“That’s a wrap on the cigarette wrangler!” comes a cry across the Herring Cove Beach parking lot. It’s Wednesday, March 23 and a crew has just finishing filming the first scene of artist and gallerist Arthur Egeli’s third feature-length film, Art Thief.
The film, which is being shot entirely in Provincetown, re-imagines the unsolved Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist of 1990. Two thieves disguised as Boston police stole 13 works, including Rembrandt’s only seascape, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Egeli’s inspiration came from a 2018 episode of the WBUR podcast “Last Seen,” which he listened to at the prodding of his wife, Heather. “As an art dealer, I know how obsessed people can get with owning paintings,” he says.
Max Deacon, whose credits include Pretty Little Liars and Into the Storm, stars as Kevin Deeley, an incarcerated Dorchester-native art enthusiast who “doesn’t quite have the means” to make it as a collector. In this scene, Deeley collects cigarettes dropped by a prison guard on his way to a community service beach cleanup.
While beachcombing, Deeley meets Bobby “the Rat,” played by Chris Lazzaro, whose television credits include Blue Bloods and Days of Our Lives. Lazzaro previously appeared in Egeli’s 2017 crime drama Murder on the Cape, based on the 2002 murder of Christa Worthington in Truro, as well as in Egeli’s 2017 short Eugene O’Neill: Art as Life.
Egeli co-wrote the Art Thief script with Ian Bowater and Heather Egeli. Judith Richland, Art Thief’s producer, says that filming will continue until April 23. —Abbey Dwight