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Santa Fe Named #1 on MovieMaker’s Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker in 2024

Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe Film Office, a joint effort between the City and County of Santa Fe’s Regional Film Commission, is delighted to announce that Santa Fe has once again secured the premier position as the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker for the second consecutive year in North America, as acknowledged by MovieMaker Magazine. 

This year's rankings, revealed in the latest issue here, highlight Santa Fe's distinguished focal point in film for North American small cities, including Canada and Mexico. The city has claimed the #1 position by the way of its four studios for a total of nine sound stages, seven western sets, local crew and training programs, and conscience effort to colligate and support local businesses during production heights.  

Tim Molloy, editor of MovieMaker Magazine, expressed his congratulations to Santa Fe stating, "We're thrilled to welcome Santa Fe back for the second year to the top of our list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in the Smaller Cities and Towns section. In our travels and research across the country, we've never found a place with such a strong per capita film scene. Especially for a smaller community, Santa Fe has an astonishing amount of opportunity, as well as a lovely quality of life and constant sources of artistic inspiration. It is thriving thanks to New Mexico's incentives and investment in film and the thriving scene in very nearby Albuquerque, but also because of the hard work of Jennifer LaBar-Tapia and local film drivers like Santa Fe Studios, Camel Rock Studios, and Bonanza Creek Ranch. We always tell filmmakers that making films with a trusted team is more important than a New York or L.A. zip code, and Santa Fe is a place where filmmakers can sustainably create with very talented locals."   

MovieMaker compiles its annual list through surveys, production spending analysis, tax incentives evaluation, additional research, and personal visits when possible. Santa Fe's recognition reflects its appeal to independent films, documentaries, commercials, television, streaming series, and feature films. Santa Fe Film Office reports 71 projects came through the Santa Fe region in fiscal year 2023, that’s 14 more than last fiscal year and with a WGA and SAG/AFTRA strike at the end of the last fiscal year. 

City of Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said, “For the second year in a row, Santa Fe has been named the #1 best place to live and work as a filmmaker in the small cities category. Being the best city is like winning best picture, best actor, best supporting actor—best everything, all at the same time! Santa Fe wins the Oscar!” 

Jennifer LaBar-Tapia, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Office, emphasized that, “Back-to-back #1 is a testament to not only the work the Santa Fe Film Office does, but all the local crew, film schools, foundations, and industry businesses that have set up shop in Santa Fe. This is an industry that works well in Santa Fe, and we are thankful to the community, investors, tribal leaders, and elected officials for their continued support.” 

“This award represents the concerted efforts of government, institutions of education, entrepreneurs, and our local crew, talent, and writers,” said County Manager, Gregory S. Shaffer. “I want to especially acknowledge our local workforce given the impact to them of the recent strikes. We appreciate your continued commitment to making Santa Fe the best place to live and work as a Moviemaker.”  

To read the full story and explore the rankings of other cities, visit MovieMaker's official website at:  

MovieMaker’s 2024 Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker-Small Cities and Towns: 

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Savannah, Georgia

Wilmington, North Carolina

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Knoxville, Tennessee

Boulder, Colorado

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Petersburg, Florida

Richmond, Virginia

The Santa Fe Film Office, jointly established by the County and City of Santa Fe to serve, recruit and expand film and television production throughout the Santa Fe region; support and develop community businesses providing goods and services to the industry; engage in community outreach and education regarding production activity; and work with partners in the public and private sectors to expand educational and employment opportunities in the production industry for local residents. 

For more information, contact Jennifer LaBar-Tapia, Santa Fe Film Commissioner at