By Friday night, the whispered rumors circling the Tribeca Film Festival weren't which premieres were worth watching or how to get into a Bombay Sapphire supper club. It was far more interesting than that. Two of the three lead Cuban actors in Lucy Mulloy's "Una Noche" went AWOL after they arrived in Miami en route to New York City. Javier Nuñez Florian and Analin de la Rúa de la Torre had landed, but never checked into their hotel with co-star Daniel Arrechagan. Mulloy found out on Friday morning.
"They came to Miami and they didn't make it to Tribeca," she told The Playlist on Saturday. "They disappeared, really."
According to sources familiar with the situation at the film festival, the event came as a complete surprise to all parties involved. In the film, Javier and Analin play twin brother and sister that struggle with the capture of their friend Raul (Arrechada) when trying to emigrate from Cuba. Representatives at Tribeca would neither confirm nor deny the missing actors if officially asked, but mentioned there were lengthy meetings between the United States and Cuban embassies when negotiating the visas for the three teenage actors.
In an interview with Huffington Post's Latino Voices, Arrechada said "That's their choice, you know? That's their way of thinking. No one is forced to stay. And no one is forced to go back. If you want to stay in the United States, I think, well, stay. If you want to go back, go back. Not all of us have to stay and not all of us have to go back. It's about what you want to do with your life."
"On the first evening, I was kind of in shock, really," said Mulloy to The Playlist. "We were really looking forward to seeing them in Tribeca and it was something I know they would love. But it seems like they made the decision not to come, and then they stayed in Miami."
Off-screen, the two are actually a couple that came together during filming. "It was on the very first day. I think that they had thought something happened before that. It was a very, very tough time for Javier, because his father passed away just before shooting. It was a very, very, very emotional experience," she said.
This complicates not only Mallory's sequel, but proposed trilogy of the same characters as they interact over the years. When asked if there would be any repercussions from the festival or if she had been reprimanded, she replied there were none. "It's basically really shocking. I really wanted them to enjoy the experience and see the film, come to New York. But they made a different decision, I suppose. Nobody knew anything about it. I just hope everything is really ok."
"Una Noche" screens through the end of this week at the Tribeca Film Festival.