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Film Las Cruces: "Building a strong future” for local film, TV production


Film Las Cruces (FLC) is a nonprofit established in 2015 to support and expand the film and media industry in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County. FLC has contracts with the City of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County to promote and develop local film and television production. It has two full-time employees, Director Don Gray and Film Liaison Jon Foley, and two part-time staff (Operations Coordinator Chris Sheppard, and Studio Coordinator Guillermo Portillo) who “actively promote the region through outreach to the film/media industry and through our social media and website,” FLC said.

Gray “has been a fixture in the New Mexico film industry for nearly 20 years and is considered one of the most knowledgeable and experienced film professionals in the state,” FLC said.

Foley, a native of Las Cruces, is a graduate of both the Doña Ana Community College Creative Media Technology (CMT) program and the New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute (CMI). Foley has experience in short-form content, including TV commercials, music videos and short films.

“While we are going through a tremendously challenging time locally and globally with the COVID-19 virus, we will come through this and want to make sure we are building a strong future creating good jobs within New Mexico’s $4 billion film industry,” FLC said. “Our funded partnerships with the City of Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, DACC, NMSU, IATSE Local 480 (New Mexico’s largest film union)

and community donations have positioned us to become a robust film production center.”

FLC began working on a rural film incentive proposal for the New Mexico Legislature in 2018, led by state Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Doña Ana, who is FLC board president. It adds an additional five percent production rebate to film and television productions that shoot 60 miles or more beyond Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties. 

In addition to Steinborn, the FLC board includes DACC Creative Media Technology Chair Matt Byrnes (vice president), Project MainStreet Chair Russ Smith (treasurer), Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA) President and CEO Davin Lopez, professional makeup and hair and special effects makeup artist Pepper Gallegos, NMSU Vice President of Student Success Renay Scott, filmmaker and photographer Stephen Osborn, actor and director Mark Vasconcellos, DACC CMT professor Lamaia Vaughn, Ganymede Games CEO and Founder Jerry Prochazka, filmmaker and Border Film Festival Executive Producer Dave Witt and CMI Professor Mitch Fowler.

Film Las Cruces Studios is located at 2100 S. Valley Drive. The 75,448-square-foot space provides “a large studio environment that supports local filmmakers and welcomes national and international productions to southern New Mexico,” FLC said. The studio has six designated spaces, offices, wired and wireless internet, five exterior roll-up doors and two truck ramps. Existing sets include a plane, the Oval Office and a prison.

DACC pays the rent on the studio building and its film students train in the studio with support from Cinelease, a national lighting and grip company, and IATSE Local 480.

FLC listed these Las Cruces film and television industry stats: $4.95 million in direct production spending since 2017; 653 worker day in FY2019-20; eight feature film productions since 2017; 1.8 million social media post reach; 62 film-friendly vendors listed by FLC; 176 crew members listed; 435 locations listed in the FLC database; 175,000 visits to the FLC website.

FLC offices are at 340 N. Reymond St. (the WIA building) in downtown Las Cruces. For more information, contact Gray and Foley at 575-805-3456 and don@filmlascruces.com and jon@filmlascruces.com. Visit www.filmlascruces.com.