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NM film group signs up 500 to promote the industry

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Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office, center, talks with actress Lora Martinez-Cunningham, right, and her class from Albuquerque Actors Studio at the Film Business Alliance of New Mexico mixer in August. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Inside Stage 1 at Albuquerque Studios, there have been numerous projects filmed.

From housing the interior of Saul Goodman’s office on “Better Call Saul” to the setting for “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the empty space is often transformed to create Hollywood magic.

This is also the space where the Film Business Alliance of New Mexico earlier this month held its first function to draw more New Mexicans interested in the organization.

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And it was a success.

To date, 500 — 300 businesses and 200 individuals — have signed up.

The organization helps spread awareness of the economic and cultural impacts the film industry has on New Mexico.

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

The alliance wants to help promote that. It is working on a source book that will include New Mexicans and businesses. It is expected to be out in October.

“Each one of these source books will be given to producers looking to film in New Mexico,” said Matt Rauchberg, senior vice president for business development at Albuquerque Studios.

Each of the major studios in New Mexico — Albuquerque Studios, I-25 Studios, Garson Studios and Santa Fe Studios — have joined forces on the project.

House Majority Leader, Rep. Nate Gentry said the film industry needs to be preserved.

“It’s a very important part of the economy,” he said. “We can’t bank on oil and gas. The film industry continues to see growth.”

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.

Currently, all the soundstages in Santa Fe are full, which is why the alliance will have an event in Santa Fe on Sept. 8.

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

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