama about one woman’s refusal to be marginalized and abused by corrupt systems of power and follows her rise as she starts playing the game by her own rules.
For more information, contact: email@example.com.
Hot Spots Event Set to Shine Light on New Mexico Film Industry
New Mexico is at the front and center of the film industry next week as Deadline Hollywood’s Hot Spots conference will be in Albuquerque for its first-ever event that features prime filming locations outside Hollywood.
The event runs March 8-9 at Hotel Chaco, tickets and registration is required.
Some of the attendees will also enjoy tours of location spots throughout Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Representatives from Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe will be on hand to explain the benefits of filmmaking in New Mexico.
One session is titled, “New Mexico: World-Class Crew Base Largest Between the Coasts” another on “New Mexico Film Locations: Diverse. Accessible, Fresh.”
“The fact that Deadline has chosen New Mexico for its first-ever Hot Spot networking conference is a big recognition of everything Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state has done to develop the industry,” said Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “The conference will highlight our trained crews, quality studios, diverse locations and the ecosystem we are building for film and television.”
Keyes and Carrie Wells, New Mexico Film Office Deputy Director, will lead a March 9, discussion, “New Mexico: It’s Where It’s at,” which will give an overview of tax incentives and other resources for filming in New Mexico.
Also on Monday, Senior Manager of Operations & Workforce Development Programs at NMFO, Rochelle Bussey, will be joining a panel discussion titled “Diversity & Inclusion in New Mexico.”
Other topics to be covered during the 2-day event include New Mexico’s crew base, casting, production support industries, elevating New Mexico’s talent, and more.
Speakers also include Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller; Netflix VPs Momita Sengupta and Patty Whitcher; Former Albuquerque Film Office Liaison and incoming state Film Office Director Amber Dodson; and actors Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian (“Better Call Saul”), Ronnie Gene Blevins (“Death In Texas”), Heather Hemmens (“Roswell, New Mexico”), and RJ Mitte (“Breaking Bad”).
Brian O’Leary from NBCUniversal & Vans Stevenson from the Motion Picture Association will deliver the keynote speech on Monday afternoon.
“Deadline Hollywood is thrilled to debut our new Hot Spots conference series in Albuquerque,” Stacey Farish, General Manager of Deadline Hollywood said. “Hot Spots is all about shining a light on Hollywood filming locations outside of Hollywood. And we think there is no better place to launch this exciting new event than New Mexico. Deadline chose New Mexico because the entertainment industry is already booming, and we believe there is tremendous potential for continued growth,” Farish said.
For a full list of speakers, schedule, registration, and other information about the Deadline Hollywood’s Hot Spot Conference, visit hotspots.deadline.com/
The New Mexico Film Office Announces “US Eagle CU Commercial” filmed in New Mexico
The New Mexico Film Office announced today that the commercial “US Eagle CU Commercial” produced by US Eagle / First Eye Films INC. filmed a commercial in Albuquerque, NM.
The production employed approximately 20 New Mexico crew members, 12 New Mexico principal actors and 12 New Mexico background talent.
The commercial was written and directed by marketing veteran John Kenjar and lensed by Brad Morford, 30-year commercial DP. Produced by John Kenjar and Reinhard Lorenz.
The commercial will promote the new checking benefits with US Eagle Credit Union.
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program aims to grow state’s film and TV workforce
The New Mexico Film Office and NBCUniversal have partnered to create the NBCUniversal New Mexico Directors’ Initiative, which provides shadowing opportunities for film and television directors on NBCUniversal productions in New Mexico and creates a pipeline of in-state talent for future productions. Applications opened today for the program’s inaugural class, who will start shadowing this spring in Albuquerque.
The NBCUniversal initiative is part of their commitment, as a New Mexico Film Partner, to train in-state New Mexico residents who want to break into the film and television industry as a director. The program gives them an opportunity to shadow an experienced director at NBCUniversal, foster relationships, and better assist in transitioning to a professional career.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for a New Mexico filmmaker to learn by observing a seasoned veteran in an on-the-job setting, and it’s just a start. Our goal is not only to provide entry-level jobs in film and TV for New Mexicans but to create homegrown talent for the top jobs as well,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.
The NBCUniversal New Mexico Directors’ Initiative Program will expose the chosen applicants to NBCUniversal’s first production at their repurposed sound stages in Albuquerque. The selected directors will shadow for two episodes, from prep to production, beginning on April 27. The initiative is part of the NBCUniversal’s talent pipeline programs and includes paid travel and accommodations to Albuquerque from rural areas around New Mexico.
As a result of Senate Bill 2, NBCUniversal signed a 10-year lease for a new production hub in Albuquerque with the aim of reaching $500 million in direct production spending over the decade. This partnership also provided funding for participation in training and workforce development efforts which includes this new initiative.
“For this type of internship program to be offered here, and to be paid, is a game changer for New Mexicans wanting to break into the industry as a director,” New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “This is exactly why we created the Film Partners – we want to work together to build our workforce and create opportunities so our residents don’t have to leave the state to work year-round in the film and television industry.”
Applicants must be a resident of New Mexico, and have directing experience with no more than one scripted television directing credit. Applicants are also required to submit recommendations and answer two short essay questions.
The deadline to apply is March 15, 2020. For more information and to apply to the 2020 NBCUniversal New Mexico Shadowing Program, visit nbcunitips.submittable.com/submit
Amber Dodson Named New Director of State Film Office
Amber Dodson, the City of Albuquerque’s Film Liaison, has been named the new Director of the New Mexico Film Office, Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.
Dodson will assume the position on March 9.
Dodson has over 20 years of professional experience in the entertainment, media and tech industries, both in the private and public sectors.
Since being appointed as Film Liaison by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, the Albuquerque Film Office has seen record-breaking growth in film and television production. In the past year, the city issued a record 448 film permits in 2019 and ushered in work from the new Netflix and NBCUniversal Albuquerque studios.
