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January 25, 2022
Albuquerque Ranked Best Large City for Film Fourth Year in a Row by MovieMaker Magazine
Affordability, diverse locations, work opportunities cited as city’s leading assets
ALBUQUERQUE – Albuquerque just became the first city in the history of MovieMaker’s film and production rankings to be listed as No. 1 among large cities for four years in a row. The leading industry magazine announced today that Albuquerque was selected as the No. 1 Best Place to Live and Work as a MovieMaker in 2021. No other city has earned the prestigious spot for four consecutive years since the magazine launched the list in 2001.
Toronto, Atlanta, Montreal, and Boston followed behind Albuquerque in the top five in the Big Cities category.
“Albuquerque is one of the fastest-growing high-tech, sustainable film production hubs in North America,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The industry has grown here despite the challenges of the pandemic, creating jobs and opportunities in our community, bringing in new dollars to local businesses, and attracting new business, both inside and outside the creative sectors.”
In addition to the expansion of Netflix’s Albuquerque hub and NBC Universal’s downtown studio in 2021, the Albuquerque area’s portfolio of production infrastructure is expanding beyond existing spaces such as I-25 Studios. New stages coming on-line include the recently converted Studios at Journal Center, the Hanover Stages, and other soon-to be announced sound stage projects.
“Albuquerque continues to lead MovieMaker’s list because we really do offer everything productions seek, and then some,” said Albuquerque Film Office liaison Cyndy McCrossen. “Infrastructure, in particular, has become a high-value asset sought by production companies. Albuquerque is meeting that demand, while also providing skilled talent, experienced vendors, and competitive incentives, within a natural environment conducive to a healthful lifestyle.”
MovieMaker compiles its annual list based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, additional research, and personal visits whenever possible.
“Four times at No. 1 is astonishing, and it’s a testament to how much Albuquerque has exploded as a production hub,” said MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy. “Albuquerque is a lovely, friendly, affordable, very livable city that offers a terrific work-life balance.”
MovieMaker also ranked Santa Fe this year as No. 3 in its Small Cities and Towns category, supporting a regional commitment to the state’s booming industry.
Productions shot locally in 2021 include Sony Pictures’ Better Call Saul Season 6; Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4, and Chupa; A24’s When You Finish Saving the World; and indie feature film, Flamin’ Hot.
The Albuquerque Film Office (AFO) supports the rapidly expanding creative economy by serving as a liaison between City agencies, the local community and Film/TV productions. The AFO provides resources and support to productions, oversees permitting for City property, and supports an industry that provides high-paying creative and technical jobs, and indirectly benefits other industries and businesses in Albuquerque. The Film Office also ensures Film and TV guidelines are upheld, maintaining the safety and well-being of Albuquerque and its residents. Albuquerque was named the Best Place to Live and Work for film industry professionals in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 by MovieMaker Magazine.