The Well (short)

An Asian-American man drives from his home in Chicago to a small lake town in rural Iowa, to confront a bar owner with whom he shares a traumatic childhood experience. What ensues is a tension-filled night where two men must find the courage to be honest and vulnerable with each other.

  • Philip Miles Orduna
  • Sarah Young
    Counting (2019), In Case We Get Found (2020),Not Him (2023)
  • Philip Miles Orduna
  • Tori Ernst
  • Janet Huey
  • Sarah Young
  • Robert Lee Leng
    Key Cast
    Awkwafina is Nora From Queens, Ray Donovan, Blue Bloods, Law and Order: Organized Crime, Allswell
  • Daniel Abeles
    Key Cast
    Women of the Movement, The Good Wife, Special Ops: Lioness, Person of Interest, Elementary, Wallflowers, Forever, Strange Angel, Outer Range
  • Gordon Joseph Weiss
    Key Cast
    "Shelly "
    Little America, Paradise City, Annie, Law and Order: SVU, Spin City, NYPD Blue, Private Parts, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Awakenings
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 58 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Apple ProRes 4444
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • McMinnville Film Festival
    United States
    February 24, 2023
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Philip Miles Orduna, Sarah Young

Miles Orduña - Director/Writer

Miles Orduña is a mixed, Filipino-American, New York-based playwright and screenwriter who tells complicated stories about place, love, family, and identity through the lens of his mixed Filipino heritage and diverse upbringing in San Francisco, Syracuse, and Des Moines, IA .

His plays and screenplays have been developed and produced through Great Plains Theater Commons' New Play Festival, The New School, Cherry Lane Theatre’s Tongue Series, The Wild Project’s Cherry Picking series, Naked Angel’s 1st Monday’s reading series, Royal Family Productions, and The Lark.

Miles is a 2023/24 Sundance AAPI Scholarship recipient, a 2023 GPTC New Play Festival participant, a 2023 Bay Area Playwrights' Festival Finalist, a 2023 Orchard Project Episodic Lab Finalist, Royal Family Productions 2022 Emerging Artist, an alumnus of Fresh Ground Pepper’s BRB Artist Retreat, a member of Access Theater Writers Group, and an alumnus of Columbia University’s TV Writing Summer Intensive.

BFA: Conservatory of Theater Arts at SUNY Purchase, MFA: The New School for Drama

Sarah Young - Director

Sarah Young believes in powerful, transformative storytelling through radical empathy and curiosity. She is an award-winning director and filmmaker, whose work challenges societal norms.

Her first short film In Case We Get Found (2020) was inspired by her father’s experience as a survivor of the Umpqua Community College mass shooting and has won several awards including the Audience Award for Suspense at the McMinnville Short Film Fest. Her next film Counting (2021) which explores mental health and OCD, has won a number of awards and was a selection of Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Miles Orduña

As an Asian-American man and survivor of abuse, I feel confident saying that the world has a men problem: the vast majority of us have never learned how to navigate and process difficult emotions in a healthy and productive way. I created this film, The Well, as a means to begin a conversation, and as an invitation for people - especially men - to open themselves up to vulnerability. That’s why the film avoids violence and the glorification of revenge and instead sets out to show the even scarier process of being honest. I believe that change, though messy and complicated, is possible, especially when we have art that inspires us. I hope The Well can be that inspiration.

Sarah Young

When the unthinkable happens, what do you do? How does life go on when your worst fears have become a reality? Is there value in revenge? Is there value in forgiveness? This film grapples with the question, “what would you say to your childhood abuser?” This is a subject associated with such pain and societal taboo that it’s rare to see it tackled. Our hope is that this frank and heartfelt film sparks conversation and gives voice to something in our human experience that needs to be addressed.