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New business group focuses on film industry

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The drama Preacher employed dozens of local businesses during its nearly six months of filming in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of AMC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The film industry in the state is coming off a record year.

This is part of the reason Film Business Alliance of New Mexico has been created — to spread awareness of the economic and cultural impacts the film industry has had in New Mexico.

Film and television production and post-production have had a multi-billion dollar impact in the state, leading to creation of over 350 vendor and service businesses and more than 17,000 jobs for New Mexico residents.

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“It has been my privilege to personally grow a business that has serviced this industry for over 12 years and see the impact firsthand,”  said Joyce Smith, the alliance’s executive director. “Local businesses are an integral part of the infrastructure in New Mexico, along with resident crew and studio facilities that productions rely upon when choosing New Mexico.”

The alliance, which began in March, will host a kick-off event at 5:30 today at Albuquerque Studios.

Matt Rauchberg, senior vice president for business development at Albuquerque Studios, said the organization has over 100 businesses signed up.

“We want people to know that the industry supports all types of businesses,” he said. He said the alliance also aims to give voice to individuals within the film industry.

“It seems like the Legislature is aware of this shining spot of the New Mexico economy,” he said. “We just want to keep it in the forefront.”

Smith said the film industry is the best thing in the state for small businesses. She is the owner of Studio Concierge and Southwest Suites, which have ties to the industry.

“We need the Legislature to realize how many small businesses rely on this industry,” she said. “With two (of my) businesses, we’ve been able to create a business specific to the industry, all while growing my existing business.”

The state’s film incentive program offers a 25 percent tax incentive for qualifying expenditures, mainly New Mexico goods and services. It  offers an extra 5 percent for TV series with an order of six episodes filmed in the state.

The alliance will have events in Santa Fe and Las Cruces in the coming months in hopes of drawing interest statewide.

Those who want to attend the event must register at www.fbanm.com.


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