The Miami Film Festival Is Streaming 2 Films Spotlighting Cuban Ballet Dancers, Including Yonah Acosta

March 2, 2021

Many ballet companies are sharing digital productions these days, but if you want to get your ballet fix on the silver screen, the Miami Film Festival has something for you—and you don’t have to fly to Miami to see it! Two ballet-centric films, the drama Sin La Habana (Without Havana) and documentary Cuban Dancer, will be featured in theaters and virtually at the 38th annual Miami Film Festival, running March 5 to 14.

The premiere of Sin La Habana, directed by Kaveh Nabatian, stars Bayerisches Staatsballett principal Yonah Acosta. Acosta plays Leonardo, a classical dancer, who is in love with Sara, a lawyer. They have big dreams together, all of which are thwarted by Cuba’s closed borders. They realize their ticket to a brighter future could be with Nasim, a Canadian tourist who is struggling with her own demons, and a love triangle ensues. (Note: This film may not be appropriate for younger viewers.) The film is available with English subtitles and features Acosta’s impressive ballet technique in several dance scenes. Sin La Habana will play in Miami on Sunday, March 7, at 2:30 pm ET and virtually on Monday, March 8, at 12 pm ET.

Cuban Dancer
is a documentary which chronicles the journey of a young student from the National Ballet School of Cuba, Alexis Valdes, as he moves from his comfortable life in Cuba to a radically new world in Florida. Directed by Roberto Salinas, Cuban Dancer showcases how Valdes, now an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet, navigates the world of American ballet while trying to stay faithful to his roots. The film runs on Thursday, March 11, at 7 pm ET in Miami, and Friday, March 12, at 12 pm ET virtually.

Also of note for Miami locals: Aburo, a 17-minute short film that follows the tensions between an aspiring Cuban ballet dancer and his thieving twin brother, and the French drama Simple Passion, starring Ukrainian-born dancer Sergei Polunin as a Russian diplomat (it does not feature any ballet). Both films are only being shown in theaters.

Tickets for the virtual screenings of Sin La Habana and Cuban Dancer are only available to viewers in the U.S. and can be purchased for $13. (The films can be viewed for 48 hours after release.)

Sin La Habana
highlights the best of Cuban dancing with Acosta, himself a graduate of the National Ballet of Cuba and nephew of ballet star Carlos Acosta. And with Cuban Dancer, ballet fans can witness how the future of Cuban ballet will continue to shine brightly.