Luke Lorentzen

Mexico, USA, 2019 / 81 min / Spanish OV with English & French subt. / documentary

A look at Mexico City’s cut-throat private ambulance service.

The Ochoa family runs a private, independent ambulance service, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help in one of Mexico City’s wealthiest neighbourhoods.  In a city where the government operates only 45 emergency ambulances for a population of over nine million, the family acts as a crucial – but unregistered – underground lifeline. And even though the Ochoas have a reputation for being trustworthy, they must reckon with the sudden escalation in bribes that could force them to wade into the ethically questionable practice of making money off of patients in dire straits.

Midnight Family maintains a breathless speed and urgency throughout. The camera is always exactly where it needs to be, capturing the intense textures and thrills of rides and rescues until, with each repetition, a subtextual story emerges—of a family and a society under profound financial and moral duress.” Sundance Film Festival

Sat 07/03 10:30 Cinémathèque ES OV with EN subt. Public
Tue 10/03 21:00 Cinémathèque ES OV with FR & EN subt. Public
Wed 11/03 19:00 Ciné Utopia ES OV with EN subt. Public

“Portraits of institutional dysfunction don’t come much more urgent, and quietly bleak, than this. […] The film achieves a powerful measure of suspense that’s intricately tied up in its despairing sociological depiction of a system that’s come apart at the seams.” Nick Schager, Variety, 28/01/2019

  • Cinema Eye Honors Award – The Unforgettables, Cinema Eye Honors Awards, 2020 (USA)
  • US Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography, Sundance Film Festival, 2019 (USA)
  • Documentaire Extraordinaire, Bergen International Film Festival, 2019 (Norway)
  • Honourable Mention – F :ACT Award, CPH:DOX, 2019 (Denmark)
  • Special Mention – Best Documentary Feature, Calgary Underground Film Festival, 2019 (Canada)
  • Golden Frog for the Best Documentary, International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography Camerimage, 2019 (Poland)
  • Honourable Mention – Maysles Brothers Award, Denver International Film Festival, 2019 (USA)
  • Grand Jury Prize – Best of Fest, Gimli Film Festival, 2019 (Canada)
  • Best Documentary Feature, Guadalajara International Film Festival, 2019 (Mexico)
  • Best Director, Guadalajara International Film Festival, 2019 (Mexico)
  • Best Mexican Long Feature Film, Guadalajara International Film Festival, 2019 (Mexico)
  • Best Mexican Documentary Feature, Guanajuato International Film Festival (Mexico)
  • Golden Firebird Award for Best Documentary, Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2019 (Hong Kong)
  • Best Editing, International Documentary Association, 2019
  • Best Documentary, Jerusalem Film Festival, 2019 (Israel)
  • Best Film, Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, 2019 (USA)
  • Bravery Award, Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, 2019 (USA)
  • Special Mention – Best Mexican Documentary, Monterrey International Film Festival, 2019 (USA)
  • Grand Jury Award – Best Documentary, Sheffield Doc/Fest, 2019 (UK)
  • Russian Press Prize for the Best Full-Length Documentary, St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, 2019 (Russia)
  • Best Film, St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, 2019 (Russia)
  • International Federation of Cinema Societies’ Prize, St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, 2019 (Russia)
  • Special Mention – International Documentary Film, Zurich Film Festival, 2019 (Switzerland)
Cast & Credits
Juan Ochoa, Fer Ochoa, Josué Ochoa, Manuel Hernández
Luke Lorentzen
Matías Barberis
Los Shajatos
Hedgehog, No Ficción
Autlook Films

Luke Lorentzen is a graduate from Stanford University's department of Art and Art History, where he studied Art History and Film Studies. His first short, Santa Cruz del Islote (2014) – a short documentary about a small and densely populated fishing community in Colombia – has won awards at over ten international film festivals including San Francisco, Camden and Chicago. His first feature documentary, New York Cuts (2015), explores six hair salons in disparate cultural enclaves of New York City. It premiered at IDFA in Amsterdam. Luke is also part of the creative team behind the recent Netflix documentary series, Last Chance U (2016-2018). 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.

  • 2019 – Midnight Family (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2019 – Last Chance U (5 épisodes de la série TV documentaire / 5 episodes of the documentary TV series / 5 Folgen der Dokumentarfernsehserie)
  • 2015 – New York Cuts (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2014 – Santa Cruz del Islote (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)