About the Film:
El MAR y EL is a short film comedy based loosely on director Tony Mendez's uncle's experience coming to America from Cuba during the "Mariel boat lift." The title and subject of the film is based on the roughly 125,000 Cubans who emigrated from Cuba to Miami in 1980. This exodus happened because of political dissatisfaction in the years following the Cuban revolution as well as a sharp downturn in the economy. The Mariel agreement ended after the U.S. discovered that Fidel Castro was sending not only political dissidents and other disaffected citizens but also felons and the criminally insane to America.
Many Cuban-Americans today can trace their ancestry and American citizenship to this event. Moreover, historians and economists identify the Mariel boat lift as a vital catalyst in the emergence of Miami as a major American city. Today, you'll find the city of Miami (and other American cities) bustling with the ingenuity and pride of Cuban people and culture.
The New Jersey Film Festival - Best Short Film
The John Hopkins Film Festival - Official Selection 2015
University of Miami Canes Film Festival - Best Thesis Film, Best Actor (Yubran Luna), Best Producing, Best Directing, Best Editing