Joe Medeiros is a writer/filmmaker and is considered the leading expert on the theft of the Mona Lisa. Medeiros’ award-winning documentary Mona Lisa Is Missing has been screened at museums and theaters across the US and at film festivals in North America, Europe and the Middle East. The film had its television premiere in January in France, Germany, Switzerland and Israel. Medeiros began his career as an advertising copywriter. In 1988, he began working as a joke writer for Jay Leno and remained with Leno for 22 years — 14 as head writer of the The Tonight Show. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 40 years, film producer Justine Mestichelli Medeiros. They have two children in the entertainment industry.
Mona Lisa Is Missing: How did an unassuming housepainter from Italy pull off “the greatest little-known art heist in modern time?” Was his motivation more than money? Writer-director Joe Medeiros traces the path of Vincenzo Peruggia, charged with the 1911 theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa from The Louvre, and follows the story of a daughter mourning the father she never knew and a country recovering from old wounds. Combining historical photographs, animation and interviews with Peruggia’s descendants, Medeiros answers why and how the man called “Macaroni” by his French co-workers absconded with and kept the legendary painting for two years. This riveting, often humorous documentary portrays a man struggling to find his way in the world and make his family proud. Most touching are the scenes of Peruggia’s 84-year-old daughter, Celestina, who grew up on stories about her father and longed for the truth.
October 07, 2014: Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA
October 08, 2014: Clemson University, Clemson, SC
October 09, 2014: Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, AL
October 12, 2014: Winder Cultural Arts Center, Winder, GA