During her tenure at the Film Office, Albuquerque was ranked #1 by MovieMaker Magazine for “Best Place to Live and Work as a MovieMaker: Big Cities” for two consecutive years, and was chosen by Deadline as its inaugural location for the international “HotSpots” event series. Dodson also launched initiatives to increase diversity and local engagement in the film industry, streamline and digitize film permitting, expand resources for local businesses, and connect residents to job opportunities on productions.
Cabinet Secretary Keyes said that Dodson has the leadership qualities that will put the New Mexico Film Office at the forefront of customer service and innovation.
“New Mexico has become a world-class production destination and Amber Dodson has shown she has the skills and vision to lead the Film Office as it takes on new challenges to be the best in the industry,” Keyes said.
Prior to being Film Liaison, Dodson worked in Hollywood in film production, business development, and marketing and advertising. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from Colorado College.
“I am excited to implement my hands-on industry knowledge and my experience in government and collaborate with the great team already in place at the New Mexico Film Office to showcase New Mexico and all we have to offer,” Dodson said.
Dodson replaces Todd Christensen, a long-time locations manager, who is returning to the private sector.
The New Mexico Film Office Announces “Grace” filmed in New Mexico
1/28/20 – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the independent feature, “Grace” produced by GracetheMovie, LLC, filmed in November 2019 thru December 2019, in Albuquerque. The production employed approximately 70 New Mexico crew members, 28 New Mexico actors, and 50 New Mexico background talent. The feature was directed and produced by Anna Elizabeth James (“Emma’s Chance,” “Destined to Ride”) under her Kiss and Tale Productions banner. Starring Dermot Mulroney (“My Best Friend’s Wedding,”“August: Osage County”), Kristin Davis (“Sex in the City,” “Holiday in the Wild”) and Greer Grammer (“Awkward” and “The Middle”). “Grace” is the story of a bestselling female novelist, suffering from writer’s block, who hires an innocent young woman to watch over her twin children. As the novelist dangerously indulges in her new best seller, the line between the life she’s writing and the one she’s living becomes blurred. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
Tom Hanks returns to state as co-producer and actor
10/8/19 – “News of the World,” a post-Civil War adventure saga produced by Universal Pictures, has begun principal photography in and around Santa Fe, State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today. The production will continue in the state through November and employ more than 200 New Mexico crew members and 25 New Mexico actors. “Our state film industry continues to draw sizable A-list productions, and that’s incredibly good news for our economy and workers,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “I look forward to its sustainable expansion and more productions taking root in all parts of the state.” ”I welcome Tom Hanks back to New Mexico to produce and star in this post-Civil-War adventure story,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “It’s reassuring to know that leaders in the film industry are returning New Mexico to benefit from our highly trained crews, unique locations, and competitive business incentives.” “News of the World,” based on the National Book Award finalist and best-selling novel by Paulette Jiles, is directed by Paul Greengrass (the “Bourne” films, “United 93”), who also wrote the script with an earlier draft by Luke Davies (“Lion”). The film is produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (“Mamma Mia!” franchise, HBO’s “Olive Kitteridge”) for their company, Playtone Productions, by Gregory Goodman (“22 July,” “8 Mile”), and by Gail Mutrux (“The Danish Girl,” “Donnie Brasco”) for her Pretty Pictures. The executive producers are Steven Shareshian and Tore Schmidt. Five years after the end of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), a widower and veteran of three wars, moves from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller. He shares the news of presidents and queens, glorious feuds, devastating catastrophes, and gripping adventures from the far reaches of the globe. In the plains of Texas, Kidd crosses paths with Johanna (Helena Zengel, “System Crasher”), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa tribe six years earlier and raised as one of their own. Johanna, hostile to a world she’s never experienced, is being returned to her biological aunt and uncle against her will. Kidd agrees to deliver the child where the law says she belongs. As they travel hundreds of miles into the unforgiving wilderness, the two will face tremendous challenges of both human and natural forces as they search for a place that either can call home. Universal Pictures will release “News of the World” on Friday, December 25, 2020. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
10/4/19 – “The Biggest Loser” has started production in and around Santa Fe. The 10-episode season from Endemol Shine North America, in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, is expected to debut on USA Network in 2020, New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced Friday. “The Biggest Loser” is hosted by Bob Harper, a health and fitness expert who was a staple for 17 seasons on the original version of the hit reality series. Erica Lugo and Steve Cook have also joined the series as the show’s new trainers. “The Santa Fe, New Mexico region offers us a tremendous variety of looks and locations for our production needs,” says Georgie Hurford-Jones, Endemol Shine North America’s Senior Vice President, Unscripted Original Series and Specials. “For a show like ‘The Biggest Loser,’ where we have men and women looking to not only lose weight, but improve their overall well-being, our new location here in the state is ideal on many levels.” “I understand this is the first series of its kind to shoot an entire season in New Mexico,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “The variety of film and television projects to pay New Mexico a visit is a testament to our capacity for creative development — and speaks to the fact that more and more productions recognize New Mexico is the place to be.” “The Biggest Loser filmed 247 episodes over 17 seasons and has been extraordinarily popular in the United States and around the world,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes, of the Economic Development Department. “We are pleased they have chosen to restart the series in New Mexico and will be able to benefit from our wonderfully diverse locations, and our industry incentives.” The production will shoot throughout the fall and employ approximately 200 New Mexican crew and production personnel, and source goods and services from dozens of local hotels, restaurants, general and specialty retailers, and other vendors. For more information, contact: Joe.email@example.com.
Liam Neeson Stars in Border Drama
9/9/19 – The feature film “The Minuteman,” produced by Azil Productions, LLC, will begin principal photography in September in To’Hajilee, Albuquerque, Jemez Pueblo, Belen, and Rio Rancho, New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today. “This is another example of how productions are going to all parts of the state to find locations that fit their story,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “We are pleased that Minuteman has discovered the tribal and rural communities that make New Mexico unique.” The production will employ 90 New Mexico crew members, 15 New Mexico actors, and 150 New Mexico background talent. The feature is directed by Robert Lorenz (“Trouble with the Curve”) and produced by Warren Goz (“Trading Paint”), Eric Gold (“Trading Paint”) and Tai Duncan, (“How It Ends,” “Honest Thief”), and Mark Williams (“Ozark,” “Honest Thief). Starring Liam Neeson, Jacob Perez, Juan Pablo Raba, and Katheryn Winnick, “The Minuteman” is the story of a rancher on the Arizona border becomes the unlikely defender of a young Mexican boy desperately fleeing the cartel assassins who have pursued him into the United States. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to register RPD-41392 Qualified Film Vendor. The purpose of this form is to assist film production companies in determining qualified New Mexico vendors by building a qualified film vendor list. Submit application to TRD-FilmCredit@state.nm.us. For assistance or to speak with the Department, call 505-795-1735.
