A Thousand Midnights


2015 marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration in which six million African Americans relocated from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from 1915 to 1970. In many ways, the epic internal migration created what we now consider the modern American city, particularly Chicago.

For Blacks fleeing the south during the Great Migration, economic and racial exploitation were inextricably linked. Black Americans in search of some semblance of freedom from racial terror also longed for the opportunity to provide for their families outside the racial plunder of the Southern plantation system. In this manner, the purported racial openness of the north was believed to translate into more economic opportunity for Black migrants, their families, and future generations. However, as is the case with much of the American story, this dream remains just out of reach for many. This experimental documentary chronicles the contemporary manifestation of the economic and social histories of Black Americans who came to the north during the Great Migration in search of economic opportunities. The implications of their migration, and the lack of economic opportunity they encountered, has far reaching consequences for Black America today.


Winner Grand Jury Prize /Special Mention Live Action Short Special Mention A Thousand Midnights For cinematography.

Nominee Grand Jury Prize Live Action Short Film A Thousand Midnights


The Museum of Contemporary Photography


Director Carlos Javier Ortiz
Written Carlos Javier Ortiz and Tina K. Sacks
Edited by Carlos Javier Ortiz
Music Chris Zabriskie and Tynus
Producer Carlos Javier Ortiz
Executive Producer Tina K. Sacks
Cinematography Carlos Javier Ortiz
Audio Carlos Javier Ortiz and Elyse Blennerhassett

AFI FEST GRAND JURY AWARDS, LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATED SHORT Live Action Short Special Mention for Cinematography: A Thousand Midnights (Carlos Javier Ortiz)

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