Option zero

A group of Cuban migrants use their mobile phones to record and transmit through social networks intimate moments of their passage through the jungle, gathering more than 100 hours of experiences. Immobilized in a makeshift camp by Cáritas in Panama City, the difficult passage through the Darien Jungle comes to life on their devices. In this migratory limbo, Cuban director Marcel Beltrán films the passing of the hours in the camp and gains access to this shocking archive.

  • Marcel Beltrán
    Music of the Spheres, Between the Lines
  • Marcel Beltrán
    Music of the Spheres, Between the Lines
  • Marcel Beltrán
    Music of the Spheres, Between the Lines
  • Paula Gastaud
  • Maria Carla del Rio
  • Paola Andrea Pérez Nieto
  • Marcel Beltrán
    Music of the Spheres, Between the Lines
  • Marcel Beltrán
    Music of the Spheres, Between the Lines
  • Homer Mora
    Sound Designer
  • Vitor Moraes
    Re-recording Mixer
  • Doc & Rio Festival Agency
    Festival Agent
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    La opción cero
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Migration, Human Rights, Social Issues, Latino, Found Footage, Crossing Borders
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 21, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Cuba, Panama
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA)
    November 21, 2020
    World Premiere
  • Hot Docs
    April 29, 2021
    North American Premiere
    Made in Colombia
  • Doc NY
    New York
    United States
    November 12, 2021
    Winner's Circle
  • RIDM - Montreal International Documentary Festival
    November 10, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Bogotá International Film Festival (biff)
    October 7, 2021
    National Premiere
    Official Selection
  • SANFIC - Santiago International Film Festival
    August 15, 2021
    Latin American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara
    October 7, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Doc MX
    Mexico City
    October 14, 2021
    Official Selection
    Buenos Aires
    December 2, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival
    Port of Spain
    Trinidad and Tobago
    October 21, 2021
    Caribbean Premiere
    Best Documentary
  • 25 Festival de Cine de Lima PUCP
    August 19, 2021
    LatAm Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Muestra de Cine Joven Cubano en Montevideo
    November 11, 2021
    Closing Film
  • World Cinema Amsterdam!
    August 26, 2021
    Go Cuba! Section
  • FIFAC - Festival Internacional de Cine Documental Amazonie Caraïbes
    Saint-Lauren du Maroni
    French Guiana
    October 6, 2021
    Official Selection
  • CinéMartinique

    Official Selection
  • Doku Baku
    November 3, 2021
    Asian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • IFF Panama
    Panama City
    December 4, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Sao Paulo Latino Film Festival
    Sao Paulo
    December 10, 2021
    Official Selection
  • FEMI - Festival Régional et International du Cinéma de Guadeloupe

    January 22, 2022
    Official Selection
  • MiradasDoc
    Guía de Isora
    January 30, 2022
    Spanish Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Marcel Beltrán

Film director, producer and editor. Along these years, has been
awarded on several occasions the Best Director award at the Muestra Joven ICAIC (Youth Film Festival) which is held every year showcasing new narratives in the Cuban cinema. His first short doc Cisne cuello negro, cuello blanco (The Swan of Desires) participated in the 2013 Documentary Fortnight Showing at the MoMA Museum in New York.

In 2018, his first Documentary Feature-length, La Música de las Esferas (Music of the Spheres) did its World Premiere in the Miami Film Festival and after that went through important Film Festivals in Latin America and Europe as SANFIC (Chile); Biarritz (France); Malaga (Spain); World Cinema Amsterdam (Netherlands), among others.

The filmmaker is also developing a new documentary called Soles de Invierno (Winter Suns), produced by Mediocielo Films, in co-production with Chilean Company Errante, granted by Ibermedia Fund for Development.

Marcel Beltrán is a teacher and Consultant at the EICTV (Cuba) and at the Cinema Department of the School of Design Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic. He has been a member of the jury on several laboratories such as "Nuevas Miradas LAB" (Cuba), FDC (Colombia), and BrLab (Brasil).

2020 - La Opción Cero (Option Zero); Doc / 80 min.
2018 - La Música de las Esferas (Music of the Spheres); Doc / 82 min.
2017 - Manos de Padre (Between the Lines); Doc / 50 min.
2016 - Casa de la Noche (Nighthouse); Exp / 13 min.
2015 - La Edad (The Age); Fic / 10 min.
2014 - La Nube (The Cloud); Fic / 23 min.
2013 - digna guerra; Doc / 50 min.
2011 - Cuerda al Aire; (String Upon the Air); Doc / 33 min.
2010 - Parihuela (Stretcher); Doc / 13 min.
2009 - Cisne Cuello Negro, Cuello Blanco (The Swan of Desires) Doc / 13 min.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement


The migrant is a revolutionary and a revolutionary only follows a revolutionary. Another being for that dangerous journey who is attempting to change the destiny that the world has imposed on us since birth. A mission that leads to a serious transformation of identity and where the greatest leading role is reaching that profound moral crisis between the law and justice in our societies.

During the journey, the migrant refers to himself and his experiences in plural. And it is that the singular strength of each voice is off key in the atrium of a choir that does not follow a harmoniously written score, without a conductor. During the experience of accompanying Cuban migrants during the filming of Zero Option, we observed that the strength of this song clings to the public expression of a pain that cries out for a gesture of attention. The possibility of another life embodying the possibility of death, and a sense of salvation moved by Faith in success at all costs.

The migrant’s silence is covered by empty words. Social media and the use of a hashtag (#) like leitmotiv in this cycle. The contemporary migrant does not only record, he also transmits -live- from Facebook for all of his contacts and screams: share! share!, while the spectator accompanies him (also from their phone), behind this symbol (#), and not around their bodies. The transmission of a true instant is then shown like an external and unreal event for a distant recipient. Our film, Zero Option, attempts to shorten that distance.

Marcel Beltrán