9/5/19 – New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced that the Lionsgate feature film, “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar,” recently completed principal photography in Albuquerque. The production employed approximately 150 New Mexico crew members and 180 New Mexico background actors. Directed by Josh Greenbaum (“Becoming Bond,” “The Short Game,” “New Girl,” “Fresh Off the Boat”), and produced by Jessica Elbaum (“Hustlers,” “Booksmart”), Will Ferrell (“Hustlers,” “Vice”), Adam McKay (“Vice,” “The Big Short”), Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”), and Annie Mumolo (“Bridesmaids”). Starring Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey), and Damon Wayans Jr. (Let’s Be Cops), “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar” follows titular best friends Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Wiig), who leave their small Midwestern town for the first time to go on vacation in Vista Del Mar, FL, where they soon find themselves tangled up in adventure, love, and a villain’s evil plot.
8/20/19 – New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced that the feature film “Keyhole Garden” will begin principal photography in New Mexico on Aug. 26. The film will be directed by Marco Perego-Saldana and produced by Julie Yorn (“Hell or High Water”), Alexandra Milchan (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Robert Kravis (“The Rum Diary”), Karl Herrmann (“Dinner in America), and Perego-Saldana, from a screenplay written by Perego-Saldana and Rick Rapoza. The production will be shot in Albuquerque and employ approximately 100 New Mexico crew members, 40 New Mexico actors and stunt performers, and 390 background extras. Zoe Saldana (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) will star in this sprawling and suspenseful drama that illuminates the hardships and divisions plaguing the lives of people on both sides of America’s Southern border. Michael Michaels of Sycuan Tribal Development Corporation, Mariel and Cisely Saldana of Cinestar Pictures, and Rick Yorn of LBI Entertainment will executive produce along with Ingenious Media and Ashland Hill. Other key members of the production team are Director of Photography Javier Juliá (“Animal”), Production Designer Jona Tochet (“The Last Black Man in San Francisco”) and Costume Designer Barcie Waite (“Legion”). For more information contact: email@example.com.
8/14/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The television series “Roswell,” produced by Warner Bros.Television / NM Talent Inc., will begin principal photography of Season 2 mid-August through January in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Madrid, New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today. The production will employ 260 New Mexico crew members and 2,550 state residents in extra and background roles. Carina Adly MacKenzie (“The Originals”) wrote the pilot script and serves as executive producer along with Julie Plec (“The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals”), Justin Falvey (“The Americans”), Darryl Frank (“The Americans”), Lawrence Bender (“Pulp Fiction”) and Kevin Kelly Brown (“Roswell”). It is based on the Roswell High book series, written by Melinda Metz. After reluctantly returning to her hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: He’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
8/5/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The Netflix-produced feature film “Army of the Dead,” has started principal photography at Albuquerque Studios and will continue through October, announced New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen. The production will employ 501 New Mexico crew members, 20 New Mexico actors, and 2,163 New Mexico background talent. The feature is directed and produced by Zack Snyder (“Watchmen,” “Man of Steel,” “300”) alongside producers Deborah Snyder (“Watchmen,” “Man of Steel,” “300”) and Wesley Coller (“Watchmen,” “Man of Steel,” “300”). In “Army of the Dead” Snyder returns to his directorial roots, offering this zombie-adventure film. “Army of the Dead” follows a group of mercenaries who, following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. “Netflix is making good on its promise, as part of the 2018 partnership with New Mexico, to bring $1 billion dollars in production to New Mexico over the next 10 years and create up to 1,000 production jobs a year,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “Netflix is a great partner for the State of New Mexico and we are very excited that they chose to film such a high profile project as one of their first films under the NM Partnership Agreement.” Starring Dave Bautista (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Ella Purnell (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “Sweetbitter”), Ana De La Reguera (“Everything, Everything,” “Goliath”), Theo Rossi (“Luke Cage,” “Sons of Anarchy”), Huma Qureshi (“Kaala,” “Viceroy’s House,” “Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Badlapur”), Omari Hardwick (“Power,” “Sorry to Bother You”), Chris D’Elia (“You,” “Man on Fire”), Hiroyuki Sanada (“Avengers: Endgame,” “Westworld,” “Minamata”), Garret Dillahunt (“Widows,” “No Country For Old Men”), Matthias Schweighöfer (“You Are Wanted,” “Resistance”), Raúl Castillo (“We The Animals,” “Vida”), Nora Arnezeder (“Maniac,” “Mozart in the Jungle”), Samantha Win (“Arrow,” “Justice League”), and Rich Cetrone.
7/23/19 – SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the independent feature “Wander,” produced by Wango Films, has commenced principal photography through mid-August in Carrizozo and Ruidoso, N.M. The production will employ 30 New Mexico crew members, 20 New Mexico actors and 30 New Mexico background talent. One reason the production looked at rural areas is due to the revised Film Production Tax Credit law that rebates an extra 5 percent for productions outside Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The initiative became law July 1. “This is an all-rural production and we know that is due in part to new incentives that will bring more attention to these unique and wonderful areas all over the state,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “We are pleased ‘Wander’ will showcase these locations in Lincoln County.” The feature is directed and produced by April Mullen (“Below Her Mouth,” “88”) and co-produced by Tim Doiron (“88,” “Dead Before Dawn”) and Andre Relis (“Arkansas”). “Wander” is the story of a suspicious death in the small town of Wander. A mentally unstable private investigator becomes convinced the case is linked to the same ‘conspiracy cover up’ that caused the death of his daughter. For more information contact: email@example.com.
