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Two Cuban actors who disappeared last week en route to the Tribeca Film Festival have turned up in Miami, where they plan on seeking political asylum.
Anailin de la Rua and Javier Nuñez, the 20-year-old costars of Una Noche, appeared Friday evening on America TeVe, a Spanish-language TV channel based in Miami, Reuters reports.
The actors were noticeably absent at Tribeca, where Una Noche premiered and received several honors. De la Rua and Nuñez said their defection to America was not as harrowing as the escape depicted in Una Noche, which tells the story of three Cuban teens who attempt to flee their country on a raft.
“In part it’s hard to leave your family and friends behind,” said de la Rua. “But at the same time you do it so you can help them. There’s no future in Cuba.”
She said when the actors shot the film three years ago, they did not realize it would give them the opportunity to leave Cuba. “It never entered our minds that we would get to travel because of the film,” de la Rua said. “We never imagined that it would go this far.”
At Tribeca, the film took home awards for best cinematography, and new director honors in the Narrative competition. Nuñez shared the best actor honor with his Una Noche costar Dariel Arrechada.
The film’s director, Lucy Mulloy, told Reuters she had not heard from the actors since they resurfaced.
“Honestly, it’s all happened so quickly … it’s a shock,” Mulloy said.
An immigration lawyer representing the actors said he plans on filing for political asylum on their behalf in the next two weeks. They are currently staying with de la Rua’s uncle in Miami.
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