Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces among top small cities to live and work as a moviemaker

LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces was named among one of the top cities to live and work as a moviemaker for the first time, according to MovieMaker magazine this month.

MovieMaker magazine releases an annual list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker.” Santa Fe took the top ranking for the first time while Las Cruces ranked seventh – making the list for the first time. Albuquerque ranked fifth best big city in its fifth consecutive year appearing on the list.

According to a news release, the list is made based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, research and personal visits when possible.

Las Cruces has hosted stars such as Kate Bosworth, Ryan Phillippe, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson in just the past few years. Action film “The Locksmith,” starring Phillippe and Bosworth, is the most recent of Las Cruces-filmed movies to be released. Filming took place in downtown Las Cruces in the latter portion of 2021. Audiences can expect the film to be released in theaters and streaming Feb. 3.

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“With three cities on the Moviemaker rankings list of best places to live and work in film, there is no doubt that New Mexico is the place to be for film and TV,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a news release. “This shows unequivocally that the film and television industry is thriving in all corners of the state and that the families who depend on these jobs, from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, and now all the way to Las Cruces, are in demand and more economically secure than ever. This is how we diversify our economy and build a more resilient New Mexico.”

The list of big cities include:

  1. Atlanta, Georgia
  2. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. New Orleans, Louisiana
  4. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  6. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  7. Chicago, Illinois
  8. Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  9. Philly, Pennsylvania
  10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The list of small cities and towns include:

  1. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  2. Wilmington, North Carolina
  3. Savannah, Georgia
  4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla
  5. Palm Springs, California
  6. Knoxville, Tennessee
  7. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  8. Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
  9. Ashland, Oregon
  10. Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Newburgh, New York (three-way tie)

“Las Cruces is honored to be named amongst the most prestigious and well-known filming towns in America,” Sen. Jeff Steinborn said. “Our great locations and crew, top notch film incentives, and full-service film office makes Las Cruces and Doña Ana County an excellent filming destination.”

New Mexico Film Office announced that $855.4 million was spent by productions in the state in fiscal year 2022. About $50 million was spend outside the Albuquerque-Santa Fe corridor.

“New Mexico is thriving as a film capital, and we especially appreciate its efforts to train locals to join this thriving industry. We can’t wait to see the stories they’ll tell in the coming years,” said Tim Molloy, MovieMaker’s editor-in-chief, in a news release.

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Leah Romero is the trending reporter at the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah on Twitter.

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