Mexican star Luis Gerardo Méndez leads the cast of the heartfelt comedy directed by Luke Greenfield
SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced that the feature film “Half Brothers,” a moving comedy with heart in the vein of “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Green Book,” and “Rain Man,” will start production in New Mexico on July 15. The film is being directed by Luke Greenfield (“The Girl Next Door,” “Let’s Be Cops”) and produced by Jason Shuman (“Role Models,” “Lone Survivor”) and Eduardo Cisneros (“Instructions Not Included,” “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson”), from a screenplay written by Shuman and Cisneros. Focus Features will distribute the movie domestically, and Universal Pictures International will handle foreign distribution. Luis Gerardo Méndez will executive produce and star in “Half Brothers.” Méndez can currently be seen in the film “Murder Mystery” opposite Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, and will appear this fall in the upcoming “Charlie’s Angels” reboot opposite Kristen Stewart. He previously starred in and executive produced the popular Spanish-language series “Club de Cuervos.” In “Half Brothers,” Méndez stars as Renato, a successful Mexican aviation executive who is shocked to discover he has an American half-brother he never knew about, the free-spirited Asher, played by Connor Del Rio (“Unfriended: Dark Web,” “Level Up”). The two very different half-brothers are forced on a road journey together masterminded by their ailing father, tracing the path their father took as an immigrant from Mexico to the US. They are joined by Juan Pablo Espinosa (“El Secretario”), portraying a man whose history isn’t as simple as it seems. Also serving as executive producer is Udi Nedivi (“Wedding Crashers,” “Creed ll”), with Jason Benoit (“Safe House,” “The Last Airbender”) as co-producer. Other key members of the production team are director of photography Thomas Scott Stanton (“Take Me to the River,” “Benji”), production designer RA Arancio-Parrain (“Odd Thomas,” “Safe Haven”), and costume designer Daniela Moore (“The Last Stand,” “Gamer”). Based in Albuquerque, “Half Brothers” will film in New Mexico from mid July until late August, shooting on location in and around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Cedar Crest, Los Lunas, and Hatch. The movie will employ approximately 150 New Mexico crew members, 30 New Mexico actors and stunt performers, and 300 background players. Background talent will include numerous Hispanic males, females, and children ages 1-12. Individuals wishing to be cast as background talent should send an email with their photograph and phone number to Robert Baxter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Focus Features Focus Features acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. Current and upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die with Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, and Selena Gomez; Harriet about the iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman starring Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. and directed by Kasi Lemmons; Working Title and Blueprint Picture’s new adaptation of Emma starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn; Kevin Costner and Diane Lane led Let Him Go; Jon Stewart’s Irresistible starring Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, and Chris Cooper; Todd Haynes’ Untitled Project with Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway from Participant Media; Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Last Night in Soho from Working Title; and the anticipated Downton Abbey movie starring the entire original cast. Universal Pictures International has led distribution in select markets for titles including The Dead Don’t Die; Harriet; Downton Abbey; Emma; Let Him Go; Irresistible; and Last Night in Soho.
Focus is part of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), which produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment. UFEG’s global division also includes Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango, DreamWorks Animation Film and Television. UFEG is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. For more information please visit www.focusfeatures.com Contact: Brad Thompson / FOCUS FEATURES – Brad.Thompson@focusfeatures.com
7/9/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the television series “Grow,” produced by Rocket Road Pictures, filmed in Santa Fe. The production employed 30 New Mexico crew members, 3 New Mexico actors and 30 New Mexico background talent. The television series is directed by Milad Avaz and produced by Mehdi Avaz, Misam Avaz, and Daniel Cotroneo. The Avaz Brothers broke the mold with their feature debut Mens Vi Lever, which was a breakout box office hit in Denmark in 2017, while receiving five nominations at the Danish Film Academy Awards. They recently wrapped principal photography on their latest feature “Collision” which stars Nikolaj Lie Kaas (“Angels & Demons”), Rasmus Bjerg and Nicolas Bro. Starring Jonathan Harboe and Caspar Phillipson (“Mission Impossible: Fallout,” “Jackie”), “Grow” is the story of a young stock broker, Adam (26), who delves into the dark past of his recently-deceased father and is quickly consumed. It isn’t long before the lines of Adam’s structured world are blurred by a hunger for power and quick recognition in the Danish drug market. Seeking to create a new Nordic cartel, Adam and childhood friend Simon must take on the immigrants, bikers, police and politicians. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
7/9/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the documentary “Houseboat Amazon: Search for a Missing Monkey,” produced by Hear Kitty Studios and Houseboat Amazon LLC will begin principal photography mid-August in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The production will employ 4 New Mexico crew members and 1 New Mexico actor. The documentary is directed and produced by Laura K Marsh and Kathleen Edwards along with co-producers Tor Kingdon. Starring Dr. Laura K. Marsh, “Houseboat Amazon: Search for a Missing Monkey is set in January through May 2017, a woman led scientific expedition – with a research team from US, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, a Brazilian boat crew, and 135 local guides – explored a remote Amazonian watershed while living on a houseboat, searching five rivers along the Alto Rio Jurua in Brazil to find missing “flying” saki monkeys that had not been seen alive by science in over 80 years. The monkeys were found and the only existing footage of them will be used in the film. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
State provides “the rugged scope” story demands
