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NM native relies on his instincts in behind-the-scenes film work

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ryan Ahrens has learned to trust his instincts.

And it’s paid off for him.

The New Mexico native is making a name for himself in the film industry.

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Ahrens is the principal and founder of Argent Pictures.

The company is a film financing, production and development company based in Malibu, Calif.

Many have heard of Argent projects.

Ahrens and crew worked on “American Made” with Tom Cruise.

Not to mention the documentary “Chasing Coral” and indie darling “The Birth of a Nation.”

And last but not least, the Oscar-nominated “Hacksaw Ridge.”

One thing Ahrens has learned is how to identify a good story.

“If there’s a story that is so amazing and that seems unique and it stands out on its own,” he says, “then we find ourselves leaning towards it. We want to tell important stories. Captivating, unique stories are at the top of the list.”

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Ahrens, was born in Roswell and grew up in Albuquerque, says his love for film goes all the way back to his childhood.

“I can recall how important movies were to my childhood and to my good memories,” he says. “As I’ve gotten older, film and movies are just a powerful medium for telling stories. It feels important and exciting at the same time. It was an exciting move from my background. Movies dominate our culture, and there are a lot of great stories that need to be told.”

Argent Pictures recently announced that NFL quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, NBA all-star guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, retired NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and retired NBA all-star Michael Finley have joined the company as partners.

The athletes will help develop, finance and produce films with the Argent founders.

Argent Pictures’ plan includes developing, financing and producing three to six projects a year.

Before his venture into filmmaking, Ahrens served in the Navy, became part of a successful real estate investment company and practiced law.

He is a licensed attorney in Texas and earned his doctorate in law at the University of Oklahoma; he also holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Ahrens is also a graduate of the Naval Nuclear Power Program.

And he’s an instrument-rated, FAA-licensed pilot.

He graduated from La Cueva High School and went to New Mexico State University for a year before joining the Navy.

“At the time, I wanted to see the world,” he says. “I was excited to get out of New Mexico.”

Ahrens often returns to New Mexico to visit family.

And in February, Argent Pictures is bringing its latest project to New Mexico.

The company acquired the rights to the feature film “The Good Time Girls,” by Courtney Hoffman.

Hoffman is an award-winning costume designer who has turned her hand to directing.

“The Good Time Girls” is a blood-soaked Western that follows a group of brothel workers-turned female vigilantes who band together to exact revenge on outlaws who have been terrorizing the American West.

The feature film will be an adaptation from the short-film script co-written by Lucy Teitler.

Hoffman’s short film starred Laura Dern, Garret Dillahunt, Alia Shawkat and Annalise Basso.

Casting and locations haven’t been announced.

“I’m thrilled for the movie we’re going to shoot next year,” he says. “It was a no-brainer to come to New Mexico. The crews are great, and the tax credits are competitive. Being able to come back home to New Mexico is one of the most exciting things about this project.”

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