Coppola Loses 15 Years of Writing, Data When Thieves Steal Computers

Francis Ford Coppola says in an interview broadcast Friday that he lost 15 years of computer data, including writings and family photographs, when robbers raided his Argentine studio.

Speaking with Argentine broadcaster Todo Noticias, Coppola appealed to the bandits to return the small computer backup device, which was taken along with computers in the raid Wednesday night.

"They stole our computers; they got all our data, many years of work," said Coppola, who apparently was not in the studio at the time of the robbery.

The director of "The Godfather" said the backup that rested on the floor in his offices at the Zoetrope Argentina studio was just "a little thing ... but the information is (worth) much time."

"If I could get the backup back, it would save me years -- all the photographs of my family, all my writing."

Coppola said the robbery would not prompt him to leave Argentina, where he plans to shoot a feature film: "Argentine people are very nice."

Nonetheless, he said he was thinking of relocating his studio from the chic Palermo neighborhood to a Buenos Aires district where he felt safer.

Four robbers, at least one brandishing a knife, broke through a front door, tied up four employees and took four computers, cell phones and other valuables, apparently picking the studio at random, the newspaper Clarin reported, citing unnamed police sources.

The Noticias Argentinas agency said one of the stolen computers contained the 68-year-old director's script for "Tetro," a story about Italian immigrant artists set to begin shooting next year and starring Matt Dillon.

Although Coppola did not discuss the script in the televised interview, his publicist Kathleen Talbert said in an e-mailed statement that copies were saved elsewhere.

One studio employee was reported slightly cut by a knife while resisting the attack.