Una Noche (film)

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Una Noche
Directed by Lucy Mulloy
Produced by Daniel Mulloy
Lucy Mulloy
Yunior Santiago
Maite Artieda
Sandy Perez Aguila
Written by Lucy Mulloy
Starring Dariel Arrechada
Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre
Javier Nuñez Florián
Cinematography Shlomo Godder
Trevor Forrest
Edited by Cindy Lee
Una Noche Films
Mulloy Productions
Distributed by Sundance Selects
Release dates
  • February 16, 2012 (2012-02-16) (Berlin International Film Festival)
Running time
89 minutes
Country Cuba/ UK/ USA
Language Spanish

Una Noche (One Night) is a Cuban-set drama-thriller film written and directed by Lucy Mulloy.


Trapped in desperate poverty in Havana, Raúl dreams of escaping to Miami. When accused of assaulting a tourist, he sees his only option as to flee. He begs his best friend, Elio, to abandon everything, including his family, and help him reach Miami, 90 miles across the ocean. Elio’s commitment is tested when he is torn between helping Raúl escape and protecting his twin sister, Lila. The three leave on a raft which Elio made of tires. Sharks are attracted by Lila's menstrual blood seeping into the water. Elio dies when trying to rescue Lila. Raúl and Lila end up adrift, clinging to a styropene board, and are pulled to the Cuban shore by British tourists with their speed boat.


Mulloy spent years in Havana researching for her first feature Una Noche. Whilst in Cuba Mulloy's story developed as she searched for young untrained talent to take the lead roles. Mulloy received a production grant and mentorship from Spike Lee.[1]

Real-life defection

While in Miami to promote the film in 2012, actors Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre (Lila) and Javier Nuñez Florián (Elio) disappeared. When they made contact, they indicated they were defecting, requesting political asylum.[1][2][3][4][5][6]


Una Noche world premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival in the Generation Competition and had its US premier at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.[7] "A pulsing debut feature has an undercurrent of ribald comedy that doesn't entirely prepare the viewer for the harrowing turn it takes."[8]

Una Noche shot to international media attention, ahead of its US premiere when two of the film's lead actors, Javier Nuñez Florián and Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre, on their way to present the film at its US premier in Tribeca Film Festival, disappeared, reportedly defecting to the US.[2][3][4][5][6]

In a highly publicized twist Javier Nuñez Florián and his co-star Dariel Arrechada went on to win the Best Actor Award with Nuñez remaining in hiding during the ensuing media frenzy.[5][6] "Una Noche cleaned up at Tribeca Film Festival in juried awards, taking home best actor, cinematography, and new director honors in the Narrative competition."[4]


In 2010, with Una Noche in full production, Mulloy was awarded the Creative Promise Emerging Narrative Award at Tribeca Film Festival.[9] In January 2010 Una Noche won the Spike Lee Production Grant Award for film production.[10] Winner 2010 Adrienne Shelly Foundation IFP Director's Grant.[11] Winner 2011 Gotham Award Euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers’ ‘Live The Dream’ post production grant.[12] Una Noche's was at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival.

In the United States, Una Noche premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tara Aquino (29 August 2013). "Interview: "Una Noche" Director Lucy Mulloy Talks Shooting in Cuba, Defecting to America, and Breaking Into the Film Industry". Complex. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lee Hernandez,Cristina Costantini (22 April 2012). "‘Una Noche’ Actors From Cuba Flee During Film’s Tribeca Festival Premiere". Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Daniel Eagan (April 27, 2012). "From Summer Blockbusters to Orphan Films". Smithsonian. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 John DeFore (27 April 2012). "Critic's Notebook: Films That Debuted Elsewhere Outshone Tribeca Film Festival’s World Premieres". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Steve Dollar (April 26, 2012). "Defectors' Tale Leads Jury Awards". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 AFP (27 April 2012). "Cuba boat people film wins at New York Tribeca festival". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  7. Bryce J. Renninger (21 February 2012). "An Escape-from-Cuba Saga Six Years in the Works: Lucy Mulloy and Her Cast Talk 'Una Noche' in Berlin". Indiewire. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  8. Justin Chang (6 March 2012). "Review: ‘Una noche’". Variety. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  9. Results of Tribeca Film Festival in Variety Retrieved September, 2010.[dead link]
  10. Tribeca Film Institute Retrieved April, 2012.[dead link]
  11. Adrienne Shelly Foundation - December 22nd, 2010 Retrieved April, 2012.[dead link]
  12. Jason Guerrasio (29 November 2011). "“BEGINNERS” & “THE TREE OF LIFE” SPLIT TOP PRIZE AT GOTHAM AWARDS". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 

External links