EUA / Cuba. Dramedy. 82 min. 2020

Film info

  • SYNOPSIS

    After risking his life crossing the Florida Straits on a raft, a young Cuban searches Miami for his long-absent father. When a political shift makes him America’s first Cuban undocumented immigrant, he must battle the new and bigger fear of deportation, while trying to find where he really belongs.

     

    CONTEXT

    For years, many Cubans risked life and limb to cross the near 200-kilometre stretch between their island and the United States, in motorboats, row boats, and handmade rafts. A particular policy, colloquially named ‘Wet Foot Dry Foot’, allowed Cubans a faster path to US naturalization that people of other nations. This is a risk that Ernesto decides to take in order to find his long-lost father. But unbeknownst to Ernesto, that policy was revoked mere days before his arrival. And so he is The Last Rafter, the first Cuban to have the same undocumented status as other Latin American immigrants who cross unofficially. (source: Screen Anarchy)
     

    DIRECTORS’ STATEMENT

    This story synthesizes many of our personal experiences as Cuban immigrants, being a fish out of water in a new and very polarized landscape. The shining lights of the American Dream have an underbelly, where some exploit those who continue to suffer and must hide even if they seem to be in a safer place.

    This is also a coming of age story. While trying to find clues about his broken past, our character has the opportunity to break a cycle of toxic masculinity. This is regularly shown on-screen through the stereotypical Macho with guns and drugs and we want to focus on how those tropes are carried beyond the stereotypes.

    We want to celebrate our diversity not as what divides us but as what makes us stronger. This story is a quest to re-contextualize subjects like masculinity, identity and freedom through an emotional journey in search for closure of wounds from the past while learning and embracing what the future brings.
     

    PLOT KEYWORDS

    Cuba, Miami, Cuban diaspora, LatinX, LGBTQIA, homophobia, family & kinship, immigration, exile, friendship, human & civil rights, memory, love story, politics, ideology, identity, directorial debut

    CREW & CAST

    Original title: El Último Balsero
    International title: The Last Rafter
    Original Language: Spanish / English
    Written & directed by: Carlos Rafael Betancourt & Oscar Ernesto Ortega
    Executive producers: Carlos Rafael Betancourt, Oscar Ernesto Ortega, Elina Barredo
    Producer: Alina Rodríguez, Andrea López
    Editor: Carlos Rafael Betancourt
    Cinematographer: Oscar Ernesto Ortega 
    Sound designer: Paola Magrans, Leo Marcil
    Original music: Harold López-Nussa, Adrian López-Nussa
    Gaffer: Ralph Gonzáles

    Cast:
    HECTOR MEDINA
    CHAZ MENA
    NESTOR JIMENEZ 
    CRISTINA GARCIA 
    ARIEL TEXIDO 
    GABRIEL “GABO” ANDREU 
    FRANCISCO PORRAS
    VIKINA LOPEZ 
    TERESA MARIA ROJAS 
    CARMEN PELAEZ 
    RENE LAVAN 
    SARAHI DIAZ 
    ALBERTO PUJOLS
    LESTER MARTINEZ 
    JOSE LUIS PEREZ 
    GABRIEL BONILLA
    SANDRA PORTAL-ANDREU
    JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ 
    GRETEL PEREZ
    MATTEW DEGENNARO
    EMMANUEL JR PACIN “EJ”
    RAFAEL RINCONES 
    RODRIGO CASTILLO
    EVELYN ROBAINA 
    DANIELLE BTV
    RAY “PICADILLO

    Production company: EL CENTRAL Productions

    FESTIVALS & AWARDS
    • Official Selection. Miami Film Festival 2020
    • Official Selection. NY Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Official Selection. Los Angeles Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Official Selection. Havana Film Festival 2020
    • Official Selection. Seattle Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Winner. Best Narrative Feature. Boston Latino International Film Festival 2020
    • Winner. Best Actress (for Cristina García). Oklahoma Cinelatino Film Festival 2021
    • Winner. Best Cinematography. Oklahoma Cinelatino Film Festival 2021
  • SINOPSIS

    Después de arriesgar su vida cruzando el Estrecho de la Florida en una balsa, un joven cubano busca en Miami a su padre ausente. Cuando un cambio en la política hacia Cuba lo convierte en el primer inmigrante indocumentado cubano de Estados Unidos, él deberá enfrentar el miedo a la deportación, mientras intenta descubrir su lugar en el mundo.

    FICHA TÉCNICA

    Título Original: El Último Balsero
    Título Internacional: The Last Rafter
    Idioma original: Español / Inglés
    Escrito y Dirigido por: Carlos Rafael Betancourt & Oscar Ernesto Ortega
    Producción Ejecutiva: Carlos Rafael Betancourt, Oscar Ernesto Ortega, Elina Barredo
    Producción: Alina Rodríguez, Andrea López
    Edición: Carlos Rafael Betancourt
    Dirección de Fotografía: Oscar Ernesto Ortega 
    Diseño de Sonido: Paola Magrans, Leo Marcil
    Música: Harold López-Nussa, Adrian López-Nussa
    Gaffer: Ralph Gonzáles