7/2/19 – SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced that the feature “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” produced by Film Rites and BRON Studios, has concluded principal photography on locations throughout New Mexico. Creative Wealth Media is co-financing the project with New Line Cinema, while Warner Bros. Pictures is handling marketing and distribution. During principal photography the production employed approximately 675 New Mexico residents among its cast and crew. The project shot on locations in and around Bernalillo, Torrance, Sandoval, and Rio Arriba counties, including Santa Clara Pueblo. “Those Who Wish Me Dead” is a female-driven neo-Western set against a wildfire in the Montana wilderness. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Taylor Sheridan (“Wind River”; screenwriter “Hell or High Water,” “Sicario”), from his screenplay based on Michael Kortya’s bestselling novel, previously adapted by Charles Leavitt and Michael Koryta. Sheridan is producing with Garrett Basch, Steven Zaillian, and BRON Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert (“The Mule,” “Tully,” “Fences”) and Kevin Turen (“All is Lost,” “Arbitrage”). Executive Producers include Jason Cloth (“The Mule,” “A Simple Favor,” “Fences”) of Creative Wealth Media, Kathryn Dean and Michael Friedman (TV’s “Yellowstone”). Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie (“Girl, Interrupted,” “Maleficent,” “Salt,” “Changeling”) leads the film’s acclaimed ensemble cast including Nicholas Hoult (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Favourite”), Jon Bernthal (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Baby Driver,” TV’s “The Walking Dead”), Tyler Perry (the “Madea” franchise, “Vice,” “Gone Girl”), Aidan Gillen (TV’s “Game of Thrones,” “Bohemian Rhapsody”), Medina Senghore (“Blindspot”), Finn Little (“Storm Boy”), and Jake Weber (TV’s “Homeland” and “13 Reasons Why”). “In our story the setting itself is a character, and once we started scouting our locations — from the Santa Clara Pueblo to the Jemez Mountains and the wooded foothills of the Manzanos — we knew that New Mexico would provide the rugged scope that this story demands,” said Sheridan. “As always, I’m thrilled when a production makes use of so much of our beautiful landscape in rural areas,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “New Mexico is wide open for film business, and we continue to be the premiere destination for any and all Western pictures.” “More and more productions are finding that New Mexico is a state with a talented industry workforce, diverse locations and the best financial incentives in the country,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “We are honored that ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ had such a positive experience in the state and was able to provide jobs to more than 600 New Mexicans.” “I am especially pleased the producers of ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ were able to take advantage of New Mexico’s many remote and scenic locations, including Santa Clara Pueblo,” added New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen. “We are hearing from more producers who want to see locations in New Mexico and learn more about our new film and television production rebates.”
7/1/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the feature “Sierra Sisters The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure,” produced by Spanish Broom Productions in association with Dream Catcher Productions, LLC, will begin principal photography mid-June through the end of July in Albuquerque, Los Lunas and Zia Pueblo. The independent feature is directed by Josh Relic and Executive Producer Marshall DeBerry. The film will employ 25 New Mexico crew members, 4 New Mexico actors and 15 New Mexico background talent. “This is another great example of how a small independent film discovered that New Mexico has the locations, the crews and the economic incentives to help them succeed,” said Christensen. “New Mexico’s improved film incentives became law July 1, and we are seeing more and more interest as a result.” Produced by Kathleen Swenson (“Caged,” “Sierra Sisters” and “The Legend of Red Hand’s Treasure”), Celeste Lee (“Sierra Sisters and The Legend of Red Hand’s Treasure”) and Jessica Jones. “Sierra Sisters The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure” stars Kathleen Swenson (Caged), Celeste Lee (Back to Billy), James Blackburn (The Lone Ranger) and Samuel Barber (The Bracero’s Bible). The feature follows treasure hunting sisters Hera and Athena as they embark on a journey to find the legendary treasure of Blackbeard the pirate. Along the way they encounter shadowy figures and mystical relics. The sisters begin to believe that they aren’t alone in trying to find the treasure. They find they have to use their wits and brawn to outwit and outmaneuver their murderous rivals. For more information contact: Jessica.Jones@dcpllcnm.com.
6/17/19 – SANTA FE, N.M. The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the USA Network television series, “Briarpatch” produced by UCP (Universal Content Productions) and Paramount Television will begin principal photography mid-June through the end of September in Albuquerque. Starring Rosario Dawson, who will also serve as a producer, the production will employ approximately 100 New Mexico crew members and 250-350 New Mexico background talent per episode. “Briarpatch” follows Allegra Dill (Dawson), a dogged investigator returning to her border-town Texas home after her sister is murdered. What begins as a search for a killer turns into an all-consuming fight to bring her corrupt hometown to its knees. The season celebrates the beloved genres represented by Thomas’ book — a stylish blend of crime and pulp fiction — while updating his sense of fun, danger and place for a new generation. Based on the Ross Thomas novel of the same name, “Briarpatch” is written for television by Andy Greenwald, who will executive produce along with “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail through his production company Esmail Corp and Anonymous Content’s Chad Hamilton. The series also stars Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men,” “The Romanoffs”), Brian Geraghty (“Chicago P.D.,” “Ray Donovan”) and Edi Gathegi (“StartUp”).
6/6/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the independent feature “Silk Road,” produced by Picadilly, will begin principal photography mid-June through mid-July in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The production will employ 80 New Mexico crew members, 25 New Mexico actors and 400 New Mexico background talent. The feature is directed by Tiller Russell (“Operation Odessa,” “The Seven Five,” “The Last Rites of Ransom Pride,” “Bad Boys of Summer,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” “Outlaw Empires”) and produced by Duncan Montgomery (“Freeheld,” “Dirty Weekend, Bernie,” “The Last Rites of Ransom Pride,” “Pineapple”), Alex Orlovsky (“Viena and the Fantomes,” “The Discovery,” “Frank & Lol”), and David Hyman (“Veep,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine The Good Place,” “Wine Country”). “Having recently moved to New Mexico I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to shoot a film in my new home state with the very talented local cast and crew,” said Director Russell. Executive produced by Dawn Bierschwal, Christopher Figg and Robert Whitehouse, the independent feature stars Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Mudbound,” “Everest,” “Terminator”), Nick Robinson (“Jurassic World,” “Everything/Everything,” “Boardwalk Empire”), Alexandra Shipp (“X Men: Apocalypse,” “Love Simon,” “Straight Outta Compton”) and Cole Sprouse (“Big Daddy,” “Riverdale,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”), “Silk Road,” is a true crime epic about the criminal mastermind who unleashed the Dark Net and the ’Jurassic Narc’ bent on bringing down the young kingpin’s billion-dollar empire. Combining the traditions of classic films like Goodfellas and The Departed with the origin story of Bitcoin, Silk Road is a gangster film for the millennial generation. For more information contact: email@example.com.
