The winner of a best actor award at the Tribeca Film Festival for a movie about Cuban boat people wished a happy life to two fellow cast members who went missing enroute to New York.
"I'm happy for me, I'm happy for them," Dariel Arrechada told AFP after receiving the award for his role in "Una Noche."
"Una Noche," (One Night) tells the story of three teenagers trying to make the dangerous ocean passage from Cuba to Florida in a homemade raft.
The story took an odd twist when Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, the film's other two main actors, disappeared last week during a Miami stopover on a flight from Havana to New York, in an apparent bid to stay.
Arrechada, 21, shared the best actor prize with Nunez Florian but accepted the award alone on Thursday night.
"I hope someday to get in contact with them because we shared a lot in the movie -- the same room, the same situations, the same script, the same questions," he told AFP.
"I have a lot of affection for my friends," he said. "I wish they were here. They deserve it, too."
"I hope their lives go well, I wish them the best," he said.
The short film also won awards for Best New Director and Best Cinematography. They were among six awards given out during the competition.
"So much happened in this movie," said London-born Lucy Mulloy as she accepted the award for Best New Director late Thursday. "It changed people's lives."
Since 1966, Cubans have been granted automatic residence if they make it to the United States from the communist-ruled island, and thousands attempt the voyage every year, often navigating the shark-infested waters in rickety boats.
In explaining the best actor award, the jury said Nunez Florian and Arrechada gave "potent individual performances that together are even greater than the sum of their parts."
Regarding Mulloy's award, it said the film "rang the bell inside all of our little director hearts. We simply thought the film was awesome."
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by actor Robert De Niro and film producer Jane Rosenthal to help New York's Tribeca neighborhood recover from the September 11, 2001 attack on the nearby World Trade Center.
The 2012 competition, which ends Sunday, includes 80 feature-length movies and 80 short films from 46 countries.
Source: AFP Global Edition