The director Icíar Bollaín presents the story of the Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta, a legend on the dance world and the first black dancer to perform some of the most famous ballet roles. A dancer who did not want to dance. Based on Carlos Acosta’s autobiography NO WAY HOME – A CUBAN DANCER’S STORY, it is his own story about growing up in Cuba, becoming a dancer, moving to London and his relationship with his father, his family and his country.
YULI is the nickname given to Carlos Acosta by his father Pedro. From a young age, Yuli fled any kind of discipline and education; the streets of a run-down neighborhood in Havana was where he learned most of his schooling. But Pedro knows his son has natural talent and forces him to attend Cuba’s National Dance School. Against his will and despite his initial indiscipline, Yuli ends up being captivated by the world of dance, and from childhood he will begin to forge his own legend, as one of the best dancers of his generation, often breaking taboos and becoming the first black artist to dance Romeo in the Royal Ballet in London, where he forged a legendary career as a principal dancer for 17 years.
YULI had its World Premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay Award. It has gone on to receive five nominations for the Spanish ‘Goya’ awards including Best New Actor for Carlos Acosta, Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The cast includes Carlos Acosta playing himself and introduces Edilson Manuel Olbera playing Carlos as a boy, Keyvin Martinez who plays Carlos as a young man and Santiago Alfonso as his father.
“A flamboyantly affirmative true story that’s bound to have balletophiles and biopic fans reaching for their hankies” – Screen