SANTA FE – Father. Husband. Actor.
Those are three aspects of Brendan Fehr’s life that are special to him.
He’d like to add one more – New Mexican.
“The Night Shift” and “Roswell” actor was the keynote speaker at the annual Film and Media Day at the Roundhouse on Monday.
“I have a long history with New Mexico, even before I set foot into it,” Fehr said. “Then it took me another 15 years to arrive in Roswell when I shot the film ‘Roswell FM.’ It was like going home.”
After getting a starring role as Dr. Drew Alister in “The Night Shift,” Fehr moved his family to New Mexico from California.
Three years later, his wife and children don’t want to leave.
“None of them want to go back,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t have an interest in going back, either, to be perfectly honest.”
Fehr says New Mexico is home and the family is planning on staying.
“It does seem like there is something that keeps calling me back,” Fehr said, “I have no interest in fighting against it.”
The Film and Media Day celebrated how the film industry continues to be a bright spot for the New Mexico economy.
For the third year in a row, the industry has broken its own record of direct spending into the economy, with $505.9 million.
In addition to that, the state also had 52 productions with a budget of over $1 million, up from 30 in fiscal year 2016.
Because the number of productions grew, the number of worker days also increased – to 448,304 from 260,307 in fiscal year 2016.
In this year’s legislative session, Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, introduced House Bill 113, which would remove the annual cap on the film tax credit. It is in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.
Currently, there is a $50 million limit on the credits paid out in a fiscal year, and the state reaches the limit each year.
Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park spoke about the economic impact the film industry has in the state.
He says the film industry creates good jobs.
“It created options for people to stay here,” McCamley said. “It also showcases the state. The landscapes are so gorgeous, and people want to live here. Movies and TV gives us a reach into the rest of the world.”
Fehr said the impact that a production has in the state is massive.
And he wants to see the film industry keep moving forward.
“Art can change lives,” Fehr said. “The film community makes it possible for people to tell their stories. It’s a privilege being part of this community.”