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Bio Survey and Geo Survey to screen new documentary on Kansans, water

Monday, January 11, 2016

LAWRENCE — A new documentary that tells heartfelt stories about Kansans and water will be screened this week at the University of Kansas.

"When the Well Runs Dry" will be shown Thursday, Jan. 14, at the University of Kansas. The 3 p.m. presentation will take place in the Ron Evans Apollo Auditorium at Nichols Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Lawrence filmmaker Steve Lerner and Reuben Aaronson, based in Los Angeles, directed the documentary, which runs 30 minutes and was funded by the Kansas Humanities Council. It premiered in 2015. The showing at KU is sponsored by the Kansas Geological Survey and the Kansas Biological Survey, and it will feature commentary and discussion with Lerner. The moderator will be Rex Buchanan, interim director of the KGS.

The film features ranchers, farmers and residents of small Kansas towns. They talk about the threats they face to the availability and quality of water —the one resource upon which their lives and livelihoods most depend. The film depicts the beauty of Kansas and the spirit of its people while highlighting the larger water challenges that affect the region, the nation and the world.

“We’re telling a lot of stories about water,” Lerner said. “All the stories are in the peoples’ own voice. There’s no expert narrator. There’s no teacher in the film or professor giving a lecture. It’s all Kansans talking about the way water is so connected to every aspect of their life.” 

“When the Well Runs Dry” is attracting interest in Kansas and elsewhere. It was shown last November to a standing-room audience at the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas. It will be shown to legislators Tuesday, Jan. 14, in the Old Supreme Court Room at the State Capitol in Topeka. The following day, it will be featured at the third annual Borrego Springs Film Festival in California. The festival showcases outstanding narrative, documentary, animation and Latino features and shorts. 

More information about “When the Well Runs Dry” is available at its Facebook page.

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