Cuban actors in 'defector film' disappear in Miami

Javier Nunez Florian (l) and Analin de la Rua de la Torre in a scene from the film Una Noche The two actors did not attend the film's Tribeca premiere

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Two Cuban actors starring in a film about defectors have disappeared en route from Cuba to a showing at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Javier Nunez Florian and Analin de la Rua de la Torre, both 20, who star in the film Una Noche, disappeared at Miami airport.

Though their fate is unknown, the pair are assumed to have defected.

The film depicts three Cuban teenagers trying to escape the poverty of their homeland to begin a new life in Miami.

The film's producer, Havana-based Sandy Perez Aguila, said that he last saw the pair at Miami airport during a stopover en route to New York.

They failed to turned up at the departure gate but he was unable to report them officially missing until they had been gone for 24 hours.

'Difficult choices'

Mr Aguila told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that when he arrived in New York, he opened their suitcases and found them empty.

"It was very strange," he said. "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."

Director Lucy Mulloy said she was disappointed that the actors could not attend the film's premiere last Thursday.

"I wish they could have been here in New York City to enjoy the Tribeca Film Festival," she said.

"Though they've made difficult choices about what to do at present, I wish them the very best in all their endeavours and I hope I will get to see them again soon."

"I would love to know that they are well," she added.

The actors previously attended the Berlin Film Festival in Germany for several days.

Directorio Democratico Cubano, a US exile group, declined to comment, saying they were not directly related to the case.

Several Cuban athletes and artists have defected to pursue careers outside their home country.

In 2005, Cuban ballet dancer Rolando Sarabia crossed the border into the US. In 2008 seven members of Cuba's Olympic soccer team defected in Florida after a game with the US.

Last year, five members of the National Ballet of Cuba on tour in Canada decided to remain in the country after performing there.

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