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Barbet Schroeder Presents : A FILM BY LEE PERCY

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  • By Erica Pearson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 10.56.17 PM
    Praq Rado in “Dreaming American.”

    The feds have detained an Albanian actor who was on his way to a Hamptons film festival for a screening of a film based on his immigrant experience.

    U.S. Border Patrol agents in Buffalo took Praq Rado, 31, star of the short film “Dreaming American,” into custody Sunday after they searched his Amtrak train.

    Rado, who says he fled Albania after facing political persecution, lost a bid for asylum several years ago and was in the country illegally.

    The Manhattan actor was headed home after a trip to Los Angeles. He’s now being held in an upstate federal detention center in Batavia.

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    “It’s been crazy. I’ve been crying all day,” said Rado by phone. “I had done this trip lots of times, I couldn’t fly because I have no documents.”

    He said he has no relatives left in Albania.

    “I am very worried,” he said. “It’s like a basement here, the windows are so tiny.”

    The film’s director, Lee Percy, took the stage at the East Hampton Film Festival Monday without his star.
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    Praq Rado, 31, was detained by the feds on his way to an East Hampton screening of a movie about his life.

    “He called me right afterwards and was so upset not to be there. It’s actually the most down I’ve heard him,” Percy said. “It’s very stressful.”

    The actor, whose full name is Prek Radoina, entered the country illegally in 2001 near Detroit and was flagged for deportation in 2007, said Buffalo-based Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Teresa Gallagher.

    Percy said Rado’s lawyer has filed a request to stop his deportation and is planning to try to reopen the asylum bid.

    Rado was working as a caterer when he met Percy and convinced him to make a movie about his life. “Dreaming American” shows him trying to attend community college while paying bills as a go-go dancer at a club run by a character played by “Breaking Bad” star Giancarlo Esposito.

    “He’s a tenacious fellow,” Percy said. “I was moved by the story, and it almost took on a life of its own. “

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