ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico has built its film industry from the ground up.
Many helped pave the way.
The New Mexico Film & TV Hall of Fame will honor them on Feb. 11.
The banquet and awards ceremony will take place in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and will feature cast and crew members from the shows and films, as well as other notable guests and history-makers of the New Mexico film industry.
“We’re excited for all of the events leading up to the hall of fame,” says Jon Hendry, a local union representative. “There’s been a lot of hard work put into this. And now sponsors are seeking us out to be part of the event.”
The initial inductees and honorees were chosen by film professionals based on one criterion – that each has made a significant contribution to New Mexico film and television.
There were hundreds of names to consider for the inaugural list, Hendry says, and the process was, at times, difficult.
Those to be honored on Feb. 11 are:
• Thomas Edison, in recognition of the first film shot in New Mexico 120 years ago at the Isleta Pueblo, “Indian Day School.”
• The New Mexico Film Office (formerly the New Mexico Film Commission) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary since its founding in 1968 by Gov. Dave Cargo, as the first film office in the country. The award will feature original commission member Max Evans and the current head of the New Mexico Film Office, Nick Maniatis.
• “The Milagro Bean Field War” on its 30th anniversary, featuring director Robert Redford, author John Nichols, and composer Dave Grusin.
• “Breaking Bad” on its 10th anniversary, with the cast and crew, including Stewart Lyons, the producer who worked on the entire series.
• “Bless Me, Ultima” on its fifth anniversary, recognizing iconic author Rudolfo Anaya.
• Imogene Hughes, the first lady of New Mexico film and the doyenne of Bonanza Creek Ranch.
• New Mexico screenwriter, philanthropist and icon George R.R. Martin.
“It helped that there were a lot of anniversaries this year,” he says. “We’re getting to celebrate these with the filmmakers.”
Hendry says there will be four rising-star honorees: director and screenwriter Hannah Macpherson, cinematographer Conci Althouse, actress Morning Star Angeline, and director and screenwriter Joshua Oppenheimer.
“This is what is great about New Mexico,” Hendry says of the rising-star honorees. “The new people that are coming up in the industry. These are the people growing up in New Mexico. By honoring them, people are able to see the group of talented filmmakers.”
The gala will be a highlight of Santa Fe’s first Film Week – a celebration of everything film, television, and multimedia related – which will take place Feb. 6-12. Film Week events will include the Santa Fe Film Festival, classes and seminars through the film union-sponsored Film Industry Tune Up program, the New Mexico Film Office’s Film & Media Education Summit, New Mexico Girls Make Movies, the annual Film & TV Day at the Capitol, and the New Mexico Film & TV Hall of Fame Awards dinner.
“There are so many people and projects we could include, we’re planning on making this an annual event for years to come so we’ll have plenty of opportunity to recognize those we ought to,” says Nani Rivera, director of Film Week and Shoot New Mexico. “We feel our inaugural inductees are a great cross-section of New Mexico, from the original filmmaker Thomas Edison to the rising stars of tomorrow.”