Film & Photography

Interested in filming on Governors Island? Governors Island's unique location and environment make it an excellent canvas for film, television, and photo shoots. Past shoots include major productions for NBC Universal, Apple TV, Bravo, CBS, and more.

Located in the heart of the New York Harbor, the 172-acre island is five minutes away from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn and offers spectacular views of the New York City skyline, an expansive park, and a picturesque historic campus.

Films and production companies are welcome to make an appointment with the Trust to come and scout locations. Please email us at

Please note:

  • Submitting an application does not guarantee you will be granted a permit.
  • Applications must be submitted 1-2 weeks in advance of shoots that have larger scale production needs and/or vehicle access.
  • Film or photo shoot dates cannot be placed on hold until the initial review process has begun.
  • Date(s) and location(s) are only confirmed once all relevant paperwork has been received, signed and approved.
  • Costs beyond site fees are determined according to the details in your application. The more detailed your application, the quicker and more accurately The Trust can estimate your costs.
Sample Programs that would require a Film & Photography Permit:
  • Filming a movie/TV show
  • Magazine or fashion shoot
  • TV commercial/ad

Back to Dashboard

Key Dates

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Apply For Permit

Apply For Permit


Have more questions before applying? Read through these FAQs, or check out our Rules and Regulations.

Our typical response time is approximately 24 hours after an inquiry is received. Please note that the process for finalizing a film and photography permit with all associated costs may take up to three weeks due to the necessary coordination. Please feel free to contact our events team with questions at any time at

Yes, please feel free to indicate a preferred site in your proposal. We can also give site recommendations based on the scope and nature of the shoot needs, as well as site availability.

There are several indoor spaces available for film and photography shoots on Governors Island, including There is limited indoor space available on Governors Island. There is not currently capacity for more than 60 people indoors. Please note if your event requires indoor space in your proposal, and we will do our best to connect you to a site that fits your needs. For film or photo shoots, we have additional space that may be available to meet your needs.

Film and photography permits are subject to site fees to be determined during the proposal review process. Fees range based on date, time, and site location.

Film and photography shoots can take place on the Island after or before public hours with special permission from the Trust. Please note that shoots that do not take place during normal public hours may involve additional costs associated with dedicated Island services, such as extended ferry service or security.

Shoot dates can be placed on hold after the Trust has received and reviewed your proposal. Shoots are not confirmed until a signed agreement has been received and approved by both parties. If another inquiry is received, you will be given 72 hours to provide a signed contract prior to the release of the date to other parties.

Free, public Wi-Fi is available in many outdoor areas on the Island. Event organizers may purchase dedicated Wi-Fi service with additional bandwidth from the Island’s wireless provider, or they may install wireless hotspots.

Electricity varies throughout the Island and is not available on many sites. Outdoor film and photography shoots generally provide their own portable generators to meet any on-site electricity needs. Please note that FDNY requires generator permits. Please review the NYC Comprehensive Event Permitting Guide to see which permits your event/shoot may require.

Yes, drones are permitted on Governors Island. Shoots must obtain all appropriate permits from the NYPD and FAA in order to fly drones on Governors Island.

Public restrooms are located within walking distance to many Island sites. These bathrooms may not be privatized.

Governors Island is a vehicle-free environment with limited exceptions for loading materials or supplies. All vehicle access must be approved by your event contact at the Trust for Governors Island.

Vehicles for personal use are not permitted on Governors Island. Every vehicle driving onto the Island must be for work, carrying equipment, supplies, or materials. The vehicle ferry can accommodate large vans and trucks, but they must be no more than 12’6” high, 8’6” wide, 55’ long, and under 40 tons.

Vehicle requests must be submitted through the Trust’s online ferry reservation system. Event organizers will be given access to this system once their proposal is approved. Reservations to bring a vehicle onto the Island must be received at least 24 hours in advance. Vehicles must be operated in compliance with the Island’s rules and regulations. The following information will be needed to complete the reservation: make/model of vehicle, date, time of arrival and departure and your contact at the Trust. If the vehicle is a truck, please also have the vehicle height, weight, and length.

Standard hours for site visits are Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm. For other times, including weekends, please schedule through your event contact at the Trust after submitting your proposal. Email us at with any questions about potential site visits.