About the Production

by producers Gerardo Gatica, Alberto Müffelmann, Manuel Alcalá & Ramiro Rui

The development on MUSEO began over a decade ago, with a faint memory of a Christmas Museum Heist in the 80s. Research and word of mouth quickly laid out a vast story that spread far beyond the Museum of Anthropology, and which had the perfect mix of narrative and anecdotal elements. Every character seemed to evoque something unique to the story of Mexico, reaching back to our ancestral past and connecting directly to our present condition. The story took us to Acapulco to meet some the real characters involved in the heist, from its conception to the disastrous consequences. As the first draft of the script was written we realized that many of the “true” parts of the story were too sordid, inexplicable or outright improbable to work as a film.

In 2014 we were introduced to the work of Alonso Ruizpalacios, with his feature GÜEROS, which won Best First Feature at the Berlin Film Festival and we knew we had found the missing piece to this large puzzle. After a dedicated period of time Alonso and Manuel Alcalá rewrote the script and transformed this vast story into a film centered on the personal journey of its two characters. The adherence to historical fact was left behind for a more intimate and emotional exploration of their drive to steal Mexico’s most sacred sites.

With a script and a production team in hand, Gael Garcia Bernal came on board to star as well as to executive produce Museo. We partnered with Ramiro Ruiz’s Leyenda and Moisés Cosio’s Detalle Films which also led to a coproduction with prestige international backing from Anant Singh’s Distant Horizon and Robert Lantos’ Serendipity Point Films, which allowed the production to create the film that Alonso envisioned.

Shot over 3 months in locations in Mexico City, Acapulco and Palenque, we were the first to film inside of the iconic Anthropology Museum. Elaborate sets that replicated the Museums hall to film the actual heist were built in Estudios Churubusco to painstaking detail. A team of artisans shaped hundreds of pieces, including all of those that were stolen on that Christmas Eve, such as the jade mask of King Pakal. The result was so impressive that we are currently planning a traveling exhibition in coordination with the National Institute of Anthropology.

The film premiered in the 2018 Berlin Film Festival and received the Silver Bear award for Best Screenplay.

MUSEO is a Panorama Global production, produced by Gerardo Gatica, Alberto Müffelmann, Manuel Alcalá and Ramiro Ruiz, and executive produced by Moisés Cosío, Gael García Bernal, Anant Singh, Brian Cox and Robert Lantos.