(88 min) Guatemala/US
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Directors: Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple
Producer: Jenna Kelly


Five Years North is the coming-of-age story of Luis, an undocumented boy in New York City desperate to bring the American Dream back home to Guatemala. Alone, he struggles to work, study, and evade Judy—the Cuban-American ICE agent who patrols his neighborhood. 15-year-old Luis Lopez arrives alone in New York City after a dangerous journey north. He’s spellbound by the bright lights of Times Square and the promise of a better life. Over the next few years, reality sets in as he desperately tries to learn English, navigate high school, work temporary jobs, and manage expectations from his parents back home. Working nearby is Judy, a veteran Cuban-American ICE agent and native New Yorker. Although Judy’s Cuban parents voice their disapproval of ICE, she feels grateful to have a stable job with benefits. Under mounting pressure from the administration, and growing frustration with the shifting focus away from criminals, Judy decides to follow her own rule book. Five Years North’s unparalleled access and observational approach makes for a gripping story and valuable entry point to understanding America’s broken immigration system.


Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci are filmmakers and the founders of Optimist, a non-profit production studio that creates films with impact. They are best known for directing the feature documentaries Living On One Dollar and Salam Neighbor. Their films have been released by Netflix, Amazon Prime, National Geographic, and The Atlantic. In addition to Five Years North, they recently directed the short documentary, The Undocumented Lawyer. Every film they make is accompanied by an impact campaign to create measurable outcomes. Their projects have raised over $91.5 million dollars for the films’ causes and have changed over 275,000 lives.

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