NEW YORK – Two Cuban actors due to attend a New York premiere of their movie about defecting to America have failed to show up, organizers said Monday, in a bizarre case of life imitating art.
The pair of young actors was to have attended a screening of the movie “Una Noche” — which means “One Night” — at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival late Thursday.
But en route to New York from Havana late last week actress Anailin de la Rua de la Torre and co-star Javier Nunez Florian disappeared during a stopover at Miami International Airport and have not been seen since.
Officials with the film festival said a third actor in the film, Dariel Arrechada, had shown up as scheduled in New York.
“Only Dariel Arrechada attended the Tribeca Film Festival premiere screening of ‘Una Noche’ on Thursday, April 19. We have not had any contact with Anailin de la Rua de la Torre or with Javier Nunez Florian,” they said in a statement.
Arrechada told The Huffington Post news website that he did not know where his co-stars were.
“I’m alone in New York,” Arrechada, 20, told the website in Spanish, adding that he intends to return to his family and his fiancee in Cuba once he finishes promoting the movie in the United States.
“I have my whole family there — my friends, my girlfriend. I have no one here and I don’t even speak English that well either,” he said.
The feature film tells the harrowing tale of three Cuban teens who try to escape the island’s poverty for a new life in Miami.
The director for “Una Noche,” Lucy Mulloy, said she too was caught off-guard by the actors’ disappearance.
“I really was thinking that they were going to come here and enjoy the festival, and I thought they would love to participate in it,” Mulloy told The Huffington Post.
The apparent defection was reported on the blogosphere back in Cuba, where well-known Cuban dissident Yoani Sanchez tweeted the news.
“#Cuba Some times life is taken to the screen & some times the subject of the movie ends converted into reality…” she wrote under her @yoanifromcuba Twitter handle.