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Homeless veterans find family as they rent rooms from an eighteen-year-old girl struggling to support her thirteen-year-old brother while discovering her voice in Americana music.


At the heart of Lynn Salt’s original screenplay “Oildale” are timeless, multigenerational themes of family, healing and sacrifice, themes which hearken back to an earlier more innocent time in America. “Oildale” is a story of what family and extended family means, of the effects of war on human beings and of the basic respect and kindness we find ourselves longing for in an age of increasing sarcasm and cynicism. As long-time collaborators Lynn and I find these themes both nostalgic and compelling, so we set out to make a movie that echoed the passing of an era in small town America.

Set in the Central Valley of California, where dustbowl refugees from Oklahoma and Texas planted the seeds of a brand new form of American music–a form that would eventually breed singer-songwriters Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and others of the “Bakersfield Sound”–“Oildale” is an homage to this music, to veterans and to the people of small towns everywhere. Our locations, cinematography, pacing and music were all chosen to communicate a collective American nostalgia for a more innocent time and place. The kindness of strangers, self-sacrifice, the unspoken anguish of combat veterans and the universal need to find a sense of “home” all live in the heart of “Oildale”.

With an enormously generous and supportive cast and crew, we made an “old-fashioned” movie, steeped in nostalgia with six original songs that will speak to the hearts of all Americans. “Oildale” reflects on lives passing, on lives healing and lives moving forward with a sense of hope that even when we lose family a new family can always be found.


” The film has a great story and positive message, all told through well cast and believable characters that are fully developed and tug at our heartstrings. A great example of good storytelling. We enjoyed the parallel musical story line delivered along with excellent lighting, great cinematography and crisp editing. Ultimately for me beyond the technical merits of a film is the measure of whether a film is believable and reaches me emotionally, and I walk away from a film gaining something meaningful. Your film absolutely meets those standards.”

Ron Borrego
Former Program Chair, Durango Film Festival