EL PASO, Texas - A new movie filmed in the Borderland will premiere this month. The actors, writer and the director of 'River' are all local.
Las Cruces and El Paso are just about 45 miles away from each other. But there is one big difference in the eyes of Hollywood and those in the Borderland who work in the film industry: tax incentives. New Mexico is offering big tax incentives to filmmakers. $288 million was spent directly into the state's economy just last year.
The new movie, 'River', promises there is more than one way to drown in the Borderlands. The trailer asks the question: What would you do to get your child back?
El Paso's Andrew Gomez wrote the movie. He also stars in the film and served as executive producer.
"'River' is a story that takes place locally in El Paso and Las Cruces. It's about a detective who has gotten too close to some unsavory characters and his daughter has been kidnapped," Gomez said.
If you live in the Borderland, chances are you will recognize many of the movie's 30 locations. The movie was shot in Las Cruces and El Paso, but mostly Las Cruces. The reason is New Mexico's 25 percent tax incentive for filmmakers. Last year, Texas cut its film incentive program by two-thirds.
The director of 'River', Matthew Valdovinos, lives in El Paso. He hopes to see Texas try to mirror New Mexico's effort to lure Hollywood to the Borderland.
"If you spend a million dollars in New Mexico they will cut you a check for $250,000 right back," Valdovinos said. "This is why they had (the TV show) Breaking Bad, this is why they make so many movies out there. Things like 'Beer Fest', 'Terminator Salvation'. All those movies are being made there because they have the crew and the equipment to cast all that."
'River' began as a web series and developed into a movie.
"We used over 65 local actors and we've got over 40 speaking roles. it's a big film," Gomez said.
The makers of 'River' are now hoping for a distribution deal that could take the Borderland project worldwide.
'River' is rated R and will premiere Sept. 29 in Las Cruces at the Cineport 10. The filmmakers are hoping to have the movie premier the same night at the Alamo Drafthouse in El Paso.