    Elenco:
    HECTOR MEDINA
    CHAZ MENA
    NESTOR JIMENEZ 
    CRISTINA GARCIA 
    ARIEL TEXIDO 
    GABRIEL “GABO” ANDREU 
    FRANCISCO PORRAS
    VIKINA LOPEZ 
    TERESA MARIA ROJAS 
    CARMEN PELAEZ 
    RENE LAVAN 
    SARAHI DIAZ 
    ALBERTO PUJOLS
    LESTER MARTINEZ 
    JOSE LUIS PEREZ 
    GABRIEL BONILLA
    SANDRA PORTAL-ANDREU
    JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ 
    GRETEL PEREZ
    MATTEW DEGENNARO
    EMMANUEL JR PACIN “EJ”
    RAFAEL RINCONES 
    RODRIGO CASTILLO
    EVELYN ROBAINA 
    DANIELLE BTV
    RAY “PICADILLO

    Casa Productora: EL CENTRAL Productions

    FESTIVALES Y PREMIOS
    • Selección Oficial. Miami Film Festival 2020
    • Selección Oficial. NY Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Selección Oficial. Los Angeles Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Panorama Latinoamericano. Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. La Habana, 2020
    • Selección Oficial. Seattle Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Mejor Largometraje. Boston Latino International Film Festival 2020
    • Mejor Actriz (para Cristina García). Oklahoma Cinelatino Film Festival 2021
    • Mejor Dirección de Fotografía. Oklahoma Cinelatino Film Festival 2021
  • SINOPSE

    Depois de arriscar sua vida cruzando o estreito da Flórida em uma balsa, um jovem cubano procura em Miami por seu pai perdido. Quando uma mudança na política em relação a Cuba o torna o primeiro imigrante cubano indocumentado dos Estados Unidos, ele deverá enfrentar o medo da deportação enquanto tenta descobrir seu lugar no mundo.

    FICHA TÉCNICA

    Título Original: El Último Balsero
    Título Internacional: The Last Rafter
    Idioma original: Espanhol / Inglês
    Escrito e Dirigido por: Carlos Rafael Betancourt & Oscar Ernesto Ortega
    Produção Executiva: Carlos Rafael Betancourt, Oscar Ernesto Ortega, Elina Barredo
    Produção: Alina Rodríguez, Andrea López
    Edição: Carlos Rafael Betancourt
    Direção de Fotografia: Oscar Ernesto Ortega 
    Design de Som: Paola Magrans, Leo Marcil
    Música: Harold López-Nussa, Adrian López-Nussa
    Gaffer: Ralph Gonzáles

    Elenco:
    HECTOR MEDINA
    CHAZ MENA
    NESTOR JIMENEZ 
    CRISTINA GARCIA 
    ARIEL TEXIDO 
    GABRIEL “GABO” ANDREU 
    FRANCISCO PORRAS
    VIKINA LOPEZ 
    TERESA MARIA ROJAS 
    CARMEN PELAEZ 
    RENE LAVAN 
    SARAHI DIAZ 
    ALBERTO PUJOLS
    LESTER MARTINEZ 
    JOSE LUIS PEREZ 
    GABRIEL BONILLA
    SANDRA PORTAL-ANDREU
    JENNIFER RODRIGUEZ 
    GRETEL PEREZ
    MATTEW DEGENNARO
    EMMANUEL JR PACIN “EJ”
    RAFAEL RINCONES 
    RODRIGO CASTILLO
    EVELYN ROBAINA 
    DANIELLE BTV
    RAY “PICADILLO

    Produtora: EL CENTRAL Productions

    FESTIVAIS E PRÊMIOS
    • Seleção Oficial. Miami Film Festival 2020
    • Seleção Oficial. NY Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Seleção Oficial. Los Angeles Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Panorama Latino-americano. Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano. Havana, 2020
    • Seleção Oficial. Seattle Latino Film Festival 2020
    • Melhor Longa-metragem. Boston Latino International Film Festival 2020
    • Melhor Atriz (para Cristina García). Oklahoma Cinelatino Film Festival 2021
    • Melhor Direção de Fotografia. Oklahoma Cinelatino Film Festival 2021

Screening

  • TRAILER

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Reviews

  • Miami 2020 Review: THE LAST RAFTER, The Search for Home. Shelagh Rowan-Legg for Screenanarchy
    “This isn’t just a film about the immigrant experience; it’s also a film about Miami. It’s the shining city of dreams to so many Cubans, with a strong and vital community; but there is an underbelly: one filled with those who would exploit, those who continue to suffer, or those who must hide even if they seem to be in a safer place.

    Ernesto’s journey is portrayed as arguably somewhat easier at first (at least he is able to find friends quickly), but The Last Rafter doesn’t shy from exposing both the good and the bad, exploring the negative and positive of Cuba and America, and how our place is found not so much with a nation, but with people.” [Full Review]
     

  • Manuel Betancourt for REMEZCLA
    “..the bilingual and bicultural film is a timely look at U.S. immigration starring Viva’s own Héctor Medina.” [Full Review]
     
  • HBO LATINO acquires indie Cuban film The last rafter. Production Hub
    “This very personal film, made totally independently, became a unique story of success, with groundbreaking simultaneous theatrical screenings in Miami and Havana – something that hasn’t happened over the last 60 years of political tension.” [Full Review]
     

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