Santa Fe: Best Small City to Live and Work as a Moviemaker |
Santa Fe is one of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker.

MovieMaker magazine announced on January 18, 2023, that three New Mexico cities on their annual list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker” for 2023, including Las Cruces, which has been named on the list for the first time.

Albuquerque ranks as one of the top Big Cities for the fifth consecutive year. For Small Cities and Towns, Santa Fe appears on the list again, taking the #1 spot for the first time, and Las Cruces joins the list ranking seventh. Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker graphic

“With three cities on the Moviemaker rankings list of best places to live and work in film, there is no doubt that New Mexico is the place to be for film and TV,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “This shows unequivocally that the film and television industry is thriving in all corners of the state and that the families who depend on these jobs, from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, and now all the way to Las Cruces, are in demand and more economically secure than ever. This is how we diversify our economy and build a more resilient New Mexico.”

“For the first time on our list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, Santa Fe is at No. 1 on the Best Smaller Cities and Towns list. Together, Albuquerque and Santa Fe form a film corridor known for inspiration, charm, inclusiveness, and abundant tax incentives,” said Tim Molloy, MovieMaker’s editor-in-chief.

“Albuquerque has helped build up the industry statewide — spreading the wealth not just to Santa Fe, but also to Las Cruces, which joined our Smaller Cities and Towns list for the first time,” Molloy continued. “New Mexico is thriving as a film capital, and we especially appreciate its efforts to train locals to join this thriving industry. We can’t wait to see the stories they’ll tell in the coming years.”

Best Big Cities to Live and Work as a Moviemaker

1.      Atlanta, Georgia

2.     Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

3.     New Orleans, Louisiana

4.     Toronto, Ontario, Canada

5.     Albuquerque, New Mexico

6.     Montreal, Quebec, Canada

7.     Chicago, Illinois

“Thanks to intentional investments and innovative partnerships, our city has landed on this list for five years in a row,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. “The industry has changed Albuquerque for the better and created opportunities for New Mexicans that didn’t exist before. The future for film is bright and we’ll keep working to make sure Albuquerque a place where filmmakers and creatives can thrive.”

Best small Cities and town to Live and Work as a Moviemaker

1.      Santa Fe, New Mexico Santa Fe is on the list of Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker

2.     Wilmington, North Carolina

3.     Savannah, Georgia

4.     Fort Lauderdale, Florida

5.     Palm Springs, California

6.     Knoxville, Tennessee

7.     Las Cruces, New Mexico

“Once again, Santa Fe has been recognized as the remarkable city that we are. To be recognized as the best small city for living and working by the movie industry is a great honor,” Santa Fe Mayor Allan Webber said.

In fiscal year 2022, the state announced a record-shattering $855.4 million dollars in production spend, with approximately $50 million attributed to production spend outside of the Albuquerque – Santa Fe corridor.

“Las Cruces is honored to be named amongst the most prestigious and well-known filming towns in America,” Las Cruces Senator Jeff Steinborn said. “Our great locations and crew, top notch film incentives, and full-service film office makes Las Cruces and Doña Ana County an excellent filming destination.”

“New Mexico’s strategic investments in film and television are returning dollars, creating jobs, and helping small businesses in all corners of the state. The Moviemaker rankings prove our strategy is working. We now need to build on this momentum to create a sustainable, robust economic future for the families that depends on this jobs-rich industry,” EDD Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.

Further advancing the New Mexico film industry and ecosystem is Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent announcement of the New Mexico Media Academy (NMMA), a collaboration with the Higher Education Department and 15 of their film and media programs statewide, Netflix, NBCUniversal, 828 Productions, and IATSE Local 480. The NMMA will be an epicenter for industry-standard workforce training with facilities located in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

“Three New Mexico cities being honored this year in Moviemaker magazine is an honor and testament to our smart film incentives, unique locations, bar-none crew, and film-friendly communities statewide,” said Amber Dodson, director of the New Mexico Film Office.

MovieMaker is dedicated to the art and craft of making movies. Their list of the “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker” in 2023 appears in the new issue, with Creed III star and director Michael B. Jordan on the cover. They compile the annual list based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, additional research, and personal visits, whenever possible.

For the complete 2023 list of Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker visit

Press release sent by The New Mexico Film Office.

Read about the Santa Fe International Film Festival here.

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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