When The Well Runs Dry

This 31 minute documentary film tenderly portrays the vital connection that rural Kansans have with water, our most precious resource. Ranchers, farmers, and residents of small Kansas towns tell us their heartfelt, personal stories about water, including the ongoing threats they face to the availability of the water they depend on.

  • Stephen Lerner
    Florence, Kansas, Esta Guitarra Vieja, La Pizza y El Amor, Tras Bambalinas
  • Reuben Aaronson
    Amazon Gold, Children of War, Black Blizzard, The Ground Truth
  • Steve Lerner
  • Reuben Aaronson
    Director of Photography
    see above
  • Jim Jewell
    2nd Camera and Technical Director
  • Greg Allen
    Music Production, Sound Design
    Music composed for film Florence, Kansas
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    31 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 18, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital high definition
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Prairie Studies Initiative
    Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University
    October 22, 2015
  • Film Premiere in Florence, Kansas
    Florence, Kansas Masonic Center
    July 18, 2015
    first screening
  • Drift and Drag Exhibition
    Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka Kansas
    January 16 2015
  • Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas
    Flint Hills Discovery Center, Manhattan Kansas
    November 19, 2015
  • Borrego Springs Film Festival
    Borrego Springs, California
    January 15, 2016
    official selection
  • Water Docs Festival
    Toronto, Canada
    March 25, 2016
    Canadian Premiere
Director Biography - Stephen Lerner, Reuben Aaronson

Reuben Aaronson:

Reuben is a Producer/Director/Cinematographer based in Los Angeles, whose distinctive work reflects a wide variety of experience that now totals over forty years. Reuben has traveled the world to shoot and direct award-winning films about the human experience for National Geographic, Discovery, HBO, PBS and others. From Academy Awards to Emmys, Reuben's work is consistently recognized for its beauty and sensitivity.

Reuben’s most recent film, AMAZON GOLD, a documentary about the horrific damage to the rainforest from illegal gold mining, was narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock. The film was honored at the NY International Film Festival, The International Environmental Film Festival, and the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (Best Conservation Program). It received Best Environmental Film from the Green Film Network, 2014.

Reuben's other projects include: THE DUST BOWL a two-hour special for History Channel; LORDS OF THE GARDEN, THE TREE-TOP PEOPLE OF NEW GUINEA, Winner, Gold Medal for Cinematography, Houston International Film Festival, Best of Festival, CINE Film Festival; and THE LAST FROG, a National Geographic film for which he won a national Emmy for Cinematography. For more information about Reuben's work, go to NGOFilms.net

Steve Lerner:

Steve, a psychologist and filmmaker, founded Menninger Video Productions at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. There he produced and directed many educational films for mental health professionals. After leaving Menninger, he founded Equal Partners Productions, producing and directing another extensive group of films. Guilford Press, a New York publishing company, purchased the Equal Partners catalogue, and hired Steve to direct three more productions..

More recently, Steve began concentrating on documentaries. His 2009 film, TRAS BAMBALINAS (BEHIND THE SCENES), shot in Mexico, won Best Documentary at the Kansas/Missouri Short Film Festival in 2009. In 2010 he directed LA PIZZA Y EL AMOR (PIZZA AND LOVE), a humorous look at the relationship between food and love. Steve’s next documentary, FLORENCE KANSAS, funded by the Kansas Humanities Council, told the story of a small rural Kansas town--its history, challenges, and dreams for the future. It was an official selection at the AMC Kansas City Film Festival in 2012. Steve’s most recent film, a 14 minute narrative short, ESTA GUITARRA VIEJA (THIS OLD GUITAR) won Best Director at the 15 Minutes of Fame Festival in Florida, and was also an official selection in two additional festivals.
To see some of Steve’s films, go to www.stevelerner.net
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kavVC1cWKrg ,

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Reuben: We focussed our cameras on the extraordinary ranchers, farmers and townspeople of Kansas, who struggle daily with a variety of challenges to the water they depend on for their livelihoods and for life itself. I think we did it with a unique "eye" to storytelling, and we discovered real visual beauty along the way.

Steve: We began to make a small local film about water, and how it affects people in their daily lives. It turned out that each small story we discovered bumped up against a larger story about water. In the end, we found that there really is no small water story.