6/6/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the short “Land of Dreams” produced by Land of Dreams LLC & Hardline Films, will begin principal photography in June, shooting through mid-June in Algodones, Las Vegas and Shiprock. The production will employ 25 New Mexico crew members, 9 New Mexico actors and 150 New Mexico background talent. The short is directed by Shirin Neshat and co-produced by Sol Tryon and Shoja Azari. Starring Sheila Vand (“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” “Argo,” “We the Animals”) and Mohammad Ghaffari (“The Devil’s Advocate,” “Little Odessa”), “Land of Dreams” is about a young Iranian-American woman who is making an art project by photographing average Americans and recording their dreams. She drives to another land and enters into a mysterious Iranian Colony nestled in a mountainous desert. There she works to circumvent the system they have in place for interpreting the dreams she has been collecting. Unsure what is dream and what is reality, “Land of Dreams” will fascinate and enthrall with its sheer beauty and topical symbolism. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
6/1/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the short “Lucid” will begin principal photography at the end of this month through the beginning of June in Albuquerque. The production will employ 17 New Mexico crew members, 4 New Mexico actors and 10 New Mexico background talent. The feature is directed and produced by Dodie Montgomery and Lucas Stein as stars Nicole Barlett, Ed Lottimer, Rachel Michaela and Daniel James. “Lucid” is about Molly who is aging and in a crisis. She is self-destructive and numb. She has a larger calling that she is ignoring until the Universe forces her to action. It will transport her into a crumbling world that needs saving. With her sister as a constant companion and fellow warrior they will save themselves and the magical world to which they have been transported. There are consequences, good and bad, in interacting with both worlds. For more information contact: LucidDWP@gmail.com.
6/1/19 – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the short, “Does Your Heart Break?” produced by Film Las Cruces Studio and does your Heart Break Film LLC will begin principal photography mid-May in Last Cruces. The production will employ approximately 30-40 New Mexico crew members, 4 New Mexico actors and 15-30 New Mexico background talent. The short is directed by Carlos Carlos Jr. and produced by Naomi N. Gonzalez. Starring Edward Frost (as Job), Bud Witte (as Father Elihu), and Larissa Lury (as Mara), “Does Your Heart Break?” is the story of a man who is continuously tormented by the recent trauma of losing his mother in a fire, Job, a 31-year-old seminarian on the cusp of priesthood, starts accepting his religious doubt. Torn by its tragic nature, Job fails to give a heartfelt sermon at the funeral of a 7-year-old boy. Through this, Job realizes he doesn’t have the faith, nor the knowledge, to become a priest. He abandons the seminary, and his father figure Father Elihu, arguing that the presence of evil cancels out the existence of God. For more information contact: email@example.com.
5/24/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the feature “Shelby Shack” will begin principal photography at the end of this month through mid-June in Santa Fe, Alamogordo and Las Cruces. The production will employ 6 New Mexico crew members and 6 New Mexico actors. The feature is directed and produced by R.S. Hester and stars Mike Gaba, Megan Elisabeth Kelly, Zach Rose, Bill Chopski, Amy Violette, Rich Heinrich and Barry Hazen. Shelby Shack is based off the Manuscript “The Showdown at Shelby Shack” written by New Mexico Author Ethel Halstead. “Shelby Shack” is set in the 1860’s about a young woman (Nellie Harper) who finds herself in a lonely marriage while trying to get acclimated to her new surroundings out West. Her new father-in-law runs his ranch with a smile and an iron fist. Nellie, is blind sighted by his dark side, ends up running for her life. For more information contact: 1ShelbyShackMovie@gmail.com
5/23/19 – SANTA FE, N.M. – New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced that the feature “The Comeback Trail,” will begin principal photography in early June through early July in Albuquerque, Tojajilee, Bonanza Creek Ranch and Yrisarri. The production will employ approximately 75 New Mexico crew members, 15 New Mexico actors and approximately 300 New Mexico background talent. “We welcome this Oscar winning trio of Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman to New Mexico,” said Alicia J. Keyes, “We are pleased that The Comeback Trail has found New Mexico. We offer experienced crews, a great climate and the best production incentives in the country. “ “The Comeback Trail offers a great example of what New Mexico can offer,” said Christensen. “From world-class studios to movie ranches and tribal lands, the state will work closely with producers find the perfect locations.” The feature is directed by George Gallo (“Midnight Run,” “Middle Men,” “29th Street”) and produced by Richard Salvatore (“The Big Wedding,” “The Poison Rose”) and David Ornston (“The Poison Rose,” “This Is The Year,” “Obsession”). Starring Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman, “The Comeback Trail” is about two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their aging movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. But they wind up getting more than they ever imagined. The New Mexico Film Office and the Albuquerque Film Office are pleased to host “The Comeback Trail” director George Gallo for a screening of his film “MIdnight Run.” THe event is open to the public at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday May 25 at the Guild Cinema, 3405 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87106. The screening will be followed by a Q & A moderated by Frances Lee McCain. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. Click this link to RSVP to the event.
