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Yuli Image


Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

The life of Cuban-born dance star Carlos Acosta, the first Black person invited to join England’s Royal Ballet, is marvellously brought to life in Icíar Bollaín’s inventive amalgam of dance, documentary, and fiction. Beginning with Acosta himself choreographing a new routine, the film flashes back to show the young would-be football star (a brilliant turn by 10-year-old Edilson Manuel Olbera Nuñez in his first role) on the streets of Havana. When his hip-hop moves land him a position at a dance school, young Carlos is not impressed, but his father, Pedro (another wonderful performance from a first-time actor, real-life choreographer Santiago Alfonso), sees the possibilities for "Yuli" and pushes him - sometimes brutally - to succeed…

Jumping back and forth between these scripted flashbacks - Ken Loach’s regular screenwriter, Paul Laverty (Sorry We Missed You, also in this year’s VIFF) wrote the film - and contemporary documentary dance scenes, the film makes each section expressively inform the other, giving us vivid insights into both the man and the vibrant choreography he creates. "As heartbreakingly perfect as it is sui generis." - Kevin Maher, The Times

Best Screenplay, San Sebastian 18

Canadian premiere
Director Icíar Bollaín
Country of Origin: Spain/UK/Germany
Year: 2018
Running Time: 115 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Spanish, English
Related Links: Review
Cast: Carlos Acosta, Santiago Alfonso, Keyvin Martínez, Edilson Manuel Olbera Núñez, Laura De La Uz, Yerlín Pérez
Executive Producer: Pilar Benito, Gail Egan, Joe Oppenheimer, Mark Bell, Carlos Acosta, Debs Paterson
Producer: Andrea Calderwood, Juan Gordon
Screenwriter: Paul Laverty
Cinematographer: Alex Catalán
Editor: Nacho Ruiz Capillas
Production Design: Laia Colet
Music: Alberto Iglesias
Production Company: Morena Films, Potboiler Productions
Print Source: Acéphale


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