LA-based XTR has announced plans to roll out The Heist, a feature doc produced in partnership with Roots Productions’ Jill Howerton and Josh Kunau (Biggest Little Farm, The Devil We Know) and Museum + Crane’s Caryn Capotosto (Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Feels Good Man).
The Heist, which follows one of the most audacious and puzzling art thefts in history, is written by Mark Monroe (credits include Academy Award-winning films Icarus and The Cove) and directed by Allison Otto (The Love Bugs).
The film recounts the theft of Willem de Kooning’s iconic “Woman-Ochre,” which was cut from its frame off the wall of an Arizona art museum before disappearing into the desert. Although a security guard witnessed the suspected thieves, they were never caught.
The $160 million painting surfaced 32 years later in 2017 in the home of Jerry and Rita Alter (pictured), hidden behind their bedroom door in a cheap gold frame. The Alters, two recently deceased school teachers from rural New Mexico, closely resembled the original police sketch of the suspects.
Said director Otto in a statement: “The theft of ‘Woman Ochre’ was one of the most intriguing art crimes of a generation. As our team dug deep into the tale, we discovered that the theft itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface lies a perfect storm of eccentric characters, bizarre synchronicities and outlandish motivations – all of which are drawn together by the irresistible power of ‘Woman Ochre.’”
The Heist is executive produced by Kathryn Everett, Bryn Mooser and Justin Lacob for XTR, and produced by Capotosto, Howerton and Kunau.