Two Cuban actors who portray defectors in a new film are believed to have defected on their way to its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Una Noche tells the story of three young Cubans attempting to make their way from Havana to Miami by raft. It was filmed on location with the permission and cooperation of the Cuban government.
Producer Sandy Perez Aguila, who lives in Havana, said he and the two actors, Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, separated at Miami International Airport after they claimed to be interested in checking out some stores. They agreed to meet up prior to the boarding for their flight to New York, but the pair never showed up.
Aguila and another actor who was traveling to the premiere, Dariel Arrechada, boarded as planned after being told by local police they could not file a missing person report until at least 24 hours have lapsed. "It was very strange," Aguila said yesterday. "We had no conversation [about defection] on the plane from Havana or at any other time. They were just excited to come to New York for the premiere."
Una Noche was Florian and De la Torre's first acting gig. "They were excited to be actors in Cuba; I worked with them for months and had no idea they were thinking about this," said British-born, New York-based director Lucy Mulloy.
Reached by phone in Havana, Florian's mother said the family had no relatives in Miami, but De la Torre might. "[O]f course what really matters is that they're OK," said Mulloy. "I just hope someone hears from them soon."
A State Department official told ABC News they had no further information at this time.
[photo via UnaNocheFilm]