Film premiere by John Roberts at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Posted on 20/06/2012

A film which casts Cuban ballet star Carlos Acosta as a lead in a Brit comedy – and saw him play an integral role in securing film rights in his home country – will  be showcased at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on Monday (25 June).

Independent British film Day of the Flowers was directed by internationally acclaimed and two-time BAFTA award winning director John Roberts – a Media Arts lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The romantic drama stars award-winning actress Eva Birthistle (Ae Fond Kiss, Breakfast on Pluto), emerging talent Charity Wakefield (Serena), Christopher Simpson (Brick Lane) and introduces internationally acclaimed Cuban Royal Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta in his first leading feature film role.

Day of the Flowers is a romantic drama about two strong-willed sisters, on a journey through Cuba, who find love and misadventure in the most unusual of places. Drenched in sunlight and with a fabulous Cuban soundtrack, the film is a colourful and wryly humorous tale of cross-cultural misunderstandings and lost illusions.

The film provided a new career move for professional ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, who took a lead role in the comedy.

Carlos Acosta rose from the streets of Havana to become the world’s most in-demand and recognisable principal ballet dancer.  He has performed with all the world’s leading ballet companies, receiving many awards and several box-office records including last year’s sell out performances at the O2 arena. Day of the Flowers is Carlos’ first leading role in a feature film after featuring in a short segment of New York, I Love You directed by Natalie Portman.

As a Cuban national, Carlos found himself also playing a lead role in securing the permission for the crew to film in his homeland – a move that led to Day of the Flowers being granted filming approval following strict filming restrictions in the country.

Roberts said: “It wasn’t easy and there were times when we weren’t sure we would be able to do it. We took the film to ICAIC, the Cuban Film institute, and they liked the script. With Carlos also on board we were able to do a production deal with ICAIC and we were given permission to film.”

Talking about the casting of Acosta in the film, Roberts said: “Most people will know Carlos for his ballet. He has recently starred in Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet and has a background of touring internationally with the National Ballet of Cuba and Royal Ballet so this was new for him. I think people will be surprised at this role. We deliberately didn't focus too much on his dancing.”

Day of the Flowers has been nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature and the Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.

For more information about the Edinburgh International Film Festival visit the festival website.


Royal Holloway, University of London logo