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Poster for The Thief Collector (2023)
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The Thief Collector (2023)

Opens on May 12

Director: Allison Otto Run Time: 96 min. Release Year: 2022

Starring: Glenn Howerton, Matt Pittenger, Sarah Minnich, Scott Takeda

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

Official Selection, 2022 SXSW

It was one of the most audacious and puzzling art thefts of a generation. In 1985, Willem de Kooning’s seminal work, “Woman Ochre,” was sliced from its frame and stolen from the walls of an Arizona art museum, disappearing into the desert. Over thirty years later, the $160 million dollar painting was rediscovered in the unlikeliest of places — hanging in the home of Jerry and Rita Alter in rural New Mexico.

“an art documentary that builds to a supreme moment of ‘Oh. My. God.'”


The Thief Collector (2023) takes a deep look at how, and why, this mild-mannered couple pulled off one of the greatest art heists of a generation, exploring the complicated dynamics of family, the contours of criminality, and just how far people will go to weave their own grandiose narratives.

About the filmmaker:

Allison Otto is an American documentary film director, cinematographer, and visual journalist. In 2013, she released her first short film, Keeper of the Mountains, which won 15 awards, and screened at over 30 film festivals. In 2021, she won a News & Documentary Emmy Award for her short film, The Love Bugs. Her first feature documentary The Thief Collector (2023) premiered at South by Southwest in 2022 and screened the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Hot Docs, the SFFILM festival, and Telluride Mountainfilm. She is a 2019 recipient of the SFFILM Catapult Film Fellowship, a 2018 and 2011 Telluride Mountainfilm Commitment grant recipient, and a 2018 Roy W. Dean grant winner.

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