Ruben van Rijn

People say water is life, so how could there be life where there is no more water? For the past two decades, the rural village of Peña Blanca (Chile) has suffered the devastating consequences of rising temperatures and growing drought. El Secano Aún Vive shows how daily life in the village has become despairingly dull and anticipates a future that remains uncertain if nothing changes. But in an environment that seems unable to support life of any form, it’s the few people that live in it who prove that the drylands are not dead yet.

Director statement

With El Secano Aún Vive I hoped to find a balance between imagination and investigation, which I believe to be the best response to many problems that our planet is currently facing. One of these problems, the one that interests but also scares me the most, is portrayed in this film. Prior education has provided me with practical knowledge on environmental issues, which I have tried to incorporate in this film, but above all I simply wanted to show the horrible consequences of globally rising temperatures and growing drought in a part of the world that to us might seem too far away to care for.




Ruben van Rijn
Ruben van Rijn

I’m Ruben van Rijn, an accidental visual anthropologist who tried changing a hobby into something more meaningful. My background in environmental sciences pushes me to explore the possibilities of film for showing and changing the worsening state of our planet and the impact on its inhabitants.

EL SECANO AÚN VIVE - Ruben van Rijn
toang - Rizky Maulana Yanuar
My Life, My Story - Fleur Roovers
heem - Jara van den Bosch
Postcolonial Sentiments - Hannah Bults
Voices in Nature - Maarten Bekhuis
Nostalgie paralysante - Sabrine Mdaghri
How much longer - Ann-Kristin Mueller
Drag Kings and Creatures - Sarah Bozuwa
Multi-Love - Mowgli Legein
Proud to Sport - Lotte van den Hanenberg
Buurland - Malìn van Weerdenburg
Melmin - Loes Moree
Birds - Marlissa Hilkmann
Is There Anybody Out There? - Mischa Huijsmans
F*ck Endo - Wilke Geurds
Speaking of Spirits - Eva Riemens
Making Malta Home - Leanne Leendertse
Would you want your kids to do this - Max Condon
I am you and you are me - Janna Vink
The battle against floods - Kyra van Meijgaarden