American Nomads

Take a ride with Americans who have left traditional homes and mainstream society behind for the freedom of life on the road.

Behind the scenes American Nomads
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
January 14, 2020
83:44 minutes
Funding Initiative
Short-Form Open Call
Headshot of man

Benjamin Wu

Ben Wu is an award-winning director, cinematographer, and producer, having screened films at Telluride, Tribeca, AFI Docs, and Full Frame. He co-directed, with noted documentarian Albert Maysles, the feature documentary In Transit. His documentary work has appeared on PBS, The NY Times, MTV, VICE, among others.

David Usui

David Usui

David Usui began his career producing television for NBC, the Discovery Channel and MTV. As a filmmaker, he has contributed work for The NY Times, the Atlantic and VICE and co-directed the feature length documentary, In Transit with acclaimed filmmaker Albert Maysles which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. In 2009, he Show more co-founded Lost & Found Films, a non-fiction production company based in NYC that produces documentaries and commercials with brands, ad agencies, broadcasters and NGOs. David studied philosophy and environmental studies at Western Washington University and is currently an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Show less

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The Film

All across the country people are leaving the American dream of home ownership behind for a life on the open road. Follow these vans, RVs and trailers from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine and meet modern nomads like students Paris and Lovell, who ‘stealth camp’ to save for the future, and seasoned van-life guru Bob Wells, who sold everything and never looked back. This series will criss-cross the nation for an in-depth look at the transient lifestyle where people face challenges ranging from how to cook and where to park, to larger quests for community, purpose, and freedom.