Sheffield Doc/Fest's biggest prize goes to a film about private Mexican ambulances

12 June 2019

Luke Lorentzen: Midnight Family (Sheffield Doc/Fest)

This year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest drew to a close last night, ending with the usual prize-giving ceremony which, as ever, honoured the very best in contemporary documentary filmmaking.

It’s American director Luke Lorentzen who’ll be tucking into a full English this morning with the coveted Grand Jury award stuffed into his jacket pocket. The jury – comprised of Jeremy Deller, Charlotte Cook, and Jenn Nkiru – singled out Midnight Family, an account of private ambulance services in Mexico City, for praise.

In a statement released by the organisers of Doc/Fest, the juror’s state that Midnight Family is a “a technically accomplished film that combines family drama with serious moral questions for the participants and viewers alike,” as well as being both “a timely warning to the dangers privatised healthcare,” and “a true celebration of the potential of independent filmmaking.”

Lorentzen’s picture took the top spot ahead of a selection of top-drawer docs, including Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona which is currently garnering rave reviews from pretty much every outlet on Earth.

The bespoke Steel Core trophy – crafted by Sheffield artist Harrison Moore – isn’t the first significant prize that Midnight Family has picked up. Back in January it grabbed the special jury award for cinematography at the Sundance festival.

Other winners from the 26th edition of Doc/Fest include Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Earth (International Award), America by Garrett Bradley (Short Award), and Georgie Pinn and Kendyl Rossi’s iterative artwork Echo (Best Digital Experience Award).


Asif Kapadia: Diego Maradona (Via Sheffield Doc/Fest)


Nikolaus Geyrhalter: Earth (Via Sheffield Doc/Fest)


Garrett Bradley: America (Via Sheffield Doc/Fest)

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Josh Baines

Josh Baines joined It's Nice That from July 2018 to July 2019 as News Editor, covering new high-profile projects, awards announcements, and everything else in between.

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