“Una Noche,” or “One Night,” a film showing at the Tribeca Film Festival, tells the story of three young Cubans who decide to defect to the United States, and last week the three main actors were scheduled to join the film’s director, Lucy Mulloy, at the New York premiere. But a funny thing happened when the plane landed in Miami last Wednesday: two of the actors promptly disappeared.
Six days later, the whereabouts of Javier Núñez Florián and Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre remain unknown. They missed the film’s opening on Thursday night, and the Spanish-language press in Miami, sensing another opportunity to score points at the expense of the dictatorship that has ruled Cuba for more than 50 years, is now crowing that the pair, imitating the characters they played, has defected — though, in contrast to the film, without having to risk their lives by traveling by sea.
If they are indeed seeking asylum in the United States, Mr. Núñez and Ms. de la Rúa, first-time actors whom Ms. Mulloy selected and trained for their roles, would be joining a long list of Cubans who have taken advantage of stopovers in Miami to flee Communist rule. Defections by baseball players, Olympic athletes and dancers have in the past been so common that the Cuban government assigned security agents to keep an eye on such delegations.
“Though they’ve made difficult choices about what to do at present, I wish them the very best in all their endeavors and I hope I will get to see them again soon,” Ms. Mulloy, who studied politics and economics at Oxford and film at New York University and was making her first feature-length movie, said of two missing actors. “I would love to know that they are well.”
If the actors have decided to stay, this would actually be the second time that Cuban artists invited to the Tribeca festival have chosen to remain in the United States. The first instance was that of the director Laimir Fano Villaescusa, who in 2009 won a prize for his short “Ode to the Pineapple,” an examination of cultural and racial stereotypes in contemporary Cuba.
The third main actor in “Una Noche,” Dariel Arrechada, 24, remains in New York, and the film itself is to be shown again on Tuesday and Friday. A publicist for “Una Noche,” Omar Gonzales, said Mr. Arrechada is scheduled to fly back to Cuba on Wednesday, and plans to return.
“Though we all miss them, and I miss them very much, I am confident they will do what is best for them,” a statement attributed to Mr. Arrechada said. “My heart is with them, and I hope they are safe and well.”