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.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com.
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