Albuquerque Little Theatre to Honor New Mexico Film Industry With Second Annual Luminaria Awards

The Albuquerque Little Theatre will again honor New Mexicans who have contributed to the state’s burgeoning film industry as part of its Academy Awards viewing party. The honorees will receive the Luminaria Award during ceremonies on the evening of the Oscar night broadcast, set for Sunday, Feb. 27. The honorees include: Santa Fe filmmaker Debra Anderson; City of Albuquerque film liaison Ann Lerner; author Max Evans; veteran crew member Billy W. Ray; and former director of the New Mexico Film Office, Lisa Strout.


“We’re very pleased to be able to host this event for the second consecutive year and honor the people who have made the New Mexico film industry the success that it is today,” said Albuquerque Little Theatre board member Nadine Miner. Honorees at the inaugural event in 2010 included former Gov. Dave Cargo, producer Alton Walpole, actors Luce Rains and Lora Cunningham, set decorator Michael Flowers and casting directors Shari Rhodes and Gwyn Savage.


The event is open to the public and doors open at 5:30 pm. The event will include a live broadcast of the Academy Awards, raffles, games, prizes and live entertainment. General admission is $10. For $35 per person, attendees will have access to the VIP lounge upstairs. Food will be available.


For more information, call 505-242-4750 x2.


For more information on the Luminaria Awards, contact Anthony
DellaFlora at


2011 Luminaria Award Recipients

Debra Anderson

Debra Anderson of Santa Fe has worked in the film and television
industry for more than two decades as an editor and producer. Her
work has been broadcast on PBS, Planet Green, Biography, A&E,
AMC, TLC, Lifetime, and VH1. Andersonʼs feature-length directorial
debut, “Split Estate,” won a 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding
Research. “Split Estate,” a film about illnesses caused by natural
gas drilling in a Rocky Mountain community, had its world television
premier in October 2009 on Planet Green, and premiered
theatrically in New York and Los Angeles at the 2009 International
Documentary Association’s DocuWeeks. The film, seen by millions,
has had a major impact on gas drilling policy nationally.

Ann Lerner

Albuquerque was ranked the #1 film location in the country by Movie
Maker magazine in 2010, and the city is often in the top 3 in surveys
by Variety Magazine. One of the people most responsible for that
ranking is the irrepressible Ann Lerner, who has headed the City of
Albuquerque Film Office for the past seven years. Whether she’s
recruiting TV shows like “Breaking Bad” and major films like
“Transformers,” or lending Helen Mirren her car to go shopping,
Ann is the go-to person for film business. During her tenure as film
liaison, Ann has also helped craft one of the most efficient filmpermitting
processes in the industry. Prior to taking over “the best
job in the city,” Ann spent 20 years in the film industry as an owner/
line producer for her own production company.

Max Evans

Max Evans’ imprint on the New Mexico film industry is huge. The
artist turned writer joined then Gov. Dave Cargo in 1967 on a
legendary visit to Hollywood to speak to producers and industry
elite. That visit jump-started the movie business in New Mexico and
resulted in more than 100 movies and TV shows being shot in the
next decade, including classics like “Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid,” “Easy Rider,” “Two Lane Blacktop” and “The Man
Who Fell to Earth.” But it was the production of movies based on his
classic western novels, “The Rounders,” with Henry Fonda and
Glenn Ford (1965) and “The Hi-Lo Country,” with Woody Harrelson
and Billy Crudup (1998) that cemented his reputation as a chronicler
of the modern West and memorialized New Mexico in celluloid. He
also once tried to break director Sam Peckinpah’s neck.

Billy W. Ray

If you’ve worked on a movie set in New Mexico in the last 25 years,
chances are you’ve worked with and/or been mentored by Billy W.
Ray, one of New Mexico’s most experienced art directors, prop
masters, set decorators and weapons experts. Starting with his first
job as an uncredited carpenter on the set of “Red Dawn” in 1984,
Billy has worked on films and television shows including “Wild Fire,
“The Milagro Beanfield War,” “Ten Year,” (currently in postproduction),
“A Thief of Time,” “The Longest Yard,” “Dark Country,”
“Terminator Salvation,” “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” and “Let Me
In.” Billy was also one of the founders of IATSE Local 480 in New
Mexico back in the late 1980s. He has seen the union grow from
about 50 members to more than 1,100 today.

Lisa Strout

Lisa Strout, former head of the New Mexico Film Office, oversaw
the biggest boom in film and television production in the state’s
history, a time for Lisa when a 60-hour work week was considered a
vacation. During her tenure, the film office landed dozens of
film and TV productions, including “First Snow,” “Little Miss
Sunshine,” “Transformers,” “No Country For Old Men,” (Oscar’s
Best Picture for 2007), “Wild Hogs,” “In The Valley of Elah,” “Swing
Vote,” “Crash,” “Breaking Bad,” “Sunshine Cleaning,” “In Plain
Sight,” “Crazy Heart,” “The Book of Eli” and many more. In her
previous life, she ran the New York offices of Merchant Ivory
Productions for two years, including a three month stint in Florence,
Italy working on a “A Room With A View.” Soon after she moved to
Los Angeles and worked again in locations for the next 13 years.
She now hopes to continue work with New Mexico filmmakers,
nurturing and promoting underrepresented voices, and the Redford
Initiative at Los Luceros.

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