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Letter to the MIT community regarding "Patriots' Day" filming

The following email was sent today to the MIT community by Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.

To the members of the MIT community,

As many of you may have seen in the press, the film director Peter Berg is currently making a major motion picture called "Patriots' Day," which chronicles the events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the killing of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

The film will include Sean as a character and will tell his story as a member of our community. Mr. Berg has asked for MIT's permission to film on our campus entirely peaceful scenes of Sean driving to campus, walking to a room, and talking to graduate students.

In consultation with President Reif, our Chief of Police John DiFava, and the Collier Family, we have decided to permit Mr. Berg to film the scenes here. We feel it appropriate that Sean's depiction take place not at a facsimile of MIT, but rather here, where he was proud to serve, and where he is loved. We and Mr. Berg agree that the scene depicting Sean's murder will not be filmed at MIT.

We expect that Mr. Berg and his crew will be on campus for three days in June, sometime after Commencement. Once we know exactly where and when filming will take place, we will give guidance to those who will be affected by pedestrian re-routings. Mr. Berg has assured us that he will make every effort to keep disruptions to a minimum. He has also expressed deep gratitude to the MIT community; he has asked me to let you all know that he is determined to portray the Institute authentically and with dignity.

I have spoken on our campus publicly about my admiration of and personal affection for Sean. And like many of you, I have thought of him every day since the night we lost him: such reflection becomes more intense as we approach each anniversary of April 18. The small decision I describe today amounts, in its way, to keeping Sean close to MIT.


Israel Ruiz

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