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LAS CRUCES – Audiences were treated to a special screening of the Academy Award winning film “Fargo” Thursday evening at the Las Cruces International Film Festival, followed by actor William H. Macy and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham receiving awards for their contributions to the film industry.

Fans of Macy’s swarmed Allen Theaters Cineport 10 Thursday evening, waiting for a glimpse of the actor and their chance to meet him. Macy is well known for his performances in the recently completed series “Shameless,” “Magnolia” and the New Mexico filmed movie “Wild Hogs.”

However, he credits “Fargo” with launching his career.

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William H. Macy accepts the Las Cruces International Film Festival award for Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment on March 3, 2022 after a showing of the Academy Award-winning 1996 movie

“What a magnificent film. … It’s so moving. Anyway, what do you want to know?” Macy said right after the screening, followed by laughter from the audience inside the theatre.

Macy played Jerry Lundegaard in the 1996 movie, which also starred Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Nomadland”) and Steve Buscemi (“Reservoir Dogs,” “The Death of Stalin”). Macy’s performance got him nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role by the Academy that season.

When asked what he would do differently if taking on the role of Lundegaard today, Macy said he’d “do a little less.”

“I kinda like what I did, but I was wound up tighter than a spring, wasn’t I?” he said during the Q&A. He told the Sun-News he thought the film “really held up. So often a 20-year-old film is slow and clunky.”

The actor was invited to the Las Cruces festival this year to receive the Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment award which was presented in the lobby of the theater, after the “Fargo” screening.

Macy joins a list of recipients that includes Danny Trejo, Brendan Fraser, George Lopez, Richard Dreyfuss.

“Thank you all for supporting films and supporting these film festivals. That’s the only way independent films can survive,” Macy said after receiving the award. “I’ve had a great time. I loved watching the movie and I loved talking to all of you.”

New Mexico Gov.  Michelle Lujan Grisham, left, and others clap as actor William H. Macy enters a Cineport 10 theater to attend a screening of the Academy Award-winning movie

Macy also spoke to New Mexico State University students, faculty and other members of the public earlier Thursday at the university’s Center for the Arts. He spoke of his career highs and lows and offered advice to those interested in getting into “showbusiness,” either as an actor, director, writer or other role.

Lujan Grisham was in attendance at the VIP party after “Fargo” screened to receive the festival’s Hero award for her contributions to the film industry in New Mexico, particularly in southern New Mexico. State tax credits incentivize film production in New Mexico and further support productions outside of Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu was on hand to present the governor with the award.

New Mexico Gov.  Michelle Lujan Grisham accepts the 2022 Las Cruces International Film Festival Hero Award on March 3, 2022. She poses with LCIFF Executive Director Ross Marks, left, and New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu, right.

“This is about you. You are making this happen, the university’s making this happen,” Lujan Grisham said to those gathered in the lobby. “We’re going to build (the state’s film industry) better than anybody else anywhere in the country because my money is on each and every one of you.”

More:A movie filming every day in Las Cruces? Jonathon Sepp talks future of film production in the city

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