On Jan. 15, 2018, Venezuelan government forces killed the renegade pilot and his team after cornering him at his hideout. A former police officer with movie-star looks, Perez has since become a symbol of Venezuela’s opposition to the beleaguered administration led by President Nicolas Maduro, recently sworn in for another six-year term.
The feature-length documentary will focus on the untold story about Perez, who gained worldwide attention last June when he dropped stun grenades on Venezuela’s Supreme Court from a helicopter, and later raided a military police outpost to make off with dozens of rifles.
The doc will feature never-before-seen videos, photos, and audio recordings left behind by Perez, as well as exclusive interviews with his mother, his former girlfriend, and their three sons, along with his closest allies — all of whom are now living in exile.
The police-officer-turned-freedom-fighter has since become an icon for millions of Venezuelans affected by the country’s economic and humanitarian crisis, where inflation reportedly hit 1.45 million percent and some 10% of its populace have fled the country.
To be produced by Cantor, Jamie Schutz and Jessica Cozzetta of Stick Figure Studios (“Step,” “Dancer” “Chasing Tyson”), the untitled Oscar Perez doc is likely the first U.S.-based production about a key historical Venezuelan figure.
Venezuelan producer-actor Alec Whaite will direct and co-produce the documentary.
“As a storyteller, I recognized how incredibly inspiring Oscar’s story was, and as a Venezuelan, I found myself feeling the urgent responsibility to tell it,” he said.
Whaite secured the exclusive rights to Perez’s life after connecting with his family. Meeting them and experiencing their grief first-hand spurred him to tell Perez’s and his family’s tale.
“Their story will shine a much-needed spotlight on the humanitarian crisis Venezuelans are suffering on a daily basis; the government thought they could kill Oscar’s ideals, but the death of this man was the birth of an icon,” Whaite added.
Whaite also holds the exclusive rights to feature film or TV projects about Perez.
Cantor concurred: “One year has passed since Oscar’s violent demise, and he is now considered by millions to be a modern William Wallace-type folk hero and freedom fighter. His final words urging the country to never desist the fight for freedom was the last we ever saw of him. Until now.”
The doc dovetails with the New York-based company’s longstanding commitment to tell authentic stories about heroic characters.
“Oscar’s story will shine a light on flagrant human-rights abuses and corrupt rule, and inspire those who fight for freedom around the world,” said Stick Figure Studios president Jamie Schutz.
Paradigm is overseeing global sales.