5/21/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – New Mexico Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced that the live-action film “Bios” produced by Amblin Partners, has concluded principal photography at locations across New Mexico. The production employed approximately 125 New Mexico crew members, 7 New Mexico actors and some 400 background extras. “I’m always thrilled when a major production is able to use so much of New Mexico’s diverse landscape and shoot in so many different locations,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “As we boost our film and television industry, we are going to see more productions choosing to shoot outside the Santa Fe-Albuquerque corridor. That means more job opportunities for New Mexicans in rural areas.” As part of her commitment to film and television production in New Mexico, Gov. Lujan Grisham visited the set of “Bios” earlier this month. There, she met with local crew, producers and actors, including Tom Hanks. New Mexico Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department said there is significant interest in New Mexico from the film and television industry as producers and studios learn about the generous incentives, experienced crews and scenic locations. “Our phones are ringing,” said Keyes. “The industry is looking for stable, high-quality partnerships and New Mexico can do it all. We applaud “Bios”and Tom Hanks, and share in their success.” “When movies like “Bios” come to the state and are able to utilize so many different areas of New Mexico, it’s a plus,” said Christensen, Film Office Director. “The diversity shows that New Mexico has a lot to offer productions.” In “Bios,” Tom Hanks (“Cast Away,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Forrest Gump”) stars as Finch, one of the only survivors of a cataclysmic event that has left the world, a wasteland ravaged by solar radiation. An ailing inventor facing his own mortality, Finch builds a robot to keep his beloved dog safe. As the trio embarks upon an epic cross-country journey, the scientist must teach his creation to become “human” enough to take care of its charge and the beloved pet to accept a new master. “Bios” was directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective”), and shot in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Shiprock, Los Lunas, Socorro and White Sands National Monument. Previously announced in the cast are Caleb Landry Jones (“Get Out,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and Samira Wiley (“Handmaid’s Tale,” “Orange is the New Black”). The production also announced Skeet Ulrich (“Escape Room,” “Scream”) and Laura Harrier (“BlacKkKlansman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”) as new additions to the cast. The live-action film is written by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell (“Alien,” “Blade Runner”), and is produced by Kevin Misher (“Public Enemies,” “Fighting With My Family”), as well as ImageMovers Jack Rapke (“Cast Away,” “Flight”) and Jackie Levine (“Allied,” upcoming Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of “The Witches”). Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis (“Cast Away”, “Flight,” “Back to the Future” trilogy), Sapochnik, Adam Merims,Luck and Andy Berman serve as executive producers. Producing in association with Amblin Partners is Walden Media, who recently closed a deal to board the project. This will be the fourth film that Amblin and Walden have partnered on. Overseeing for Amblin Partners is Co-President of Production Jeb Brody, along with Andrew Calof, VP, Creative Affairs. Ulrich is represented by Luber Roklin and Paradigm. Harrier is represented by ICM Partners, Soffer/Namoff Entertainment and Peikoff Mahan. The film will be released on Oct. 2, 2020 by Universal Pictures domestically, and Universal and Amblin Partners internationally.
Veteran Locations Manager hired to head New Mexico Film Office
Photo credit: Clay Perez – Todd Christensen on the last day of filming “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” with Ethan Coen, left and Joel Coen.
5/20/19 – SANTA FE, N.M. – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed New Mexico resident and long-time Locations Manager Todd Christensen to head the New Mexico Film Office. Christensen has scouted and managed locations for all the major motion picture studios and completed 10 movies in New Mexico including “Off the Map” “Sicario 1 &2” “Only the Brave” “12 Strong” and “the Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Starting his career in Los Angeles, Christensen’s first job was for the movie “As Good As it Gets.” He went onto work on such projects as “Syriana”, “Moneyball”, “The Hunger Games,” “There Will Be Blood”’, “‘Paul”’ and many more. Christensen has worked with directors Paul Thomas Anderson, James L. Brooks, and Joel and Ethan Coen. “I’ve been in the field on movies for 23 years doing this job,” Christensen said. “I’ve worked with over 50 producers, I have friends in all of the studios. I’m going to contact all of those people to tell them to come to New Mexico to make their next movie or TV series here,” he said. Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department said the state is seeing significant interest since a new industry incentives law was signed by Gov. Lujan Grisham. The change will double the amount of money that can be paid out for filming in New Mexico and allows reimbursements up to 35 percent. “Our crews, our climate have always been terrific, and now we have an incentives law to match,” Keyes said. The new measure also exempts the cap altogether for those companies that sign a 10-year partnership with New Mexico. “Todd has been on the ground in the United States and New Mexico working with producers for more than two decades,” said Keyes. “He can carry our message: New Mexico is serious about building the industry, we want production companies to not only come and film in the state, but to stay here permanently and provide year-round employment.” Christensen hopes to better coordinate with schools and colleges to develop the workforce in New Mexico. He has worked with film commissions all over the United States, including South Korea, Poland, Mexico, the Bahama’s and, most importantly, New Mexico. Christensen understands the need for strong collaboration between the state film office, tribal governments, and city and county film liaisons. “Every movie has challenges and there can be logistical nightmares,” he said. “That’s why there has to be cooperation with the state and the city and county film offices. I want to help with that. I want to be available and accessible,” he said. A native of Yankton, S.D., Christensen lived for periods of time in Albuquerque and Taos before settling full time in Santa Fe in 2006. He started his position as Director of the New Mexico Film Office on Monday, May 20.
5/17/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the short “Who Stole the Tasmanian Devils?” produced by Loraque, LLC, a New Mexico production company, will begin principal photography at the beginning of this month through the mid-June in Albuquerque. The production will employ 25 New Mexico crew members, 7 New Mexico actors and 5 New Mexico background talent. The short is directed by Tom Carroll (“Big Bad Budget”) and produced by Brian Mangas (“Pregnant and Deadly”). “Albuquerque is a great city, full of character, and the movie makes the most of our city and the people in it,” said director Tom Carroll. Starring Kristin Broadwell (“People Just Doing Nothing”), Eric Martinez (“Brother’s Keeper”) and Quinton Aaron (“The Blind Side”), the short is the story of an Albuquerque fixer who’s called upon to help police figure out who stole the Tasmanian Devils from the zoo. For more information, contact: Tasmaniandevilsfilm@gmail.com.
5/17/19 – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the multimedia project “Meow Wolf Outside” produced by Meow Wolf is in production through mid-December in Santa Fe. The production will employ approximately 7 New Mexico crew members. Directed by Aaron Geiser and produced by Sarah Brin, “Meow Wolf Outside” is a phone-enabled, interactive experience that blends digital and physical storytelling elements to invite residents and tourists alike to explore Santa Fe. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5/17/19 – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the multimedia project “Meow Wolf Companion App” produced by Meow Wolf is in production through mid-December in Santa Fe. The production will employ approximately 8 New Mexico crew members. The “Meow Wolf Companion App” is a mobile application that beckons guests to dive deeper into the worlds of Meow Wolf exhibitions. The app will serve as a gateway to interactive games, branching narratives, and conversations with characters in the Meow Wolf multiverse. For more information contact: email@example.com.
