Director Alfonso Cuarón is filming a project in his hometown of Mexico City.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Director Alfonso Cuarón is filming a project in his hometown of Mexico City.

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Crew members blocking streets to film Cuarón project say city workers robbed and hit them

Public Safety Office denies attack; city attorney general's office says misunderstanding led to violence

(CNN) —  

Oscar-winning “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuarón’s film crew members say they were attacked and robbed by city workers while shooting his latest project in Mexico City on Tuesday. But the city says the incident was a “brawl.”

The studio producing the film, El Cuyul, said “two women were hit, five crew members were hospitalized, and cellphones, wallets, and jewelry were stolen” during the incident. The statement goes on to say the attackers were identified as city workers from Cuauhtémoc, a Mexico City borough.

The Mexico City Public Safety Office tweeted on Wednesday that the incident was a “brawl” and that at no point was the film crew subject to assault. “Public Safety officers deployed to the scene as soon as we saw through street security cameras the arrival of a large group to the film set,” the statement reads. “They identified themselves as borough representatives, and following a verbal exchange, a brawl broke out, with no reports of injuries.”

The security camera video, making the rounds on social media, shows a group approaching the set and multiple people pushing and punching.

Mexico City’s attorney general’s office later said in a news release that the production company had arrived to the location and was about to block off the street for filming. However, as they started putting up orange cones, people alleged to be city workers showed up and started removing the cones and loading them into a vehicle. At that point, the film crew tried to explain they had a permit and were allowed to be there. The city crew disagreed, the attorney general’s office said, which ignited the violence. “In that moment, the victims were object of physical and verbal attacks, and some of them even had personal items taken away,” the attorney general’s office said.

Cuarón is back in his hometown after 15 years without shooting a project there. With no title yet, IMDB lists the production as chronicling life of a “middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s.”

CNNE’s Paula Bravo contributed to this report.