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N.M. Film Focus: On Belief, Opportunity

N.M. Film Focus: On Belief, Opportunity

Christa Valdez runs through upcoming projects and the new arrivals and second comings of celebrities in N.M. – as well as the proper etiquette for fans approaching stars.

New Arrivals and Second Comings


Christa Valdez

Christa Valdez

Hopes vs. hoax

Celebrity sightings, filming announcements and casting calls are the new normal in New Mexico, and it’s easy to believe outrageous Internet headlines. Inquiries about forthcoming projects and related celebrities regularly flood my inbox at oneheadlightink.com.

Many such stories can easily be debunked with a review of the source site. If you click on a website’s About Us or Contact tab, and it clearly states that stories published there “are satire or pure fantasy,” there’s your answer.

Local musician Joey Key snaps a selfie with “Preacher” star Dominic Cooper. (Credit: Joey Key)

Local musician Joey Key snaps a selfie with “Preacher” star Dominic Cooper. (Credit: Joey Key)

What you can believe are public sightings or social media posts by visiting celebs and film crews. For instance, musician Joey Key of local band Sourpuss recently had occasion to snap a gentlemanly selfie with “Preacher” star Dominic Cooper. Actors, producers, directors and even crew members post about their time in the Land of Enchantment.

Keep an eye out for New Mexico-related posts on Twitter and Instagram, and you’ll come across a familiar mountain view, spectacular sunsets or a steaming plate of something smothered in green chile; browse social media feeds from the likes of Rhea Seahorn (“Better Call Saul”), Brendan Fehr (“The Night Shift”) and Chris Pratt (“The Magnificent Seven”) for evidence.

No matter how reliable the source, local film and television projects are only official when the New Mexico Film Office publishes a news release at nmfilm.comAside from legalities and manners, common sense dictates that locals behave respectfully toward our visiting film friends.

A closed set is just that, and looky-loos are not welcome. If hired to work on a film, intrusiveness isn’t merely impolite, it’s grounds for firing, and that sort of termination can mark wannabe actors or crew as undesirable for industry employment.

Our state is rapidly becoming known for treating our temporary stars-in-residence with respect and space. While some of that’s due to actual physical space between civilization and filming locations, it also stems from our collective aversion to becoming citizen paparazzi. We’re friendly, and we’re chill. Let’s keep it that way.

Household names

While not yet official, the wait for Hugh Jackman to join a long list of New Mexico celebrity sightings is almost over. Sources remain tight-lipped about the identity of the “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” star who will film in New Mexico by summer’s end.

There’s also speculation that former Batman Christian Bale will return to our state to film a Western flick titled “The Hostiles,” which costars Jesse Plemons (“Fargo”) and Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”). “Antman” star Paul Rudd is slated to shoot “Ideal Home” soon in Northern New Mexico. 

Getting the picture

Watch for statewide casting calls as features “In the Middle of the River,” “2 Years and 8 Days” and “Priceless” film in locales ranging from Santa Fe to Ruidoso. Television series “Preacher,” “The Night Shift” and “From Dusk Till Dawn” continue to roll metaphorical tape in Albuquerque.

For the fur babies, the Animal Humane Association’s Feline Film Festival benefits homeless pets in Albuquerque, and the contest is open through April 30. Visit Animal Humane’s website for more details at animalhumanenm.org/events/felinefilmfestival.

Score face time with local, national and international filmmakers at the Albuquerque Film & Media Experience, now through April 24. Learn more at abqfilmx.comThe inaugural Truth or Consequences Film Fiesta is scheduled for May 6-8. Learn more at facebook.com/FilmTorC.

Meet behind-the-scenes stars of nearly every N.M.-made production at the 2016 New Mexico Labor Film Festival, happening at The Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Saturday, April 30, and the Lensic (211 West San Francisco Street) in Santa Fe on Sunday, May 1. RSVP at facebook.com/SantaFeLaborFilmFestival.

New Mexico film expert Christa Valdez, of OneHeadlightInk.com and ChristaValdez.com, reports on movie industry news for ABQ Free Press.  


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New Mexico film expert Christa Valdez, of OneHeadlightInk.com and ChristaValdez.com, reports on movie industry news for ABQ Free Press.

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