International Competition

Midnight Family

Luke Lorentzen
Screening time  
10.10. / Saturday, 21:00 - 23:00 Ticket

It seems beyond belief, if not downright cruel, that a major global metropolis should provide only 45 ambulances to serve a population of nine million. But for the Ochoa family – father Fernando, 17-year-old de facto family leader Juan, and chubby kid brother Josue, the chaos of Mexico City's streets nonetheless provides them with a hard-won way to make a meager living; hustling from grisly car wrecks to shootings to domestic-violence calls, the Ochoas are part of an army of private, for-profit ambulance services filling the gaps left by the city's deeply broken medical system. Breathlessly racing through uncaring traffic to be the first at the scene, only to quickly deal with bribe-hungry cops, competing EMTs, and victims who cannot or simply refuse to pay, Fernando and his sons somehow manage to find the time to be a normal, caring family and to hold onto a belief that, even amidst all the mayhem, tomorrow will be a better day.


Luke Lorentzen

Luke Lorentzen, filmmaker born in 1993 in Connecticut, is a graduate of Stanford University, where he studied Art History and Film Studies. His work explores elements of everyday life, often through rigorous formal means, questioning and experimenting with the ways in which non-fiction stories are told. His short documentary Santa Cruz Del Islote (2014) won awards at over ten international film festivals. His first feature documentary, New York Cuts (2015), had its world premiere at IDFA. Lorentzen is also part of the creative team behind the Netflix documentary series Last Chance U.

General sponsor

Midnight Familiy

USA, Mexico
2019, 81'

Directed by:
Luke Lorentzen

Screenplay by:
Luke Lorentzen

Luke Lorentzen

Edited by:
Luke Lorentzen

Los Shajatos

Luke Lorentzen, Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre, Elena Fortes

Produced by:
Hedgehog Films, No Ficción

Festivals & Awards:

Sundance Film Festival 2019 – US Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography; IDA Documentary Awards 2019 – Best Editing; CPH:DOX 2019 – Special Jury Mention, F:act Award; Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019 – Grand Jury Award; WatchDocs International Film Festival 2019 – Best Film; Guadalajara International Film Festival 2019 – Best Documentary Feature, Best Director; Hong Kong International Film Festival 2019 – Firebird Award; Bergen International Film Festival 2019 – Best Documentary; Calgary Underground Film Festival 2019 – Special Mention Best Documentary Feature; EnergaCAMERIMAGE 2019 – Golden Frog for Best Documentary; Films from the South 2019 – Best Documentary; Monterrey International Film Festival 2019 – Special Jury Mention ; Denver Film Festival 2019 – Maysles Brothers Award, Special Jury Mention; Gijón Film Festival 2019 – FIPRESCI Rellumes Award for Best Director; Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2019 – Cine Latino Documentary Audience Award; Kaliningrad Film Festival 2019 – Grand Prix; Calgary Underground Film Festival 2019 – Special Jury Mention; Montclair Film Festival 2019 – Special Jury Prize for Cinematography; Mammoth Lakes Film Festival 2019 – Bravery Award; Jerusalem Film Festival 2019 – Best Documentary; Underhill Fest 2019 – Best  Documentary; Gimli Film Festival 2019 – Grand Jury Prize; Guanajuato International Film Festival 2019 – Best Mexican Documentary; DOQUMENT 2019 – Best Mexican Documentary ; Man Message to Man Film Festival 2019 – Grand Prix, Russian Press Prize, IFFS Prize; Zurich Film Festival 2019 – Special Jury Mention; IDFA 2019; HotDocs 2019; AFI DOCS 2019; RIDM 2019; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2019; Americana Film Fest 2020; Ariel Awards, Mexico 2020


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