NEWARK, NJ - Aaron Sorkin’s powerful new drama The Trial of the Chicago 7 will begin streaming on Netflix beginning October 16th. Shot entirely in New Jersey, the feature film recounts the infamous 1969 trial of seven well-known defendants, including Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale and Tom Hayden, charged by the federal government with conspiracy and other crimes following the anti-war protests at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. The trial transfixed the country and sparked a national debate about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.
Most of the filming took place in Paterson at the former Community Baptist Church of Love (where the courtroom scenes were staged) and at a mansion in the Eastside Historic District. Additional scenes were filmed in Newark (at City Hall and other sites), Clifton, Hoboken and Montclair, and at Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown and Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison.
Sorkin, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Social Network, is perhaps best known for the hit television series The West Wing. He wrote and directed The Trial of the Chicago 7, featuring an all-star cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and New Jersey natives Frank Langella and Daniel Flaherty.
“We’re thrilled that New Jersey served as the backdrop to bring this important story to life on screen,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “The Trial of the Chicago 7 hired hundreds of Garden State workers and contributed millions to our economy, illustrating the powerful impact of our state’s growing film industry.”
“This is one of many major productions filmed in New Jersey in 2019,” according to Michael Uslan, Chairman of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. “These projects generated in excess of $415 million for the state economy in 2019 alone, and created thousands of jobs.” The production company, Cross Creek Pictures, hired over 430 crew members for the filming of The Trial of the Chicago 7, accruing over $30 million in costs for labor, goods and services.
The New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program currently offers eligible production companies a 30-35% transferable tax credit on qualified film production expenses, plus an additional 2% diversity bonus for qualified productions. The program has brought about a dramatic increase in motion picture and television activity in the state since its inception in 2018.
About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
The NJMPTVC, which falls under the New Jersey Department of State’s Business Action Center, is staffed by industry professionals and serves as a resource for production companies. The Commission promotes film and television production in New Jersey.