Moviemaker’s Best Places to Work and Live

Independent film makers lead a peripatetic life in their search for the perfect landscape, networks, resources, and the people that can help bring their vision to the screen, opined Maggie Gottlieb and Julie Pearson in their January 2017 article for MovieMaker Magazine.

The magazine conducted extensive research to recommend some choice destinations for this wunderlust tribe, whether it’s a place for their next shoot or somewhere to call home. Their criteria: “film production in 2016 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated), film community and culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations), access to equipment and facilities, tax incentives, cost of living and a general category that encapsulates lifestyle, weather, transportation and other socio-cultural markers. (“Breweries per capita” is one of them. Seriously.)”

Santa Fe came in second on their list of small cities and towns, moving up from last year’s fourth place ranking. What helped clinch it for the City Different was the 2016 opening of the Santa Fe Film Office, a joint city/county initiative.

“The move is a ringing endorsement of Santa Fe’s big-screen potential,” writes Gottlieb and Pearson,” and coincided with a wave of big productions. Scott Cooper’s Hostiles, with Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and Wes Studi, was shot among the red rocks of the nearby 21,000-acre Ghost Ranch. Jessica Chastain plays the real-life woman who met with Native American leader Sitting Bull in the 19th century in Woman Walks Ahead. Other buzzy titles rounding out the pack were Granite Mountain, Villa Capri, Ideal Home, Cliffs of Freedom, Titan and Justice—a veritable star-studded bonanza.

Read the full piece on

Return to Santa Fe: Awards & Accolades.