LAS CRUCES - With citizens encouraged to stay at home to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Film Las Cruces is launching the “At Home! Movie Contest” to help residents have some fun and create some entertaining and educational videos for the city and state.

The contest will start on April 1 and run through April 20.

“During this time of social distancing, Film Las Cruces is happy to help create this opportunity to have a little fun and maybe even develop an informative public service announcement to help us reduce spread of the coronavirus,” said Don Gray, director of the Las Cruces and Doña Ana County Film Office. “We encourage families and children to tap into their creativity and teamwork to make some entertaining videos for us all to enjoy.”

Jon Foley, film liaison for Film Las Cruces, said the coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the film industry in New Mexico.

"The coronavirus pandemic has completely halted all film and television productions globally," Foley said. "On the bright side, this has given us a greater opportunity to pitch Las Cruces to industry decision makers with more time on their hands."

New Mexico has directed residents to stay at home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which Foley sees as the perfect time to pick up filmmaking as a hobby.

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"Making short films at home is a great way to spend your time. As with all forms of art, this provides an opportunity to bring imagination to life," he said. "Some of my fondest memories were creating stop-motion videos with Legos in my bedroom."

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The contest will have three categories: Best Short Film, Best Family Film, and Best Public Service Announcement on the benefits of social distancing in helping to stop the coronavirus. There will also be an award for the best film from someone under 18 years old.

While this contest is largely limited to residents of Doña Ana County, the contest will also offer a Best PSA winner for a resident of New Mexico outside of Doña Ana County.


  • SHORT FILM: Create a 3- to 5-minute short film. The film may be about any fiction or nonfiction subject matter that is suitable for a wide audience including children. We encourage participants to get creative with their storytelling.
  • BEST FAMILY FILM: Create a 3- to 5-minute short film about any subject matter that is suitable for a wide audience including children. The film must involve all members of a family living in the same household, either as a cast member or crew.
  • PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL DISTANCING: Participants in this category will create a 2- to 3-minute public service announcement about the importance of social distancing to lessen the impact of the coronavirus.

Awards and prizes

A $50 cash prize will be awarded to each category winner and “Best of Show.” All initial entries will be judged by a panel of industry professionals to determine the winners. The winners from each category will then go on to an audience vote for "Best of Show." Online public voting for “Best of Show” will happen on the Film Las Cruces website,, from April 17 to 5 p.m. April 20.

Winning categories include: Best Short Film, Best Family Film, Best PSA (Doña Ana County), Best PSA (New Mexico), Best of Under 18, and Best of Show.


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Rules and regulations

  • Participants must create their video between April 1 through 15 and not before the contest start date.
  • Submissions will be accepted starting April 1 and end on April 15.
  • Team members must adhere to all social distancing and federal/state government protocols regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19): or
  • You may collaborate with others, but it must be done remotely.
  • Physical interactions can only be with team members that live in the same household.
  • Participants can submit multiple projects for consideration, but only one per category.
  • Each person can only vote once for film finalists.
  • Family members of Film Las Cruces staff or Board of Directors will not be considered for cash prizes.
  • All projects must be submitted through FilmFreeway at

To learn more about the “At Home! Movie Contest,” visit

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