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An Unbreakable Bond to Make its World Debut at Miami International Film Festival, MIFF 2014

The film, by Emilio Estefan, chronicles the struggles and triumphs of NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc as they strive to find a cure for paralysis

Miami, February 20, 2014 - An Unbreakable Bond, a film by Emilio Estefan documents the relationship between NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti, his son Marc and their nearly three decade struggle to find a cure for spinal cord injuries. The film will make its world debut at the 31st edition of Miami Film Festival (MIFF), produced and presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), on Tuesday, March 11th at 6:30 PM at the Olympia Theater at The Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.

Estefan, a 19-time Grammy award winning producer, directed and produced this documentary that archives the Buonicontis’ lives as they faced paralysis head on. From the beginning in 1985 when Marc was injured, the film follows their journey from the creation of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis through the present day as they stand at the forefront of paralysis research.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to share with the world this moving story about an incredibly unique bond between a father and his son.  Marc and Nick turned their tragedy into hope and inspiration for so many individuals and families who are impacted by paralysis each year.  Their story hits close to home for me, as I experienced first-hand the struggles that Gloria endured after her paralyzing bus accident.  Thankfully, Gloria was blessed with a miraculous outcome and was able to walk again.  The Miami Project gives great hope to so many people and their dedication towards finding a cure for paralysis is so close.  My hope is that all families may experience the same miracle mine did,” said Emilio Estefan.

“We have been fortunate to call The Estefans friends for many years, so to work with them on An Unbreakable Bond was a dream come true.  They bring such professionalism and class to everything they do and have helped us capture our story on film so we can take our message to the world that paralysis does not have to be forever,” said Miami Project Founder Nick Buoniconti.

An Unbreakable Bond is narrated by Buoniconti Fund Board Member and Grammy award winner, Gloria Estefan. The film includes appearances by special friends and ardent supporters of The Miami Project including; Academy Award winning actor Tommy Lee Jones, award winning television journalists Tom Brokaw and Bob Costas, NFL Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula, and Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus.  We also hear first-hand accounts from the Buoniconti family as they discuss the devastation that Marc’s injury had on the family and how they teamed up with world-renown neurosurgeon Dr. Barth Green and developed the fledgling Miami Project, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, into a research effort with international prominence that has changed the way the world looks at paralysis and a cure.


“Over the decades, Gloria and Emilio Estefan have been such wonderful supporters and friends to both The Miami Project and The Buoniconti Fund.  Both of our roots are so firmly planted in Miami so when this project presented itself it was natural to work with them on this important film,” said Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti.

Through historic footage, interviews with key supportive individuals, doctors, family and friends, the film recreates the tribulations and triumphs of this remarkable story.  It also documents for future generations a journey of greatness, tragedy, inspiration and hope.  Ultimately, this is a story of An Unbreakable Bond between a father and a son.  A father and son who are not accustomed to standing still.  A father and son who believe that all were born to move and chose to do something about it.


The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis: In 1985, Barth A. Green, M.D. and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti helped found The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center, and a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  The Miami Project’s international team is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and includes more than 300 scientists, researchers, clinicians and support staff who take innovative approaches to the challenges of brain and spinal cord injury. Committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again, the Buoniconti family established The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis in 1992, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting The Miami Project achieve its national and international goals.


The Miami Project’s Christine E. Lynn Clinical Trials Initiative is designed to take discoveries found to be successful in laboratory studies and fast track them to human studies.  Our FDA approved Schwann cell transplantation trial, the only one of its kind in the world, is changing the spinal cord injury field and sets an important foundation for future Miami Project cell replacement therapies.


Miami Project researchers are conducting or participating in more than ten clinical trials for spinal cord and brain injuries, and have more than a dozen clinical research studies underway. Because of our clinical and research expertise, The Miami Project is confident that we have the knowledge and resolve to initiate additional clinical trials that will help us continue to responsibly and safely take these important steps into humans.


Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), celebrating its 31st anniversary March 7 - 16, 2014, is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. MIFF's special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory.  The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Major sponsors of the 2014 Festival include Knight Foundation, Lexus and Miami-Dade County. For more, visit or call 305-237-MIFF (3456).

MDCulture is the Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC). Comprising the Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, Tower Theater, the Center for Literature and Theatre, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design, MDCulture is committed to providing everyone the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDCulture offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. For more, visit


Emilio Estefan, has achieved incredible success throughout his career, boasting more than 30 years of industry-leading achievements. His resume includes a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, more than 30 Grammy nominations and 19 Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year.  He is currently second Vice Chair to the Commission for the National Museum of the American Latino a committee created in efforts to establish the first National Museum of the American Latino.  His television production credits include the Latin Grammy’s, The Hispanic Heritage Awards, producing music for the Superbowl and Olympic ceremonies as well as high-profile music events for HBO and Showtime. In 2008, Emilio produced and directed his first full-length documentary film, 90 Millas, based on the pioneers and history of Cuban music.  The film received critical accolades after premiering in the Tribeca Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival.     Estefan Enterprises, Inc. is a multi-media entertainment company that consists of songwriting, record production, talent management, television & motion picture production, ownership and management of seven restaurants, two hotels and is the first Cuban-American minority owner of major NFL franchise, the Miami Dolphins.

Tickets to Miami International Film Festival go on sale this Friday, February 14th.

Media interested in attending the screening of the film are required to have an official MIFF press badge.  

Please submit your request to Jessica Wade Pfeffer via email at Media tickets to screenings are mandatory and very limited. You must have a ticket to watch the film. MIFF media badges do not give you access to screenings.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366,, media specialist
Kai Hill, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

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