In the Mojave desert, not far from Los Angeles, lies the unfinished California City. Lashay Warren (25) left behind his turbulent Los Angeles past to build a new life within this grid of thousands of crumbled streets. Being a contemporary pioneer, he pushes through the obstacles ahead as he resolutely enters this new world.


“It started with an anecdote, a story picked up somewhere. About a city in a desert, California City, which hadn’t fulfilled its promise (yet) to become the third largest city in California. Driven by curiosity to this unfinished place, we ended up there together and found ourselves going back regularly during four years. In search of what our film might become, in this place always coming into being. We met countless people, stranded in California City. People who started over, seekers of gold and fortune.

That’s how Lashay came across our path by chance, or better still, how we walked onto his, and we hit it off immediately. Even though we don’t share the same background, there and then we shared the same place and a bond developed. A commitment rose because of the temporarily shared space, as well as a mutual fascination for and empathy towards each other, and the longing to make a film together.

Lashay told us about a violent past which he had trouble leaving behind, about his new life in California City, and about his dreams of the future. About how it’s like to grow up in America as a young black man. About how hard it is to break away from a predestined and strongly limited socio-economic reality.

We discovered Lashay’s playful personality and his enormous creative potential. How he injects the often disappointing reality with a dose of fiction. The creative approach to his identity, by continuously imagining a different self, a different future.”

From the Directors’ Statement

UPDATED ON 18.09.2020