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One Road to Quartzsite

Directed, Shot, Produced & Edited by Ryan Maxey
Produced by Josh Polon
Written by Ryan Maxey, Josh Polon, Sophie Hardeman
In Association with Watch This Ready (THE CLIMB, Cannes Coup de Coeur Award)
Consulting Producer – Ryland Aldrich
Original Music – Ilan Rubin (NINE INCH NAILS)


“It’s late fall in a sleepy desert town in Arizona. Over the course of a few weeks, thousands of snowbirds, retirees, crustpunks, trumpers, loners, and fugitives all descend upon Quartzsite, Arizona. They set up camps, intermingle, and an unlikely community is formed. Some of them bought into the dream and lost everything in the Great Recession. Others dropped out long ago. Now they’re all neighbors on the same piece of dirt.

This cinema vérité doc takes viewers inside the strange little community that served as the real life inspiration and setting of Nomadland. From the influx of campers in November to the inevitable great scattering in March, friendships flourish, loves are lost, demons are battled, and the bright light of youth sparkles in One Road to Quartzsite.”


Official Selection:
  • Big Sky Documentary Festival 2022 (World Premiere) – WINNER, Best Feature
  • DOK Leipzig (International Premiere)
  • Mountainfilm 2022
  • Arizona International 2022 – WINNER, Best Vérité Documentary
  • Santa Barbara Int’l 2022 (“Top-12 Best of Fest,” The Santa Barbara Independent)
  • Chattanooga 2022 – WINNER, Best Documentary
  • Cleveland Int’l 2022
  • Milwaukee 2022
Critical Response:
  • “Suffused with a kind and gentle spirit[…] Stirs thoughts of hitting the road and never looking back.” – Screen Anarchy
  • “A beautiful, poetic, observational portrait.” – Big Sky
  • “A tiny sliver of hope for a better tomorrow.” – Film Threat
  • “An enlightening, one-of-a-kind watch[…] Provides a respite for traveling souls.” – Cleveland International