Welcome to our journey.
With no more West to escape to, follow marginalized Americans, young lovers on a motorcycle, and veterans of economic collapse living in RV’s, trucks, cars, hidden and houseless, seeking new lives and long-lost family connections while heading East to the Nevada desert.
Join independent filmmaker Rob Nilsson and his team as they create these new human stories about Americans living on the edge. Rob is the first American to win both the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Grand Prize at Sundance, and has over 40 feature films to his credit, all focussing on the human condition. Founder of Citizen Cinema, Nilsson and his colleagues have created a new trilogy of films with a conscience.
I. ARID CUT
Sky-high housing costs, rents no one can pay, urban development, and street crime make life difficult for RV dwellers in Berkeley, California. City bureaucrats collaborate with real estate agents to gentrify neighborhoods forcing out already marginalized people living in cars, trucks, and RVs. With no more West to escape to, they contemplate turning back East. Sandy 1, the clan’s Mother Teresa, beset with seizures, her nephew Rail, a young poet and tap dancer, traveling with his girlfriend Mitra on a motorcycle, look for clues to Arid Cut, a place in the desert where Rail might find Bert Neville, the father he never met. Ziggy and Travis, builders and jacks of all trades, think they might have a clue as the building site they’re working is shut down by the city. Taylor is a rapper looking for gigs along the way with his eccentric agent, Wes and his stoner friend, Geoff. Lucille drives Uber and lives with her mother in a van. Sandy 1 suddenly dies of a seizure and friends gather to mourn. In Sandy’s honor, and to help Rail, they agree to head East on a search for Arid Cut.
ARID CUT had its World Premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October, 2019. It is now looking for distribution in all markets.
II. CENTER DIVIDE
A road movie where our characters, connected by cell phone and the Internet, spread out into the Nevada desert. Ziggy and Travis head to Mina where they have a job re-building a bar and are surprised to find Karin, a homeless alcoholic, hidden in the back of their truck. Rail and Mitra travel to small-town courthouses looking for Arid Cut. Geoff’s dad has a broken-down bar in Reno where Taylor can test his new rap act. RV dwellers look into short term employment at remote corporate fulfillment centers and national forests cleaning campsites. Where to park without getting arrested? How to keep gas in the tank? At the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in the desert, 3000 RV dwellers catch up and exchange survival lore. Relationships fray and fall apart from the stress of constant movement. Further clues about Arid Cut appear, but mechanical failures, the continual need for gas, and growing xenophobia and racism in small-town America are just some of the obstacles they face. one hedge against bloodshed.
CENTER DIVIDE had its World Premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October, 2021. It is now looking for distribution in all markets.
Faultline (in production), film #3 will take us into ranch country where drought threatens to overwhelm rural economies and traditional values struggle with the partisan divides of a deeply divided country. Urban will come up against rural and values compete in a kind of theatre game where passionately held views can clash. Knowing that we’re making a fiction after which antagonists shake hands and share a drink gives us a rare opportunity to recognise that what we favour may be less eternal than the need to accept differences in order to preserve democracy. Yes, we need to get rid of presidents who lie. And, no, we don’t despise our opponents in a fair election, our one hedge against bloodshed.
FAULTLINE, the third in the Nomad Trilogy, is currently in production.