Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story: Directed by Icíar Bollaín

Based on Carlos Acosta’s autobiography No Way Home: Cuban Dancer’s Story, YULI tells 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: THE CARLOS ACOSTA STORY is directed by Icíar Bollaín (Take My Eyes, Even the Rain), written by Paul Laverty (I, Daniel Blake) and produced by Andrea Calderwood (Potboiler Films) and Juan Gordon (Morena Films).

The film will be released in the UK and Ireland on Friday 12 April 2019, with an exclusive Live Film Event from the Linbury Theater at the Royal Opera House on Wednesday 3 April.

This special screening will include a Q&A with Carlos Acosta, Icíar Bollaín and Paul Laverty which will be cinecast to audiences nationwide.

The Royal Opera House has played a significant role in Carlos Acosta’s career, he was a Guest Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet for 17 years before retiring in 2015 from classical ballet.  Carlos is now Royal Ballet Guest Principal Répétiteur coaching the dancers and leading rehearsals as well as managing his own dance company Acosta Danza. He was recently appointed Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet commencing in January 2020.

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.

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 neighbourhood 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 build his own legend, as one of the best dancers of his generation, often breaking boundaries and becoming the first black Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet in London, where he forged a legendary 17-year career.

Modern Films will release YULI in the U.K. on 12 April 2019.