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Game of Thrones writer calls for New Mexico boost

12 Strong

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has called for a boost to New Mexico’s filming incentive support.

New Mexico’s tax credit has helped turn the south-west state into one of the most popular US filming locations for movies and TV with desert stories, including Chris Hemsworth’s upcoming war movie 12 Strong (pictured), which is set in Afghanistan.

However, the support programme’s annual film fund is capped at a relatively low $50m.

“We're in competition with Texas and Arizona and Utah,” said Martin, a Santa Fe resident, in comments reported by the Associated Press news agency at a film forum in the city. 

“How do we compete? Obviously the incentives are a big part of it. We have to get rid of this cap.”

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, who will run for governor of New Mexico in 2018 with Martin’s support, has pledged to expand the state’s filming incentive support and production infrastructure if she is elected.

“We want to double the number of films that we're doing,” said Grisham at the forum. “We want to lift the cap. If you're really going to be open for business, be open for business.”

Film and TV production in New Mexico rose 30% in the 2016-17 financial year, but removing or lifting the funding cap could help boost regional spending.

While New Mexico is technically in competition with Texas, Arizona and Utah, California is a bigger rival as it offers desert locales and well-funded incentive support.  

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in New Mexico.

Main page image: Cavazos. 12 Strong image: David James/Warner Bros. Entertainment