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Elián  2017

Directed by Tim Golden and Ross McDonell
Executive Producers  Maiken Baird, Alex Gibney, Stacey Offman
Distributed by CNN Films

World Premiere Tribeca Film Festival 2017

Elián recounts the story of a custody fight that grew into an international incident and a boy who became an international symbol. A Cuban boy named Elián González was found floating on an inner tube in the Florida Straits on Thanksgiving Day in 1999 after his mother and others had perished in the passing. The event set in motion a bitter custody battle between Elián’s Cuban father and US relatives and acted as a flashpoint for US and Cuban tensions. Set to the backdrop of a tense and acrimonious relationship between the US and Cuba, the moving story features a wealth of contemporary news archive and gives unprecedented access to key players in the saga, including an exclusive interview with the boy himself, now a 23-year old man.

News & Documentary Emmy Awards
Nominee, Outstanding Investigative Documentary

International Documentary Association
Nominee, Video Source Award

“The film chronicles the complex tale cogently and effectively, using extensive archival footage as well as contemporary interviews that help put the events in context. Most fascinatingly, its coda features footage of the now 23-year-old Elian who still lives in Cuba and reveres the late Castro. Articulate and self-assured, he seems none the worse for his childhood trauma.”
Hollywood Reporter

“The story continues to elicit strong emotion...We see the resilience of the adult Elián when he takes a swim near a Cuban beach: After all he’s endured, he’s not afraid of the water.”
Village Voice
“Directors Tim Golden and Ross McDonnell’s documentary goes back in time to provide an incisive, involving take on the story.”
Screen Daily

“The film’s triumph resides in the reasoned associations it draws between the putative agendas of the Cuban exile community looking to keep Elián in Miami and the Cuban government seeking his return.”
Slant Magazine