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Spanish Seduction

With topography suitable for many plant and animal species to flourish, and with emphasis on desert spaces, New Mexico, a state in the United States, boasts of woodland, white sand, golden trees and unique culture. What’s more – It also has a picturesque skyline and beautiful panorama.

Located in the south-west and western regions of the US, its capital is Santa Fe. The rugged countryside is aesthetically titivated with snow-capped mountains, broken mesas and caverns, which not only creates scenery to die for but also plays the protagonist’s role when captured on reel. Riveting backdrops, old-town inspired edifices amalgamated with 21st century skyscrapers – the state has every location preserved, which can make it a paradise for filmmakers and tourists.

The legacy of the early settlers of Albuquerque, the largest city in the state, lives on in the state’s Spanish cultural heritage. From the coloured-lit buildings Downtown to the Tingley beach in Oldtown, the pueblo deco style KiMo Theatre, all are landmarks of the city.

And there’s more. The architectural feature of Taos Pueblo, multi-coloured residential complexes made of reddish-brown adobe, is unique and can be found all over the state with many government buildings also done up in the same manner.

Novelist D H Lawrence once said, “Touch the country [of New Mexico] and you will never be the same again.” Standing true to this phrase is the exquisiteness of Santa Fe. It is the architecture that catches the eye. Some of the buildings here are mentioned in the list of oldest buildings in the US. Palace of the Governors, San Miguel Mission and De Vargas Street House are some of the attractions in the city.

Apart from the natural environment, it is the sepia tone of the towns that crafts an alluring setting for film shooting. Classic mafia set-up, charming country-style romance or street-fight scenes, the state can provide real sites for filming. Adding to this is the incentive provided by the film commission, New Mexico Film Office.


New Mexico’s 25-per cent Tax Rebate New Mexico offers a straightforward, uncomplicated tax rebate programme:

• No minimum budget requirement

• No minimum spend requirement

• No minimum shoot day requirement

• No minimum resident hire requirement

•No pre-qualifying

• No cap

• No brokers needed

• A four-person dedicated Film Unit at Tax & Rev

• No audit fees

•No lengthy wait: Rebate in approximately three to four months Receive a 25-per cent tax rebate on all direct production and post-production expenditures, including New Mexico crews. Eligible productions include feature films. Also non-resident actors and stunt performers can qualify under a separate tax structure.

Do you qualify?

Are you a film production company? Definition of Film Production Company: A person that produces one or more films or any part of a film.

What are the requirements?

• Script cannot be obscene in nature.

• A long-form narrative film production shall contain an acknowledgment that the production was filmed in the state of New Mexico.

• Production shall agree to pay all obligations the film production company has incurred in New Mexico.

• Production shall agree to publish, at completion of principal photography, a notice at least once a week, for three consecutive weeks, in local newspapers in regions where filming has taken place to notify the public of the need to file creditor claims against the film production company by a specified date. This information will also be posted on the website of the New Mexico Film Office until all financial obligations have been paid.

• Production shall agree to enter into a contract with the New Mexico Film Office.
What qualifies? Any of the following direct production expenditures (a transaction that is subject to taxation in New Mexico), including:

• Wages or salaries, fringe benefits or fees for talent, management and labour.• Anyone filing Part-Year Resident or Non-Resident tax returns will not qualify. • Payment to a personal services corporation for the services of a non-resident performing artist. The personal services corporation must pay gross receipts tax in New Mexico on the portion of those payments qualifying for the tax credit.

• The film production tax credit authorised by this section shall not exceed 5 million dollars ($5,000,000) for services rendered by all performing artists in a production for which the film production tax credit is claimed. 

Any of the following provided by a New Mexico vendor:

• Costs of a story and scenario to be used for a film if writer is a New Mexico resident

• Costs of set construction and operations, wardrobe, accessories and related services

• Costs of photography, sound synchronisation, lighting and related services

• Costs of editing and related services

• Rental of facilities and equipment (including location fees)

• Leasing of vehicles, not including the chartering of aircraft for out-of-state transportation

• Post-production expenditures that are directly attributable to the production of a commercial film, for services performed in New Mexico; and subject to taxation by the state of New Mexico .

New Mexico’s Film Investment Loan

New Mexico offers a 0-per cent loan, with backend participation in lieu of interest, for up to $15 million per project for qualifying feature films. Terms are negotiated and budget must be at least $2 million.

Key Requirements

• A guarantor for the principal amount of the loan must be in place.

• The film must be wholly or substantially shot in New Mexico – meaning at least 85 per cent of principal and second unit photography. Animation projects must spend at least 85 per cent of their production budget in New Mexico.

• A minimum of 60 per cent below-the-line (BTL) payroll and body count must be allocated to New Mexico residents.

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