Two Cuban stars of a British film about asylum-seekers fleeing their homeland for a better life in the United States have vanished while travelling from Havana to New York for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Torre, both 20, are thought to have skipped a connecting flight in Miami last week and melted into the city in the hope of winning political asylum.

Both actors, who had no previous experience, were cast by Lucy Mulloy, a British director who also wrote the screenplay, in her first feature film, Una Noche, which tells the story of three young Cubans who defect to the US across the sea on a homemade raft. When the film was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival last Friday, only one of three actors in the main roles, Dariel Arrechada, 20, showed up.

The apparent defection of the young pair flummoxed Mulloy. She said she was taken by surprise.


There is a history of Cubans with special talents going overseas after being granted special visas, notably to the US, and then not returning home.

The State Department said it knew of the reports of the actors' disappearance. The US Immigration service could not confirm whether they had yet filed for asylum.

- Independent