ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – MovieMaker Magazine for the fourth year in a row has named Albuquerque the Best Place to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in North America. Albuquerque took the top spot in the Big Cities category while Santa Fe was ranked number three in the Small Cities & Towns category.

Citing Albuquerque’s increased production spending of over $100 million during the fiscal year 2021 compared to the 2019 fiscal year, MovieMaker reports “the production boom is breathing new life into the entire city” as the fiscal year 2022 is expected to continue the upward trend.


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Netflix has created a large impact in the city with its 2018 purchase of ABQ Studios and its pledge to expand and spend $1 billion in New Mexico in 2020. The publication also credits Albuquerque’s production boom and film tourism business for its top spot.

The opening of the NBCUniversal New Mexico Production Studio in June 2021 also helped push Albuquerque ahead as a movie industry hub. The following were MovieMaker Magazine’s top five Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022:

Big Cities:
  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. Toronto, Canada
  3. Atlanta, Georgia
  4. Montreal, Canada
  5. Boston, Massachusetts

Santa Fe makes the top three in MovieMaker Magazine’s Small Cities & Towns category. The publication reports projects including “Outer Range”, CW’s “Roswell, New Mexico” were filmed in the Santa Fe area along with Netflix’s Western, “The Harder They Fall“.

While the rankings report that Albuquerque remains at the top stop as an even larger production hub compared to Santa Fe, the state’s incentives are highlighted with a 25 to 35% refundable tax credit for productions.

Small Cities & Towns
  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Savannah, Georgia
  3. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  5. Tulsa, Oklahoma

MovieMaker creates its annual list based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, additional research, and personal visits. MovieMaker’s full ranking can be found online at moviemaker.com.