Independent Filmmaking in New Mexico
Since the establishment of its film incentives program in 2002, New Mexico has become a hotbed for independent filmmaking. The program offers a 25% refundable tax credit to film productions that spend at least $50,000 in the state, which has attracted filmmakers from all over the world to take advantage of New Mexico’s diverse landscapes, skilled crews, and favorable climate.
One of the first independent films to be made in New Mexico after the incentives program began was “The Dry Spell” in 2005. Directed by John Erick Dowdle, the film tells the story of a writer who goes on a trip to New Mexico to find inspiration for his next book. The film was shot in and around Santa Fe and Albuquerque and featured local actors and crew members.
Another notable independent film was “Bless Me, Ultima” in 2013. Directed by Carl Franklin and based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya, the film follows a young boy growing up in New Mexico during the 1940s and his relationship with an elderly curandera, or healer. The film was shot in and around Santa Fe and featured a predominantly Hispanic cast.
…Unique Films Abound
One of the most unique independent films to be made in New Mexico during this time was “Lost in New Mexico“, written and directed by Jason Rosette in 2004 and released in 2009. The film follows a grieving mother who seeks out a maverick animal cloning expert in a desert town, hoping to bring her recently deceased daughter back to life. Accompanied by her undocumented immigrant companion, the mother embarks on a secret journey to meet the doctor. Shot on location in rural New Mexico, the film features stunning landscapes and an eclectic cast of characters.
“Lost in New Mexico” is a particularly fascinating example of independent filmmaking in New Mexico, as it showcases the state’s unique culture and environment. The film features authentic New Mexican cuisine, local music, and traditional clothing, as well as beautiful shots of the state’s iconic mesas and deserts. Additionally, the film addresses important issues such as immigration and the ethics of cloning, making it both thought-provoking and entertaining.
Overall, independent films like “Lost in New Mexico” offer an exciting alternative to Hollywood productions that have been filmed in the state. These films showcase the unique culture and landscapes of New Mexico and provide opportunities for local actors and crew members to work on meaningful projects. As the film incentives program continues to attract filmmakers to the state, we can expect to see even more innovative and diverse independent films coming out of New Mexico in the future.