scorecardresearch Skip to main content

UMass Dartmouth won’t let bombings movie film there

UMass Dartmouth students were evacuated in April 2013 during the Boston Marathon bombings investigation. Peter Pereira/Standard Times/AP/File

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has turned down a request from CBS Films to shoot scenes on campus for “Patriots Day,” an upcoming movie about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Students, faculty, and staff declined the request because “production activities would be too disruptive to our campus community,” Acting Chancellor Gerry Kavanaugh said in a statement Saturday.

Producers of the film, which will star Dorchester native Mark Wahlberg, first inquired in January for permission to film on the campus, according to university spokesman Jack Hoey.

Convicted Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student at UMass Dartmouth from September 2011 until April 2013, when he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring hundreds. After the deadly attack, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to his dormitory room on campus.


Kavanaugh did not mention Tsarnaev’s connection to the school in the statement but said the university is “hopeful that the movie does justice to the many courageous victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families, as well as the public safety officers who demonstrated such selfless dedication to their duty.”

In a statement, CBS Films said it will scout for new locations in Greater Boston. “As with each step taken on ‘Patriots Day’ our goals for authenticity are second only to the desire to respect the wishes of the parties depicted. We appreciate UMass Dartmouth taking the time to consider our request and we look forward to making a film that will make them and the entire city of Boston proud,” the statement said.

UMass Dartmouth is the second location to deny requests by filmmakers. In February, officials in Watertown denied the filmmakers request to re-create the shootout scene on Laurel Street between the Tsarnaev brothers and law enforcement that left Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.


Town Manager Michael Driscoll said at the time that filming would “not be in the best interest of Watertown.”

Alexandra Koktsidis can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @akoktsidis.