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Film Industry receives 70% favorable rating

Michael Mando as Nacho Varga and Steven Bauer as Don Eladio in a scene from “Better Call Saul.” The series will film its last season in New Mexico this year. (Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico has been a benchmark when it comes to the film industry.

A recent poll conducted by The Garrity Group Public Relations found that the state film industry has a 70% favorable rating, tying with community colleges.

Of the 17 industries included in the poll, the top two industries were small business, at 79%, and the farm and ranch industry, at 77%.

“The survey shows strong favorability for the film industry across New Mexico because it provides a high-paying career path for local students who want to work in the entertainment industry,” said Alicia J. Keyes, Cabinet Secretary of Economic Development Department. “It’s also indicative of the support we hear from business owners who receive benefits from in-state production spending on goods and services.”

The state’s film tax incentives continue to be a gold standard in the industry.

Tax incentives include a 25% to 35% production tax credit for film, TV, commercials, documentaries, music videos, video games, animation, post-production and more.

In 2019, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that raised the cap on what can be paid out to film and TV productions from $50 million to $110 million in a single year.

According to the poll, the favorability of the film industry cuts across all demographic groups in New Mexico, but tops out with college graduates, 81% of whom gave the industry a 4 or 5 favorability rating on a scale of 1 to 5. Hispanics are just as likely as Anglos to give the industry a rating of 4 or 5.

“I am glad to see support for film and television all across New Mexico,” said Amber Dodson, New Mexico Film Office director. “We have worked hard to bring productions into rural areas and to showcase communities outside the Rio Grande corridor. This survey shows people everywhere in the state want to see this industry grow and succeed.”

The Garrity Group has commissioned Research and Polling Inc. to do its Perception Survey since 2011, but 2020 marks the first time that the film and motion picture industry was included in the analysis.

Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group Public Relations, said the film industry was included in the survey because of its increasing economic impact and the positive exposure it brings to New Mexico.

For the last two years, MovieMaker has ranked Albuquerque as the No. 1 city to live and work as a filmmaker. Santa Fe has been ranked at No. 3 for small towns as well.

“It provides a sense of pride when we see the state’s natural and unique landscapes featured on the big screen,” Garrity said. “The fact that major studios are now here and film throughout the state will continue to generate intangible benefits for tourism and economic development.”

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