Scottish screenwriter, Paul Laverty won the award for Best Screenplay for Yuli at San Sebastian International Film Festival 2018.
Yuli tells the story of the Cuban dancer, Carlos Acosta (who plays himself), from his beginnings in a poor neighbourhood of Havana until becoming the star of one of the biggest ballet companies in the world.
Yuli (Carlos's nickname) is a gifted boy who doesn't want to be a dancer but, forced by his father Pedro and tutored by the professor and director of the Cuban National School of Ballet, Cherry, will become one of the best dancers of his generation, breaking taboos in becoming the first black dancer to play Romeo at the Royal Ballet in London, where he forged his stellar career and his legend for 17 years.
Yuli is a film about roots, the relationship between Carlos and his father, with his family, with Cuba. Yuli is about art and the sacrifice of dedicating one's life to that art and, above all, about what we are.
Produced by Andrea Calderwood of Potboiler Productions and Juan Gordon of Morena Films, the film is a co-production with Galapagos Media, Hijo De Ogun A.I.E. (Spain), Mandarin Produccion (France), Match Factory Productions (Germany) and Producciones 5TA Avenida, together with ICAIC (Cuba), and is supported by BBC Films, Creative Scotland, Movistar +, Eurimages, ICAA, FFA and Berlin Medienfund. The Match Factory will be responsible for international sales of the film, and Entertainment One Films Spain (eOne Films) will be the distributor in Spain.
Paul Laverty’s extensive body of work with director Ken Loach includes the multi-award winning I, Daniel Blake, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Sweet Sixteen and Bread and Roses, and director Icíar Bollaín’s acclaimed previous work includes features The Olive Tree, the Goya-nominated Even The Rain and multiple Goya-winning Take My Eyes.