Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Mexico Film Industry News Briefs

Industry News Briefs

The State of New Mexico ups the film industry ante with a $10 million dollar economic development grant to Santa Fe Studios. With an initial 18,000 sq.ft of sound stages planned, the Studios may lure more films to New Mexico and help prevent a drain of productions from Santa Fe to ABQ. Santa Fe county has also chipped in by approving $6 million in bond offerings. A major studio facility in Santa Fe would do much to diversify and strengthen Santa Fe's government and tourism based economy. Most importantly, they're supposed to be the world's first "Green Studios." Stay tuned. . . Speaking of Green, the IATSE Local 480 just published its Green Filmmaking Guide. The book offers tips and techniques for crew on the latest green practices in the industry. Get it! . . . With requisite bumps and bruises, the Santa Fe Film Festival pulls off its 10th year. Great slate of films, with strong showing of documentaries. Lifetime achievement award given to Tommy Lee Jones. Special guests included Dabney Coleman and hosts Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) John Carroll Lynch (CSI). Congratulations to all the award winners, including new member and screenwriting coach Ambyr Davis who produced the Best Narrative Short winner at the Festival, "Beholden". . . Ambyr, a recent arrival to the NM film world from LA is offering two great Screenwriting Classes in Santa Fe starting January 12 and 13th, with classes in ABQ to follow. Register now!. . . member Laura Mathis of Sol Acting Academy was ranked #1 acting coach in Albuquerque by Albuquerque Magazine! Great ongoing classes for adults and kids. . . Iowa reinstates its film incentive program, but they're not accepting any new applications; just working to process 28 previously approved productions. Why? Iowa canceled their film program due to inappropriate production spending and the film office didn't require detailed bookkeeping. The cancellation triggered breach of contract lawsuits by five international film companies who had productions in the works, which in turn has inspired the film office to get things rolling again, for now. Meantime, the New Mexico Film Office runs the tightest ship in the industry by continually working to strengthen the incentives and improve transparency. . . The AFCI Locations Trade Show takes place April 15-17 in Santa Monica. We'll be there promoting all the cast, crew, and vendors on our site and working to keep New Mexico a leading film destination!. . . The Santa Fe Alliance wins an FDA grant to help accelerate its Farm to Restaurant project, which pairs local and regional farms with local restaurants and grocers. is in talks to help extend that program to the film industry, and to encourage and promote those caterers and craft service providers who participate!. . . Las Cruces and the Borderlands region of New Mexico are really pushing hard to attract movie business, and we're happy to help. Check out the "Good to Go" article from the Las Cruces Sun-News!. . . Apologies from the industry for road blockages in Las Cruces and Albuquerque for the production Due Date!. . . Some "Made in New Mexico" films have just hit theaters. Brothers, starring Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal released to mixed reviews and $17m at the box office, while Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Duvall looks great and is opening to excellent reviews. In fact, Bridges was just nominated for a Golden Globe for his role, and there's murmurs that he'll get an Oscar. Much of it filmed right in the heart of Santa Fe!. . . Did You Hear About the Morgans, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant opens 12/18 - and the trailer looks as perky and cute as you would imagine! Should do well at the box office. Nevermind that folks in Wyoming are all mad that a movie set in their state was actually filmed in New Mexico. Welcome to the world of film incentives!. . . Speaking of incentives, about 42 productions filmed in New Mexico in 2009. This spring looks real big for New Mexico film with several productions on the horizon. . . Happy Holdays!

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