TRENTON, NJ – Iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story,” currently under production in Paterson, was approved Tuesday for tax credits through the State’s new Film Tax Credit program. Warner Brothers Studios-produced “JOKER” filming in Newark, was also approved for the program.

“These two major productions are bringing jobs to our state and bolstering the economy of New Jersey while supporting our diverse communities,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am proud to see the film industry growing and thriving in the Garden State and excited to see New Jersey become the backdrop for more movies and television shows in the future.”

The Film Tax Credit, acording to a statement by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority,  provides a 30 percent tax credit against the corporate business tax and gross income tax for qualified film production expenses and a 35 percent credit for goods and services purchased through vendors located in targeted areas of the state. To qualify for the program, a film must spend at least 60 percent of its total budget in New Jersey or incur more than $1 million in qualified production expenses in the state.

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Both productions may also receive a bonus two percent Diversity Tax Credit upon completion of filming if they can show “a good-faith effort to undertake the strategies and meet the goals of,” a pre-approved plan for the recruitment and hiring of women and minorities during production. 

“We are proud that Paterson is on the map when it comes to filmmaking,” said Mayor Andre Sayegh. “The approval of these tax credits provides more evidence of the relationship between Paterson and state lawmakers in writing, and filming, our city’s next chapter.”