Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Awards buzz good for area

‘Hell or High Water’ nominations at Oscars may bring promising future.


March 1, 2017

CLOVIS — The film “Hell or High Water,” filmed in Clovis, Portales and Tucumcari, may have walked away empty-handed during the Oscars on Sunday.

But its award season prominence brings a promising future for films shot in eastern New Mexico, according to Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Film Liaison Nick Mondragon.

“I went into the Oscars thinking that we didn’t have a good chance of winning,” said Mondragon. “Especially the way things went with the SAG (Screen Actors Guild) awards and the Golden Globes.”

The film, directed by David Mackenzie, was previously nominated for best drama film at the Golden Globes, where director Barry Jenkins’ film “Moonlight” won the prize.

“Moonlight” also beat “Hell or High Water” for best picture at the Oscars, after award presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced director Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” as the winner.

Jeff Bridges was nominated for best supporting actor, in addition to nominations for best original screenplay and best editing. Bridges also received Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations.

The Oscar nominations speak volumes, Mondragon said, as it was one of the few nominated films to be filmed in New Mexico.

“For four nominations, that’s really good,” he said. “It’s just an honor to be nominated. This is the biggest movie we’ve had to be filmed in our area.”

Additional attention was brought to movies filmed in New Mexico during the Oscars, Mondragon said, as actor Viggo Mortensen was nominated for best lead actor for the film “Captain Fantastic,” which filmed partially in the state.

Mondragon added other films might have done better during the awards show, because they were emotionally-driven, as opposed to “Hell or High Water” being a “script-driven” film.

“I’m definitely proud of this movie. We couldn’t have asked for a better movie to be filmed in Clovis,” he said. “We hope it’s just the beginning.”


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