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Deadline Hollywood debuts conference in ABQ

Rhea Seehorn films a scene in 2018 for the eighth episode of the fourth season of “Better Call Saul,” which is filmed in New Mexico. (Courtesy of Kim Wilder/Amc/Sony Pictures Television)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

With New Mexico continuing its streak as a place to film, a new industry conference is being launched in Albuquerque.

The online news site Deadline Hollywood is debuting Hot Spots, a conference series that spotlights filming outside Hollywood.

The first stop is in Albuquerque, and the event will take place March 7-9 at Hotel Chaco.

“Deadline Hollywood is thrilled to debut our new Hot Spots conference series in Albuquerque,” said Stacey Farish, general manager of Deadline Hollywood. “Hot Spots is all about shining a light on Hollywood filming locations outside of Hollywood. And we think there is no better place to launch this exciting new event than New Mexico.”

Hot Spots will connect the top decision-makers in Hollywood with local film commissions, studios, production companies and other businesses that cater to the entertainment industry in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico.

“Deadline chose New Mexico because the entertainment industry is already booming, and we believe there is tremendous potential for continued growth,” Farish said.

The conference targets film and TV producers, directors, location scouts, heads of production and business affairs and production coordinators.

It will highlight what Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces have to offer in the film industry.

“It is an honor and true testament to Albuquerque’s status as a film and TV production hub to be chosen as the first ever city to host Deadline’s new conference series Hot Spots,” said Amber Dodson, Albuquerque Film Liaison. “Under the leadership of Mayor Tim Keller, the film industry in Albuquerque is thriving, recently adding Netflix and NBC Universal to the landscape. We are excited to put Albuquerque on display for the best of the best in Hollywood to see and experience our unique and wonderful city.”

The agenda includes tours of locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

The New Mexico State Film Office will present a panel called “Why New Mexico?,” which will give an overview of tax incentives, rural incentives and resources and growth.

Netflix made Albuquerque the home of a production hub in 2018 when it purchased Albuquerque Studios.

Patty Whitcher and Momita SenGupta, vice presidents for physical production, film and original series, will lead a panel called “A Netflix Fireside Chat.”

There will also be a diversity and inclusion panel moderated by Gil Robertson of the African American Film Critics Association.

A panel with producers from “The Biggest Loser,” “Deputy” and “Interrogation” is also planned.

And the Alessi-Hartigan Casting Agency will have a breakout session followed by presentations by the Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces film offices.

Guests also will include RJ Mitte of “Breaking Bad,” Ronnie Gene Blevins of “Death in Texas,” Heather Hemmens of the TV series “Roswell” and Patrick Fabian and Rhea Seehorn of “Better Call Saul.”

Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico secretary of economic development, said having the conference in the state proves that the film industry in New Mexico is on the right track.

“The fact that Deadline has chosen New Mexico for its first-ever Hot Spot networking conference is a big recognition of everything Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state has done to develop the industry,” Keyes said. “The conference will highlight our trained crews, quality studios, and diverse locations in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe that are outside Hollywood but can deliver professional productions with the best business climate in the country for film and television.”

More information can be found at hotspots.deadline.com.

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