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The festival is launching LALIFF Connect, a portal that will show its 2020 program from May 5-31. Listed sponsors for the effort include Sony Pictures and the Writers Guild of America West.

The features in this year's program include The Last Rafter, from directors Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega; 

“Directors Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega follow Ernesto as he navigates his new life: navigating the complex and harsh immigration system, finding friends old and new, perhaps finding love, and most of all, finding his father, whom he thought until recently was killed in a war, and about whom he has little and perhaps false information. The freedoms that America promises might be overwhelmed by the difficulties in establishing a life.”

“The program will include the feature film “The Last Rafter,” which follows the journey of a Cuban man who risks his life in the Florida Straits on a raft to search for his long-absent father in Miami.”

The program will include, among others, the feature film “The Last Rafter,” directed by Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega, which follows the journey of a Cuban man who risks his life, and deportation, looking for his long-absent father in Florida.

 LALIFF ha presentato come film d’apertura “El Ultimo Blastero” (The Last Rafter) diretto da Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega, fondatori di “El Center”, una delle prime compagnie cinematografiche Cubane. Nella storia, da loro scritta e diretta, si vivono l’esperienze passate dai due registi attraverso il protagonista del film “Ernesto”, scappato alla dittatura cubana per cercare il padre a Miami si trova proiettato in un mondo nuovo, difficile d’affrontare come illegale.

Just a few days ago I got to meet the crew behind The Last Rafter, a Miami-set film about an undocumented Cuban. They were very excited about showing their film at the Miami Film Festival, knowing this would be a tough yet welcoming crowd for a film like theirs that openly talks about the end of the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ policy as well as the homophobia that was rampant in Cuba following the revolution. After premiering it at the festival soon after, I saw them again. They were giddy because of its reception but also because they already had several sold out shows to look forward to this weekend.

Bien cuidada en su estructura y con interesantes puntos de giro, le muestra al mundo la ciudad de Miami desde múltiples aristas, en su diversidad de estilos de vida, desde el rascacielos hasta la casa rodante; así como las simpáticas transiciones del spanglish en tanto lengua viva o la práctica de la santería como estereotipo de la cubanidad. Se trata de un drama de actualidad, que cuenta una historia de orfandad, de pérdidas, de huida, pero también de amor, de reconocimiento, de identidad. 

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