5/17/19 – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the multimedia project “Meow Wolf Portal” produced by Meow Wolf is in production through mid-December in Santa Fe. The production will employ approximately 12 New Mexico crew members. Directed by Geet Jacobs and produced by Sarah Brin, “Meow Wolf Portal” is an exclusive, Direct-to-Consumer Platform offering fans the opportunity to engage with Meow Wolf creative IP, while also maximizing revenue potential worldwide and giving our fanbase a deeper connection to our creative community. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5/17/19 – The New Mexico State Film Office today announced that the feature, “The Au Pair” produced by The Au Pair Inc. will begin principal photography mid-May through the end of May in Albuquerque. The production will employ approximately 35 New Mexico crew members, 9 New Mexico actors and 75 New Mexico background talent. Directed by Joe Russo (“3x BloodList writer”, “Nightmare Cinema”) and produced by Ross Kohn & Nancy Leopardi (“Happily”, “Feed”) and Rick Metz. “The Au Pair” – After the death of her fiancé, Taylor becomes an Au Pair for a mysterious couple and their nine-year-old daughter. She uncovers a frightening tale of jealousy, obsession, and murder only to find out that she might be their next target. For more information contact: email@example.com
4/29/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office announced today Sony Pictures recently completed filming on the Navajo Nation (Shiprock region) on the next chapter in the blockbuster Jumanji franchise. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, with Danny Glover and Danny DeVito. “I’m thrilled such a significant production chose New Mexico. I’m particularly excited they chose such a beautiful location,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We want to develop a film industry as broad and inclusive as our wide-open vistas, extending into rural areas all across the state. This shoot represents a step toward that goal.” “First of all, we extend our welcome and appreciation to the Jumanji production team and cast for filming on the Navajo Nation. This partnership with Sony Pictures allowed the Navajo Nation to internationally display its beautiful landscape and unique culture on a major produced film. It also allowed the Navajo Nation to look forward to many more production opportunities,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “We know this corner of New Mexico has stunning natural scenery and open space and are delighted that Sony Pictures was able to work with the Navajo Nation on this production,” said Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the New Mexico Economic Development Department. Keyes noted the new film incentives law starting July 1, 2019 gives productions an additional 5 percent credit for filming in rural areas and hopes that this will prompt producers to take a closer look at the natural attractions outside the Rio Grande corridor. The production prepped for a month in the region prior to their principal photography. These prep and production efforts employed approximately 100 New Mexico crew members from the strong filming infrastructure in the state. The film is directed by Jake Kasdan and written by Kasdan, along with Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg. The producers are Matt Tolmach, Jake Kasdan, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia. Executive producers include David Householter, Melvin Mar, Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, William Teitler, Ted Field, Mike Weber and Chris Van Allsburg. The film opens in theatres this upcoming holiday season on December 13, 2019.
Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office Director Todd Christensen announced today that the short “Breathe,” produced by Librada Pictures, LLC filmed in Albuquerque and Placitas. The production employed 12 New Mexico crew members, 2 New Mexico actors and 7 volunteer background talent. The short was directed by Cassandra Rochelle Fetters and produced by Amber LeRae Earls (“Wrecktify,” “I Am That,” “A Bitter Reckoning”). Starring Sofia Embid (“Monday,” “Millennium Bugs,” “Life Goes Up”) and Julian Bonfiglio (“Better Call Saul,” “The Girlfriend Experience,” “Making a Killing,” “Furthest Witness”), “Breathe” is the story of a woman who goes through the cycles of her marriage until it finally escalates. At that point she must make a choice, does she stay and let the cycle continue or does she leave and risk the unknown.
4/17/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, New Mexico Film Office announced the multimedia / new media project “Meow Wolf Las Vegas,” produced by Meow Wolf. Principal photography will begin mid-April through the end of November in Santa Fe and the surrounding area. The production will employ approximately 80 New Mexico crew members, 10 New Mexico actors and approximately 65 New Mexico background talent. “Meow Wolf Las Vegas” is a variety of media content that will be showcased in the new exhibition space opening in Las Vegas, NV. The project is directed by Tristan Love, Jilann Spitzmiller, Isabel Zermani, Amy West, Kron and produced by Tara Tovarek p.g.a. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4/17/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, New Mexico Film Office announced the live streaming channel “Meow Wolf LIVE,” produced by Meow Wolf. LIVE will begin principal photography this month through December 2020 in Santa Fe. The production will employ approximately 6 New Mexico crew members. The live streaming channel is directed by Doseone and co-produced by Sarah Dallas and Chris Slight. “Meow Wolf LIVE” streaming is an initiative that showcases the artists, employees and all of the exciting content being created under the Meow Wolf banner. The entertaining and informative shows will spotlight various teams and talents at Meow Wolf as they create exhibitions, host exclusive interviews, play video games and carry on with their day to day activities. With a large group of diverse artists, the programming will feature a wide range of identities and talents, broadening the definition of what a “traditional artist” is supposed to be.
4/15/19 – Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Film Office announced that the feature film “Manson Brothers Zombie Massacre” produced by Mona Vista Productions will begin principal photography mid-April through early May in Santa Fe and Española. “A warm welcome to the production team of Mssrs. Hagerty and Martini, as well as the entire cast and crew. ‘Manson Brothers’ highlights the unparalleled creative flexibility offered to the industry by New Mexico and the greater Santa Fe region,” said Eric Witt, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Office. “We know how to throw down on a diving elbow drop.” The production will employ some 65 New Mexico crew members, 21 New Mexico actors and 250 New Mexico background talent. Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes of the Economic Development Department expects a busy summer production season in New Mexico for film and television as word gets out about new incentives for the industry. “Our crews, our climate has always been terrific, and now we have an incentives law to match,” Keyes said. Signed into law last month by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the initiative provides rebates on qualified expenses up to 35 percent and more than doubles the annual cap on payments. It also exempts the cap altogether for those companies that sign a 10-year partnership with New Mexico. The “Mans