Alicia Keyes named ABQ Film Liaison

Alicia Keyes

The Albuquerque native was named film liaison by Mayor Tim Keller on Wednesday.

She will lead efforts to preserve and expand Albuquerque as a film-friendly city.

“We’re excited to bring Alicia on board as our new director of ABQFilm,” said Mayor Keller. “Her experience in the film industry and knowledge of Albuquerque will help us continue to be one of the top filming locations in the country, as well as create high-paying creative jobs for New Mexico residents.”

Keyes is replacing Ann Lerner, who has led the Albuquerque Film Office for the past 15 years and is retiring.

“I have greatly enjoyed leading the Albuquerque Film Office and helping build the film industry here,” Lerner said. “Our success wouldn’t have been possible without the support of previous mayors and the city departments, as well as the local citizens. Leading the film office has been one of the greatest jobs. I’m very excited about Alicia leading the film office. Albuquerque is very lucky to have her as part of the team.”

During her tenure, Lerner has overseen hundreds of film productions in Albuquerque — from “Breaking Bad” to large blockbusters like “The Avengers.”

Over her career she played a critical role in making our city’s film industry consistently one of the top 10 filming destinations in the country, resulting in millions of dollars of economic impact annually.

In fact, during her tenure, Lerner has helped Albuquerque make MovieMaker’s top 10 list for best places to live and work as a filmmaker since 2007. The city rose to the top spot in 2010, although in 2013, it fell to No. 11.

“Albuquerque is not just a leading filming location, but a key destination thanks to Ann. She is a tireless champion of our city, known for diversity of scenery and premier local film crews,” Keller said in a statement. “She and her team have put Albuquerque on the map as a place to film movies from the first take to the final edit.”

Keyes is no stranger to the film industry as well.

She’s been producing local New Mexico films under AJK Films LLC, sourcing private equity slate and independent financing for the entertainment sector and writing feature films.

She’s produced films such as “Biomass,” “Blaze You Out” and seven episodes of the webseries, “Enter the Dojo.”

Keyes grew up in Albuquerque, graduating from the Albuquerque Academy in 1993. She has twin boys who followed in her footsteps and graduated in 2017. They are now at Penn and Cornell. Keyes first became acquainted with the entertainment industry back in high school, when local producer Chris Schueler started a program, NEWS 101, with the Albuquerque CBS affiliate to help students produce local NEWS segments.

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