The New York Tribeca Film Festival is usually notable for celebrity appearances, film premières and a huge audience who attend thousands of screenings every year. This year’s event, however, has somewhat of a mystery hanging over its head.
The film ‘Una Noche’ received several awards, in the categories ‘Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film’, ‘Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film’, and ‘Best New Narrative Director’. Set in Cuba, the movie follows the story of three young Cubans who decide to make the perilous journey to the USA, in order to gain citizenship there. In the case of fiction, one character is fleeing accusations that would put him in prison; but it seems that life is imitating art, and the idea of leaving Cuba was not such a hard thing to act for two of the cast members.
Of the three principal actors, described as non-professionals, only one – Daniel Arrechada – actually made it to the ceremony. It appears that Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, both twenty years old, disappeared when their flight stopped over in Miami. It has been conjectured that they deliberately did not get back on the plane in order to defect to the USA, as doing so will provide them with citizenship as well as government adjustment assistance, thanks to the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act.
Their film premièred on April 19th at Tribeca, but they were not present to attend the screening – and neither was Florian there to accept the Best Actor award that he shared with Arrechada. Arrechada himself has stated that he has no reason to want to leave Cuba, as “I have my family there, my friends, my girlfriend.”
Although these events seem to overshadow the film’s success, all publicity is good publicity, and in this case it could not have been better timed.