5Q's w/Steve Lerner and Reuben Aaronson "When The Well Runs Dry" Directors

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 140 characters?

Reuben: This is the story of our most precious resource, water, as entertainingly-told thru the eyes of ranchers and farmers in small town Kansas.

Steve:  The “small” water stories our film presents are closely related to the larger water challenges we face regionally, nationally, and globally.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

Reuben: This film is beautifully crafted and imaginatively told.

Steve: The film also shows how beautiful rural Kansas is and how truly impressive it’s farmers, ranchers, and townspeople are as well.

#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

Reuben: I am a life-time filmmaker who has travelled all over the world to document the human experience.  My work has been recognized by the industry’s highest awards.

Steve: Reuben and I collaborated on his very first film in the early 1970’s, and went our separate ways in filmmaking until now. In between I have directed many educational films for mental health professionals and several documentaries. As a psychologist as well as a filmmaker, I am always interested in the interview process in documentary work: how you create the conditions in which someone is willing to speak openly and personally about things that matter greatly to them. 

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

Reuben: When your oldest childhood friend calls and asks you to make a film with him, just say “yes.”

Steve:  The complexity and the profound benefits of close collaboration.

#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

Reuben: While we are just starting to submit the film to a few festivals, it is already receiving a lot of interest from professionals in the field who deal with the issues of water on a daily basis.  It is heartening to see that this film - made with my best childhood friend - is playing a part in such an important conversation.

Steve: The film has been submitted to a number of festivals, and three PBS stations in the Midwest are interested in broadcasting it. I’m currently developing a concept for my next project and am already pressuring Reuben to work with me on it!

Matthew NothelferComment