Venezuelan producer Caupolicán Ovalles: Two years waiting for the Ecuadorian justice to answer to the unauthorized broadcast of Muerte en Berruecos

January 11, 2023

Maribel Ramos-Weiner

Caupolicán Ovalles, director venezolano

In December 2020, an Ecuadorian state channel broadcasted without authorization the film Muerte en Berruecos, written and directed by the Venezuelan producer, Caupolicán Ovalles. “Two years have passed since this happened. We have gone before the Senadi (National Copyright Service of Ecuador), the Ecuadorian justice, everything possible has been done and still there has been no answer,” he said. They also turned to Egeda, Ecuador’s Authors’ Rights Management Entity, which has chapters in many countries.

Muerte en Berruecos is a co-production between Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama and the US. Digivision Producciones (Venezuela), SOMOS FIlms (USA), 58 FIlms (USA), OXO Films (Panama) and GPL Comunicaciones (Ecuador) participated in the film. It is about the assassination of the Grand Marshal of Ayacucho, José Antonio de Sucre, on June 4, 1830, who fought alongside the Venezuelan liberator, Simón Bolívar, for Hispanic American independence.

According to Ovalles, Gamavision argues that his feature film was supposedly sold by a Chilean distributor, and the network also divided it arbitrarily into six ‘episodes’ to show it as a miniseries. “Our film was practically destroyed. They broadcast it and ended the chances for us to show it properly. It was the time of the pandemic and events celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Pichincha, won by the Mariscal de Sucre, were taking place in Ecuador, and there was great expectation of distributing and making it known in the country.”

Muerte en Berruecos premiered nationally in Ecuador in 2019. It was nominated by Ecuador as a candidate for the Goya Awards. “Therefore, it was not a secret for the public nor for the press,” he said. He added that there is even a producer, Gonzalo Ponce, who represents the film in that country.

Ovalles mentioned that this was the last film in which the Venezuelan filmmaker Diego Rísquez participated. “Diego does a wonderful job in this film where he demonstrates his great capacity and his great talent, he even won the Art Direction award at the Guayaquil festival.”

It stars Luis Gerónimo Abreu joined by Augusto Nitti, Malena González, Laureano Olivares, Rosalinda Serfaty, Rafael Gil and Ignacio Márquez.

“Internationally, I think we have to take a stand on this case, because situations like this harm all the work that producers, directors of the region, at a national and international level, can be doing,” concluded Ovalles.

Past Friday, January 6, Egeda Ecuador issued a statement expressing solidarity and supporting the producers “in the face of the violation of their moral and property rights, for the crime committed by the state channel GAMA TV against the audiovisual work ‘Death in Berruecos.'” They also demanded that Senadi answer to the legal action submitted two years ago.

View trailer of Muerte en Berruecos