37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL | October 30-November 3

37th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL | October 30-November 3

Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation on MIDNIGHT FAMILY


Join the Virginia Film Festival as they kick off their new Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Discussion Series with conversation with Midnight Family director Luke Lorentzen, moderated by Federico Cuatlacuatl (UVA). 

This event is part of the Virginia Film Festival’s new Beyond the Screen: A Virtual Conversation Series.  All discussions in the series will be free, open to the public, livestreamed on Zoom, and archived on the VAFF’s YouTube channel. Pre-registration is required to attend the livestreamed Zoom conversations. Related films are available to rent or purchase through various streaming platforms prior to the scheduled discussion. For more information on how to pre-register for each virtual conversation and where to stream each filmvisit virginiafilmfestival.org/year-round-events.

More about the participants:

LUKE LORENTZEN – Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor: Luke Lorentzen is a graduate of Stanford University’s department of Art and Art History. His most recent film, Midnight Family, tells the story of a family-run ambulance business in Mexico City. The film has won over 35 awards from some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals and organizations including a Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Editing from the International Documentary Association, and the Golden Frog for Best Documentary from Camerimage. Midnight Family sits in the permanent collection at Museum of Modern Art in New York City, was shortlisted for the 2020 Best Documentary Oscar, and was a New York Times ‘Critics’ Pick’. Luke’s other work as a director and cinematographer includes one of Netflix’s most watched original series, Last Chance U, which has been nominated for an Emmy and Critics Choice Award. Experimenting with the ways in which non-fiction stories are told, his films take viewers into hidden worlds to meet otherwise overlooked, hard working people. Originally from Connecticut, Luke currently lives in San Francisco.

FEDERICO CUATLACUATL- VAFF Guest Programmer, UVA Assistant Professor of Studio Art. Indigenous Artist: Born in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, Federico Cuatlacuatl is an indigenous artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. He received his MFA specializing in Digital Arts from the Bowling Green State University in 2015. Federico’s work is invested in disseminating topics of Latinx immigration, social art practice, and cultural sustainability. Building from his own experience growing up as an undocumented immigrant and previously holding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Federico’s research is primarily concerned with pressing realities in current social, political, and cultural issues that Latinx undocumented immigrants face in the U.S. As founder and director of the Rasquache Artist Residency in Puebla, Mexico, he actively stays involved in socially engaged works and binational endeavors.

More about the film: 

In one of Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family operates a for-profit ambulance, competing with other private EMTs to help patients in need. In a city of almost 9 million, the government only operates 45 emergency ambulances, leaving businesses like that of the Ochoa family to serve as a crucial lifeline to those needing medical attention. However, the lack of financial gain from their operation often jeopardizes the quality of care the family can provide,and when the police crackdown on private ambulances the Ochoa family is thrown into a moral and ethical gray area. This observational documentary shows the urgent complexities surrounding healthcare, government authority, and communal responsibility.

Midnight Family is available to stream on all major platforms: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/midnight-family


Wednesday, May 6


3:00 PM


Virtual Discussion